It’s date night in Birmingham. Where do you go? If you’re looking to impress a date, forget dinner or drinks. We’ve all had far too many cocktails in Lost & Found by now. Instead, here are 12 fun and unusual date ideas in Birmingham – for culture lovers.

They might help you to avoid those moments of uncomfortable silence on a first date, too.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Go gallery hopping with your date in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, starting at Argentea

1. Go Gallery Hopping in the JQ

Take the edge off your first date nerves with a stroll through Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.  Start off in St Paul’s Square. Here you’ll find 2 of my favourite art galleries: the RBSA Gallery and Argentea Gallery. The RBSA showcases work by local artists and designers. A few doors down is Argentea Gallery, which sells contemporary photography from leading Birmingham photographers and international artists. From the square, take a 10 minute walk to Great Hampton Row where you’ll find neighbouring Odox and Iron House. Iron House has a café and bar – a welcome end to your walk.

Discover Birmingham’s Blue Plaques on your date (many are ideally located besides pubs)

2. Find Brum’s Blue Plaques

Birmingham is home to hundreds of English Heritage Blue Plaques, which celebrate the people who have made the city what it is. They have become a familiar site on historic buildings around the country. In Brum, you can find blue plaques commemorating the likes of George Cadbury, James Watt, J.R.R. Tolkien and Emmy Bridgwater. Navigate your date with Birmingham Civic Society’s Blue Plaque Map.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Afternoon Tea for 2 in Birmingham Museum’s Edwardian Tea Rooms: cosy and cute

3. Take Afternoon Tea in the Edwardian Tea Rooms

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is known for its world-leading Pre-Raphaelite collection. You’ll find masterpieces by Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais. Once inside, you should also spend some time in the Edwardian Tea Rooms. With high ceilings, historical paintings on the walls, and comfy sofas, it’s both grand and cosy. Their afternoon tea comes served on a bookcase. If the date is going well, they have a ‘press for champagne’ button.

Date your way around Digbeth’s street art and turn graffiti-covered corners

4. Spot Street Art in Digbeth

Just a 5-minute walk from the Bullring’s consortium of chain restaurants and high-street shops, Digbeth is a changing space of street art and graffiti. Artists from all over the world have come to Digbeth to leave their mark. Start at the Custard Factory and wander from there to find incredible creations on street corners and under arches.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
The Wine Events Company offer themed tasting experiences, from gallery tours to film nights

5. Wine Tasting with a Twist

Wine tasting is an excellent date idea, especially when it comes with a twist. Birmingham’s Wine Events Company do just that. I recommend their themed tastings with a movie at the historic Electric Cinema. Think 6 Italian wines paired with The Italian Job. Sit back on your sofa, relax and let the team bring wine to you. What’s not to love?

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
I recently attended a Tolkien-themed wine tasting with Birmingham’s Wine Events Company

6. Take the Tolkien Trail

J.R.R. Tolkien recognised Birmingham’s influence on his writings about Middle-earth. There are certain landmarks and locations in Birmingham which clearly gave him inspiration for both ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Today, you can still visit these sites, and they really are worth seeing. From Sarehole Mill to Moseley Bog and The Shire Country Park, take your walking boots. See a list of the must-see sites here.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Peaky perfect: take your date on a tour of Birmingham’s darker history

7. Join a Peaky Blinders Tour

Birmingham is at peak ‘Peaky Blinders’ fandom right now. And too right. The gang called the Peaky Blinders operated in Birmingham in the early 1900s. Take a Peaky Blinders Tour and you’ll step back in time to discover stories of crime-ridden streets, gangland warfare and murder. Tours are led by experts – Prof. Carl Chinn MBE or Blue Badge guide Dave Fisher – who tell the real Peaky Blinders story. You start and end in the landmark pub, The Old Crown. Choose from 3 types of tour to suit you and your date.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Re-enact Ghost’s sexy pottery scene with your date…

8. Sign up for an Art Class

Unleash your inner artist! Why not make your mark on a creative date? Birmingham has tons of art classes, including evening workshops over a few hours, with a glass of wine. Get your Ghost on and throw a pot on a wheel, paint a masterpiece or design some jewellery (you should probably steer clear of rings on that first date).

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Inside Birmingham’s Shakespeare Room: ‘Romeo? Romeo? Where the f*** are you?’

9. Seek out Birmingham’s Shakespeare Room

As far as romantic spots in Birmingham go, this is up there. Literally up there. It’s on the top floor of the Library of Birmingham. The Shakespeare Memorial Room was created and designed to house the Shakespeare Memorial Library by John Henry Chamberlain in 1882. Today, the room houses only a fraction of the huge Shakespeare collection in the library. It’s worth the trip to see the Elizabethan style carvings and metalwork representing birds, flowers and foliage. The views across the city are also excellent.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Take your date to death’s door. Image: Coffin Works

10. Experience Death at Coffin Works

Take – not talk – your date to death. Birmingham’s Coffin Works is a unique museum about, you guessed it, coffin making. Shelves and workbenches are full of original stock and tools of the trade. The museum offers tours, telling stories about the firm’s history of making coffin furniture for the famous, including Churchill, Chamberlain and even the Queen Mother.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Catch a movie at MAC, before a walk around Cannon Hill Park. Image: MAC

11. Watch an arty film at MAC

Midlands Arts Centre has a small-ish cinema, which is ideal for couples on a date. The diverse programme includes new releases, foreign language and art-house films, as well as special live screenings. Before or after, you can take a stroll around Cannon Hill Park and grab a drink at the bar.

unusual date ideas in Birmingham
Winterbourne House and Garden: have yourself an old fashioned date, in the Edwardian era

12. Wander Winterbourne House and Garden

I love Winterbourne. It’s an Edwardian era Arts and Crafts house with a beautiful botanical garden. Located in Edgbaston, it takes you out of the city centre and into another world. The seven-acre Grade II listed garden is home to plants from around the world. Inside, exhibition rooms on two floors tell the history of the house and its owners. Winterbourne comes with a café – if it’s sunny, you can sit outside, on a terrace overlooking the garden.  

What other unusual date ideas do you have for culture lovers in Birmingham?

Happy dating!

Ruth x

unusual date ideas in Birmingham

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