It’s Almost Here! Birmingham Heritage Week 2023 Just Days Away
04 September 2023
Dozens of ‘drop-in’ events across the city during #BHeritageWeek
Popular events selling out – check for last-minute availability
The start of a city-wide celebration of almost 200 events showcasing Birmingham’s fascinating history, people and places is almost here, with less than one week to go until Birmingham Heritage Week 2023.
Running from Friday, 8 to Sunday, 17 September, Birmingham Heritage Week is a ten-day, city-wide festival shining a spotlight on Birmingham’s fascinating history, with some of the city’s most important heritage locations and unique buildings opening their doors for talks, tours, workshops, walks and much more.
Throughout Heritage Week, events will be taking place across Birmingham. There will be hundreds of different events, walks, talks and tours to choose from and while many of the ticketed events are fully booked, there are still lots of events to choose from and many are ‘drop-in’ and no booking is required.
Cannon Hill Park celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and this is celebrated during Birmingham Heritage Week 2023 with a play at the MAC about philanthropist Louisa Ryland who donated the park to the people of Birmingham in 1873. The City of Birmingham Brass Band will perform in the bandstand and there will be an opportunity to have a go at riding a penny farthing bicycle or try your tightrope walking skills.
There are busy Heritage Week programmes in Sutton Coldfield, Bournville and the Jewellery Quarter, all with exciting events on offer. You can have a go at crown green bowls in Bournville or visit the old Cadbury staff theatre. The catacombs in both Jewellery Quarter cemeteries are open (booking essential) while in Sutton Coldfield the Masonic Hall and Town Hall will open their doors, or you can listen to talks about historic Sutton (did you know Sutton had its own Crystal Palace?) or join an archaeology walk in Sutton Park. If you are fascinated by archaeology, the Weoley Castle guided tour of the castle’s ruins is a must.
There are many outdoor walks on offer during #BHeritageWeek. Some are fully booked but there is still a wide choice available. There are walking tours around the University of Birmingham Campus, one of which is looking at the university’s queer history. There are walks in historic Yardley, around Aston including under Spaghetti Junction, and evening walks along the old Harborne railway or around Edgbaston Reservoir.
What about a walk to discover the Irish history of Handsworth or explore Birmingham’s links with the slave trade in the Gun Quarter? Birmingham is a city of migration and a Migration Stories walk along the Stratford Road looks at post war changes in this vibrant area. Many more city centre walks still have places available and are themed around canals, art, industry and Peaky Blinders. For a slightly different guided tour experience, there is the evening bingo walking tour.
What about a whodunnit for you to solve at historic Aston Hall? Or a scaffolding tour to see the Burne-Jones windows in Birmingham Cathedral up close? Or a guided tour of the murals under the Hockley Flyover, difficult to appreciate from the car? You can also be amazed at the hundreds-of-thousands of objects at the Museum Collection Centre.
Workshops at the National Trust Back to Backs offer writing, painting and drawing skills, or short story writing and poetry at the Pen Museum.
Many churches, as well Buddhist and Hindu temples, open their doors and many can be visited on the day without pre-booking.
If you would like to relax in the cinema, what about a documentary at the Mockingbird about Birmingham’s place in the world of cinema?
After a packed day programme of heritage visits, why not finish off with going to the Old Crown, to see the exhibition about the city’s oldest pub and enjoy a well-deserved pint. A limited number of spaces are still available for Birmingham historian Carl Chinn’s talk about the rich history of the beautiful building.
Visit birminghamheritageweek.co.uk for the full schedule and last-minute availability.