Sutton Coldfield occupies much of the north of Birmingham. However, it's advisable not to mention this to any locals. Many won't thank you for reminding them that Sutton Coldfield is a part of Birmingham. They feel that it should still be an independent town.
One reason folk are miffed is because Sutton Coldfield used to be to be a Royal Borough. Now that it is a part of Birmingham, it is presumed not to be any more.
Sutton Coldfield has a dead smart park (about ten square miles I'd guess) to its north west. It is free to pedestrians, though cars are sometimes charged entry to raise funds for the park (in any case, most of the park has been made inaccessable to cars). The local accent is... well there isn't much of a one really... it's quite an ambient English accent.
There are a number of main districts including:
- Wylde Green and Boldmere to the south of the town centre.
- Mere Green and Four Oaks to the north.
- Walmley's to the south-east.
The most happening pubs/clubs are in the Town Centre and Mere Green. Head further north if you're into country pubs.
Most pubs fall into two categories:
- They are either quite good and have a dress code, or...
- They are grotty dives.
Sadly there seems to be no happy medium. Well, that's not strictly true. There are one or two grotty dives with a dress code; but that wasn't quite what we meant.
The only real night club as such is Rosie's in the Town Centre.
Drinking after 11pm
At the time of writing this, you could go to to O'Neil's or Rosie's, in the Town Centre, to drink past 11pm. On Sunday, except at those places with the special licence, the last orders are at 10:30pm; but if you are near a less strict neighbouring town (Erdington for example), you can hop across the border for an extra half hour of drinking.
Affairs of the Heart
The greatest threat to the sanity of local young men is sometimes to be found in Mere Green pubs... au pairs. There are some well-to-do private estates thereabouts, where au pairs are employed
Au pairs... bless them. They are lovely, but they will break your heart. For one day, they have to return home to Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Turkey or wherever
But not absolutely always, I should add. I know a couple of au pairs that stayed; but one should prepare for the worst, whilst hoping for the best.
Bah! I was urged by a friend to put something in this about the town's history; but on thinking about it, I conclude that I don't really know any.
I know there are big boatloads of the stuff about this old town; but... er... I just don't know what it is, that's all; despite living here since I was about two days old. It's just not my scene.
But I assure you there is some, if that's what you're after.
"This was all fields when I was young"
"Henry VIII gave us Sutton Park"
...blah, blah, blah... you get the picture?
You can get to Sutton Coldfield by rail directly from Birmingham New Street Station in about 20 minutes.
The stops that are in Sutton Coldfield are (in order from south to north):Chester Road StationFor Wylde Green, The Yenton and Little Boldmere.Wylde Green StationFor Wylde Green, Boldmere and Sutton Park's Boldmere Gate.Sutton Coldfield StationFor the town centre and Sutton Park's Town Gate.Four Oaks StationFor Mere Green, Four Oaks, and Sutton Park's Foar Oaks Gate.Butler's Lane StationFor Four Oaks.Blake Street Station:For the far north, Hill Hook and Watford Gap (It's also right next to the Blake's Barn Pub).
The railway then continues northward beyond the boundaries of the known universe (to which I've heard intrepid travellers refer: "Lichfield via Shenstone").
The A5127 (called the 'Birmingham Road' in the South and the 'Lichfield Road' in the North) more or less follows the railway as described above. You can get onto the A5127 straight from good old Spaghetti Junction, which is a few miles South of Sutton Coldfield.
In Short, Sutton Coldfield is:
- Not half bad, generally.
- Not particulary exciting; but not particulary unexciting.
- Reasonably relaxed.
- Reasonably friendly.