4km Christmas in Birmingham Walk
This short 5km walking route will enchant you and quicken your excitement for Christmas! See twinkly lights and tall Christmas trees. Tickle your senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas markets. Grab your jumper, your camera, and comfy walking shoes, and let’s go on a Holly Jolly walking tour!
Our tour starts at Moor Street station to visit the Polar Express.
Ever wanted a taste of that hot chocolate on the Polar Express? Or have your very own sleigh bell (that you can only hear if you believe)? Now’s your chance! The Polar Express leaves from Moor Street station and promises to deliver a magically theatrical experience true to the 2004 motion picture. Don’t be shy to arrive in your best Christmas pyjamas! Hurry, tickets sell out fast so be sure to book well in advance, you can purchase them here.
Leaving the station, turn left towards Bullring and Grand Central and walk up the zig-zag stairs to the right of the tunnel. After walking up the stairs, head towards the Bull sculpture and turn right and into New Street passing the tall light sculptures.
Continue down New Street, over the tram tracks of Corporation Street to eventually turn left into Lower Temple Street. Continue over the tram tracks into Navigation Street (to the right of the mirror-like building).
Exiting under the bridge some way down Navigation Street, turn left into Royal Mail Street then up the stairs into and through the Mailbox exiting at Canalside.
Walk up straight on under the Sixes restaurant to reach Gas Street Social.
In Gas Street Social’s Igloos, you can eat outside without looking like the red-nosed reindeer after a meal. Snuggle up with warm blankets, a view of the canalside, and twinkly fairy lights while you enjoy their two or three-course set menu or order from their usual menu. The Igloos can seat up to six people and are booked for up to two hours. See their menu and book an igloo here.
After your tasty warm meal, walk towards the building with “+” symbols on it and turn right to cross over the bridge and continue along the canalside.
Look out for the passageway on your left that leads into Gas Street and turn right. At the end of Gas Street, turn left onto Broad Street then right into Oozells Street towards the Ikon Gallery.
The Ikon Gallery, free to enter Grade II listed neo-gothic building has temporary exhibitions spread across two floors. Nearby is Birmingham’s only independent arts bookshop as well as a cafe.
Exiting the gallery, continue down Oozells Street then turn right towards the Brindley Place Fountains and right again at the fountains onto Water’s Edge. When you reach the centre of the restaurants, walk down the stairs and over the bridge towards the ICC. Walk along the left of the canal and climb upstairs by the Broad Street Tunnel. Just to your right at the top of the stairs is the Black Sabbath Bridge Bench which commemorates the pioneers of Heavy Metal; grab a selfie! Continue down Broad Street towards the small clock tower and the Big Wheel by the Library of Birmingham.
Ice skate at the Big Wheel, one of the UK’s best outdoor ice rinks and the perfect opportunity to panoramically view some of Birmingham’s landmarks like the Library and Centenary Square. You can book your tickets online here or buy them on the day. Alternatively, you can visit the Secret Garden on the 7th floor of the Library for views of the city. The top floor houses the Shakespeare Room which contains the second-largest collection of Shakespeare’s works in the world
To the next sight, walk along the path with the library on your left and around to the back of the Hall of Memory. Walk over the Centenary Way bridge then walk to the right of the rounded building. Part 8 of the 4km Christmas in Birmingham walk
When you reach the back of this building, turn left into Congreve Passage. Cross straight over the intersection and walk on the pathway to the left of the building right in front of you on Summer Row. Turn right after the University College Birmingham building into Lionel Street then immediately left towards Fleet Street and the Coffin Works Museum.
Newman Brother’s Coffin Works is hosting a free-to-enter Christmas market on 3 December where you can see works from local artists and crafters. Additionally, they’re offering discounted Coffin Works Museum tour tickets which you can buy here. Alternatively, you can take a tour by candlelight and explore the museum after hours. Book your tickets here.
Walk back up the passageway steps from Fleet Street onto Lionel Street then Summer Row passing University College Birmingham and back onto Congreve Passage.
Back at the rounded glass building, walk towards the mini fountain and mini sculpture on Chamberlain Square towards the Frankfurt Christmas Market.
Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentically German market outside of Germany or Austria. Feast to your heart’s content on pretzels, schnitzels, bratwurst, gluhwein, weissbeer, or a classic hot chocolate. Browse the wide selection of goodies while listening to the live music on the bandstand. Entrance is free, but you can get more information and view the live music programme here.
Walk up the stairs to the right of the main fountain and turn right down Colmore Row towards Cathedral Square.
Cathedral Square will be open for its third year along with a few new additions. Enjoy a wide variety of goods from independent businesses from the surrounding area including ornaments, traditional crafts, and of course good food and drinks.
These sights aren’t on this route but are worth a visit in your own time:
Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter with its over 100 jewellery-themed Christmas lights is sure to light up your festive mood. Among its hallmark 3m x 3m diamond ring display and two 30-foot Christmas trees, you will find over 60 Christmassy window displays also known as the “Window Trail”. You can vote for your favourite display and stand a chance to win a hamper. Simply scan the QR codes on the windows to cast your votes. To see a list of the participating stores and for more information, click here.
Snowdogs Discover Birmingham is a sculpture trail around the city of Birmingham inspired by Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. Sprinkled throughout the city are ten Snowdog sculptures each with a unique design. Each sculpture also helps raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Using the trail map, families can see each sculpture and decipher a ten-letter word to stand a chance to win a voucher. To download the map and get more information, visit the website here.
You will be spoiled for choice in your shopping options sprinkled across the city centre including the city’s largest, Bullring and Grand Central.
Various theatre shows for the young and old can be enjoyed across Birmingham and surrounding areas. Including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Nutcracker, and Peter Pan the Musical.
When last have you been to a drive-in movie? Christmas is the perfect time to cosy up and watch the big screen from the comfort of your own vehicle. The Luna Cinema at the Custard Factory will do the trick. Screening all the Christmas classics such as Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone and more. Bring your own snacks, food, and drinks or purchase something at the drive-in. What are you waiting for? Book your tickets here.
This route was compiled with assistance from the Birmingham City Council.
If you enjoyed this route see our Graffiti walk in Digbeth.