September is a particular month. 30 days that mean a transition from the summer period into the Back-to-School season, the beginning of the autumn, Halloween, and many other affairs. People keep returning from either their staycations or holidays abroad, hopefully with their batteries charged and ready to face their daily routines again. Hence, this post’s mission is to provide all brummies with an unmissable leisure proposal to help fight any possible September Blues’ feelings. Welcome to the Birmingham Heritage Week.
If you are lucky enough to call Birmingham your home, this is the perfect chance to know every corner and story about it. It does not matter if you have been living here for decades or if you just moved in town, Brum has both a special charm and an endless ability to keep surprising its citizens. Whatever your interests are, the Birmingham Heritage Week provides you with 11 days to explore, rediscover, learn, and experience our city’s legacy.
What type of activities does Birmingham Heritage Week include?
The festival’s programme is as diverse as Birmingham itself. Tours, walks, workshops, online discussions, exhibitions, projections of films and documentaries… Either if you are an active person full of energy or someone who prefers to explore from their home’s comfort, there are more than enough alternatives to do so. Many of the activities and experiences are so popular and unique that you may need to book a spot or fill a short application to get access to them. Also, you will find both free events and others where you will have to pay. Do not let money stop you from enjoying this festival. Tickets are quite affordable and, on top of that, all the funds are a massive contribution to the local volunteers that dedicate their effort and time to preserve Birmingham’s heritage.
My top 5 experiences
If you are a history freak like the guy who is writing this article, you will find a wide list of activities to enjoy. It was quite exciting and difficult to choose from the different available options of historic activities. I highly recommend the following group of events as they will give everyone a good glimpse about the history of Birmingham.
My particular Birmingham Heritage Week will start with a guided free tour of the Woodcock Street Baths. Currently a sports centre, this place is Birmingham’s oldest working swimming pool and was opened back in 1902. After the tour is finished, I will have the chance to have a relaxing swim at this historic place. The second and third activities that make up my list are quite different from the first one. On the third weekend of September, I will be exploring both the Key Hill Cemetery and the Warstone Lane Cemetery. Located in the well-known Jewellery Quarter, both graveyards are a good starting point for those locals who want to trace their origins and find more about their families’ history. Also, they both hold interesting legends and stories. Sounds like a good (and spooky) preparation for Halloween, right?
I also applied to get a ticket for probably one of the coolest experiences within the Birmingham Heritage Week’s programme. A one-off tour of the underground tunnel that connects the Mailbox building with New Street Station. Throughout the 20th century, this infrastructure served as a way to transport sacks of mail and parcels in the city centre. In the Amazon era and the next-day-delivery world we live in, this tour takes us to the past.
Finally, I will end up my itinerary with a little bit of exercise mixed with some art appreciation. A 5km-run through the most bohemian and coolest neighbourhood of the city, Digbeth. In this route, me and the rest of participants will have the chance to see dozens of graffiti that create that unique art space that Digbeth is. In addition, we will know more about the brummie artists that created these colourful and inspiring art pieces.
However, do not just limit your visits to the itinerary that I created. If your availability and schedule allow so, add as many different activities as you can. Make your plans diverse and dynamic, combine active events with more relaxing ones as well as with online activities. The more you are able to attend, the more you will experience and learn.
Live it, appreciate it, and share it
I think this is the perfect motto for those of you joining the Birmingham Heritage Week. As a devoted historian and travel writer, I always include some history in my adventures. History and heritage tell us where we come from and give us some of the lessons that we need to keep our society moving forward. Take with you as much information as you can, so next time that you pass across what looks like an old building or stroll across a walk path in the nature, you will know a bit of the endless stories they treasure.