Scenic Spots Around Birmingham
Be inspired by Birmingham’s most scenic spots
Rent a car to get to Birmingham’s greenest spaces in just an hour
The concrete jungle of Birmingham with its notable industrial heritage might not put you instantly in the mind of green tranquillity. But the surrounding areas offer up a bevvy of postcard-worthy places, we can assure you. With the help of your rental car, you can set out along well-trodden paths or through winding roads to explore the area’s hidden gems.
From sweeping views across leafy landscapes to eye-popping historic sites, we’ve selected the best spots to feature on your travel itinerary. And they’re all accessible with just a short road trip from the city centre by car hire.
Get back to nature at Lickey Hills
Are you craving views that soar to the horizon? A god-like view of the city stretching before your feet in the distance and ample greenery as far as the eye can see? This is what Lickey Hills Country Park brings you in spades.
Hop in your hire car, and head along the M5 from the city centre to reach it. Or along the A38 or the A441 if you need a break from the motorways. Whichever route you take, it’ll only be around a 35-45-minute trip. Once you’re there, take a deep breath and relax! If you need to stretch those legs, hike up to Beacon Hill, the highest point, and get your camera at the ready.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 45 mins / 10.3 miles
Roam Sutton Park’s 2,400 acres
For total peace and quiet, dreamy lakes, woodland walkways and open heathland head to Sutton Park. Marked as an area of Special Scientific Interest, this is the place for spotting wildlife, getting lost among the trees and indulging in gift-browsing at the visitor centre.
The most straightforward routes from the heart of Birmingham run along the A34 or the A38. Both take around 30 minutes depending on traffic and take you straight into the heart of the action. Or, rather, the lack of it but in the best way possible. If you’re looking to tick off “laidback nature retreat” during this trip, this is the place to do it.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 30 mins / 8.6 miles
Feel the history at Winterbourne
Just a 4 mile, or 15-minute, drive in your hire car from the city centre, Winterbourne House and Gardens are worth seeing. This is an easy win if you just want to jump in the car and cram in the last spot before you leave the city.
The A38 offers the fastest route if traffic is on your side, although you can take the minutely lengthier way along Harbourne Road from the city centre. Once here, you’ll be instantly transported to a quieter place and a different time. With botanical gardens, Edwardian architecture and historic artefacts aplenty, this is a place that will leave a lasting imprint in your memory.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 15 mins / 3.7 miles
Explore Birmingham’s industrial past at Sarehole Mill
If history is your passion, Sarehole Mill is not to be missed. This 250-year-old water mill is pristine and feels completely out of the way of the modern, thrumming city centre. A café, shop and full event’s calendar add to its allure. Not to mention the views of millpond-still waters with glass-like reflections of the mill itself, and the links to JRR Tolkien. Apparently, the mill inspired his image of Middle-earth.
Get in your hire car, take the A38 from the city and you’ll be there in just over 20 minutes. Or, choose the marginally longer route along the A34 and Stratford Road. Both options are around a mere 5 or 6 miles from the city but they’ll feel like a world away.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 20 mins / 5.9 miles
Teeter on the precipice at Kinver Edge
National Trust gem, Kinver Edge, is a veritable hodgepodge of caves, breath-taking views, and curious rock houses. If you like magical day trips and beautiful vistas, this ticks every box. The edge itself offers hilltop views across the lush countryside as far as the eye can see, while behind you, a dreamlike array of caves and dwellings begs to be discovered.
Point your hire car towards the A456 and drive for around 30 minutes to get here from Birmingham city. Or, join the A456 closer to Kinver Edge from the M5. Then settle into the spirit of the edge. Staff will talk you through the people that once inhabited the rocks. Families called the place their home right up until the 1960s, with their comfortable, modern dwellings carved from the rocks themselves.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 30 mins / 11.6 miles