The days are getting shorter and the prospect of crispier, chillier weather is on the horizon. But in Birmingham there are plenty of reasons to head outdoors. Forget Netflix, these fun (and mostly free) activities are all the entertainment you need.

Birmingham’s Tolkien Trail

JRR Tolkien was an English writer best known for his expansive works of fantasy The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Though he was born in South Africa, Tolkien later moved with his family to Sarehole in Birmingham. The rolling countryside around the Sarehole Mill, Moseley Bog and Malvern Hills inspired Tolkien. So much so, that this lush landscape was echoed in his stories. And now you can wander in Tolkien’s footsteps and discover Birmingham’s natural beauty for yourself.

Price: free

Location: Edgbaston & Ladywood; Hall Green & Moseley


Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market

Birmingham is officially ‘twinned’ with Frankfurt in Germany. And this partnership sees German market traders descend on Birmingham during the festive season every year, bringing with them a very authentic Christkindlesmarkt. If the sight of the big wheel and twinkly fairy lights don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, some ketchup-slathered sausages and hot chocolate surely will! Running from November 16 to December 14, this is the perfect place to pick up some unique gifts and get in the seasonal spirit.

Price: free

Location: Council House, New Street, Birmingham


The Mac Birmingham

This arts complex hosts a variety of cultural performances from music and dance to comedy and theatre. There is also a cinema and the venue holds regular workshops and courses. There is a jam-packed schedule of events for autumn/winter. Why not check out some contemporary dance or delve into the history of the UK class system? Some events are completely free and others range in price from about £10 to £16.

Price: varies

Location: Cannon Hill Park, Queen’s Ride, Birmingham


The Weoley Castle

Situated in South West Birmingham are the ruins of a fortified manor, Weoley Castle. The ruins date back 750 years and are classified as a scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance. A day trip here will give you a sense of the grandeur that the Lords of Dudley would have enjoyed.

Price: free

Location: Alwold Road, Birmingham


Football in Birmingham

Birmingham is home to a number of successful and well-supported football clubs. With the football season lasting the whole autumn and winter, then it’s the perfect hobby to get in to over the next few months.

Most clubs even offer stadium tours for a small price, giving you the chance to go behind the scenes. Head down to nearby Birmingham City and see the dressing room, the press room and put yourself in the boots of the players by walking through the tunnel to the pitch. Your visit might prompt you to become a ‘blues’ supporter and cheer them on at future matches!

Price: Stadium tour, £12

Location: St Andrew’s Stadium, Cattell Road, Birmingham