The Jewellery Quarter is an area in Birmingham city centre, originally famous for being Europe’s biggest concentration of businesses in jewellery production. It has developed from being a hub of jewellery, into an area with independent restaurants, bars and shops, as well as properties with a lot of character. This year, I made the decision to move to the Jewellery Quarter, and I wanted to share a bit more about the area and why I chose to do this!
Why did I choose to move to the Jewellery Quarter (JQ)?
I studied for my undergraduate degree at University of Birmingham. During that time, I lived in Edgbaston, then different parts of Selly Oak. As much as I enjoyed living in both of these areas, I really wanted to live in the city centre and experience life in a different part of Birmingham. I went to explore the different areas and considered living near New Street Station, around Five Ways and Brindleyplace, or around Digbeth, before I discovered the Jewellery Quarter.
The Jewellery Quarter really caught my attention because there are beautiful, green spaces in Centenary Square and St Paul’s Square. But it’s also mainly because I love the character of the area! The Jewellery Quarter is a conservation area, so most of the buildings still look the way they were originally built, with some refurbishments. It means that every flat I looked at was unique with different qualities, and just walking around the area is enjoyable because of how nice the surroundings are.
However, my absolute favourite part of the Jewellery Quarter is the number of independent restaurants and bars!
Where to go in the Jewellery Quarter
My favourite place to eat or go for drinks is definitely the Rolling Mill. Originally a factory, the building has been restored into a stunning pub/restaurant and the food (think pizza, burgers, and classic pub meals) is to die for! Another food place not to miss is Tierra Tacos. All the food is Mexican inspired and for anyone who can’t have gluten, like me, this whole restaurant is gluten-free. Finally, for a coffee and a cake, I recommend a visit to Coffee Tales – you won’t get a bigger slice of cake anywhere else.
The Jewellery Quarter is also within walking distance to Brindleyplace and to the Bullring, so any of your favourite Birmingham hotspots will be nearby. I would recommend a visit to Otherworld to take part in immersive VR, or to Flight Club to play darts with a few different rules!
How close is the Jewellery Quarter to University?
My one concern about living in the Jewellery Quarter was the distance to University. I found that from my flat, it’s a twenty minute walk to New Street Station and then a seven minute train to the University station.
This seemed fine to me, as my walk was about twenty minutes to campus from my last house in Selly Oak, and getting a Railcard made my train costs easily affordable this year. Plus, I walk past so many coffee shops on my route, so I get a coffee to go every morning!
The Jewellery Quarter is an area with a lot of young professionals and there’s definitely always something new and interesting to do. I’ve found living here to be really enjoyable and actually motivational in some ways. Walking through the city centre to the train station each day has really made me look forward to having a career and working in the city.
I think that Edgbaston and Selly Oak were great places to live during my undergraduate degree. But I’m really glad I moved to a place with a more professional atmosphere for my Masters degree, and I hope to stay in the Jewellery Quarter for the next few years and to start my career here.
Shaunagh is currently studying an MSc in Mathematical Finance at the University of Birmingham, and received a Birmingham Masters Scholarship in 2022-23.