Skip to content

From Big City Birmingham to Glorious Gloucestershire

​​​​​​​I made the move from the Midlands to Gloucestershire nearly five years ago and couldn’t wish to live in a better place. Here’s why I love living here.

An easy drive

Lots of my friends and family still live in and around Birmingham and I’m lucky to be able revisit the area for work several times a month too. With the M5 just a stone’s throw from Cheltenham and Gloucester, it’s a super easy one-hour drive (just enough time to get through a podcast or listen to my favourite tunes).

Hopping on a train from Birmingham New Street to Cheltenham Spa can take less than 40 minutes and costs as little as £6.20 (and that’s before the additional savings students can gain from purchasing a 16-25 Railcard). If you have a tiny bit more time on your hands, it’ll cost just £4.50 to take a coach from Digbeth Coach station to Cheltenham town centre (approximately 1 hour 15 mins). *

The great outdoors

With the recent pandemic, I feel more blessed than ever to be able to step out of my home straight into the countryside. Walking up Leckhampton Hill on a bright sunny day definitely helps to clear my head after a busy week and the best thing about enjoying the great outdoors is that it’s free!

My office is located at the Pittville Student Village, about a 2-minute walk from the lake and open spaces of Pittville Park and, more importantly, the ice cream kiosk! It’s perfect for taking a break from work over a lunch time picnic. I’ve recently taken up running too and it’s my favourite place to attempt my latest 5k record. For those of you who like exercising with friends, it’s also the location of the Cheltenham Park Run.

Not too big; not too small

Big cities like Birmingham certainly have their draws but, in Cheltenham, I love having so much within walking distance from home. There’s something going on almost every month, from horse racing to food and music events. Imperial Gardens is a magnet for people from all over the county and beyond during the Cheltenham Festivals, which offer free entry to the festival sites. Imagine your ears filled with drum’n’bass and dubstep courtesy of Riot Jazz Brass Band whilst dancing in a giant big top at 1pm on a Monday afternoon!

Along with all the excitement, you feel as though Cheltenham is small enough for you to become part of the community relatively quickly. I am recognised by the people in my local shop and my favourite cafes, including the School House Café, a community initiative situated opposite the Francis Close Hall campus. It also feels incredibly safe to live here and I feel comfortable walking around on my own or going out for an evening run.

Shopping on a shoestring

If you’re like me and love fashion, you can find the likes of Urban Outfitters and Topshop nestled alongside independent retailers. I enjoy trawling the second-hand shops for pre-loved items. My best bargain: a Ted Baker dress for a tenner. The Gloucester Quays Outlet is also great for picking up branded bargains and there are regular sales in town where you can fill a bag with vintage finds for £15 per kilo.

Even though a visit in person might not be possible at the moment, why not take a virtual tour​ from the comfort of your sofa?

You can chat to me via our website – I’d love to share more of my experiences about moving to Gloucestershire.

Chat to me on our talk to a student page

*Times and prices correct on 06.04.20