This month’s blog is a guest blog from Ella, one of our wonderful Visitor Centre Assistants. She shares how she wards off the winter blues and cares for her mental health during the darker nights.
When the temperature drops below 5 degrees and it starts to get dark at 4pm, my instinct is to hibernate. These colder months can feel isolating, and I often feel somewhat trapped indoors. But more recently, I’ve been braving the cold and finding the beauty of Birmingham at this time of year. While venturing outside may pose its challenges, there’s a unique joy in donning a bobble hat and gloves, wrapping up tight in a woolly scarf and wearing enough layers to make an onion jealous.
To ward off those winter blues and get a much-needed hit of Vitamin D, what better place is there to venture than Birmingham’s stunning canals. This slice of calm, so close to the busy bustling city, is the ideal spot for looking after your mental wellbeing with a bit of winter wandering. With the backdrop of white frost and all manner of wildlife – a walk along the tow path is truly ideal. You might even spot a heron striking a pose at the water’s edge, or a line of cormorants atop a building in all their dinosaur-like glory.
Strolling along the enchanting canals of Birmingham during this time of year is a serene experience. Though the temperature may be cold, the area’s atmosphere, and the fellow explorers embracing the winter charm of the city, radiate an undeniable warmth. There are plenty of routes to follow around Birmingham’s famous canals, such as our family-friendly ‘Local Look Around Trail’, or – just follow your nose and weave your way through the city!
And what better way to bookend your journey than to spend some time at Roundhouse Birmingham. Located on the corner of Sheepcote Street, our tranquil haven not only provides a moment of peaceful respite, but also serves as a hub for delving into the Roundhouse’s role in Birmingham’s fascinating history. Take a look at the displays that unveil the evolution of this unique building and its impact on the city, from the 1800s to today.
Venturing out in this weather might not be your first instinct – but believe me, braving the cold is worth it to help keep yourself happy and healthy. Millions of people notice lower moods in the colder months, so it’s particularly important to look after yourself in whatever ways you can during this time. Whilst I’m looking forward to warmer months ahead, I’m appreciating this wintery weather so much more after discovering these gems that Birmingham has to offer.
So, bundle up and step outside – you just might fall in love with brilliant Brum all over again!
Our Visitor Centre is open and free to visit for everyone from the 10th of January, Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30-4:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you there.
Whilst we’re having a brief hiatus of our public tours, why not try out our free self-led audio tours and trails? From a Black history walking tour around Ladywood to a cycling trail to Bournville, our free self-guided audio tours and trails all explore different areas of the city and its history. You can access more information about these at our Visitor Centre, or by clicking on this link: https://roundhousebirmingham.org.uk/self-guided-tours/