Londoners in Birmingham: A survival guide

Last year more people leaving London moved to Birmingham than any other UK city.

BBC News - 07 October 2016

Last year, more people leaving London moved to Birmingham than any other UK city. Thinking of taking the leap? Here's a survival guide to help you make a smooth transition.

Hipster hangouts

If you're a cool kid missing Shoreditch, the Jewellery Quarter is the place to go in search of handlebar moustaches and deconstructed dinners. You can play board games in our pubs and rummage through vintage clothes shops.


London might have the River Thames but we have more canals than Venice. Our cities are connected by the Grand Union canal - the longest in the UK at 137 miles. There's no more relaxing way to explore your new surroundings than on a canal boat tour.

Tube crush

Worried you'll miss standing squashed under a stranger's armpit on the Tube to work? No need - ours is the second busiest city in the country for rail commuters with 39,000 arriving in the morning peak.

And more than 6,000 passengers are forced to stand for their weekday rail journey in, according to our local paper the Birmingham Mail. You can even read the Metro if you can find the elbow room.


When invited for a spot of gambling be sure to clarify your Birmingham friend is looking to roll dice and not you. To "gambol" up here means to "forward roll".

Tourist attractions

We know Londoners never bother to go the tourist attractions and shows the capital has to offer. So when West End shows tour our theatres you can avoid them too.

Other places to give a wide berth unless relatives come to visit include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Cadbury World.

Picnic in the park

A capital way to while away a weekend is with a picnic in the park. We have lots of lovely green spaces for you to lay down your checked blanket and pop prosecco in. Some even have tennis courts and fishing spots.


If you're missing the buzz of London you can jump on our buz - pronounced bus in London. There's a sightseeing buz, a ghost buz, a Shakespeare buz, a Peaky Blinders buz, a Hobbit buz..

Talking to strangers

Word of warning: In Birmingham we exchange pleasantries with strangers. Some might even call you bab. It's OK we are just being friendly.


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Key Facts

  • Thanks to its innovative 18th century Industrialists building a canal network to aid trading networks, the city has more miles of canals than Venice with 56 kilometres of waterways.