The Birmingham Botanical Gardens
A short walk from Neptune Edgbaston will bring you to The Birmingham Botanical Gardens. With four glasshouses and a traditional bandstand, it feels distinctly like a Victorian park. It’s a charming place for a stroll in summer, or to warm up in its tropical and Mediterranean greenhouses in the cooler months.
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Birmingham is home to many notable galleries, but The Barber Institute has perhaps the widest collection. Here you can see paintings from the likes of Turner, Rubens, Monet, Van Gogh and Botticelli, as well as a collection of over 16,000 coins. The Art Deco building itself also makes it well worth a visit, and as it sits alongside the University of Birmingham, you can take the opportunity to have a look around the campus too.
Winterbourne House and Garden
Also to be found on the University’s campus is this delightful example of an Edwardian suburban home. The Arts and Crafts style house is surrounded by gardens laid out by the first owners, Margaret and John Nettlefold, in the style of Gertrude Jekyll. There are woodland and rhododendron walks, and a walled garden which features a ‘crinkle-crankle’ wall (an unusual design that follows the line of a wave to give structure to the single brick depth). Winterbourne’s interior has been sympathetically restored to how it might have looked when it was first built, with William Morris wallpapers and Edwardian furnishings. There are even several printing presses, which are demonstrated by volunteers every Friday.