As much as you might love your desk in your uni room, sometimes you just need a change of scenery to get those study juices flowing. There’s nothing better than a walk into town to your local coffee shop to rid yourself of writer’s block or to help you crack that last problem on your assignment, but some coffee shops just aren’t that conducive to studying. You want somewhere cool, quiet and largely free from the distractions of being in your flat, as that may well have been why you went out in the first place. Here are some of the best coffee shops in Birmingham to do your work in.
The centre of town is probably the best place to start if you’re looking for a study space to call your own in the corner of a coffee shop. There are so many different ones spread out over the main streets of Birmingham, but one of our favourites is York’s Cafe. It is pretty much the first thing you will see when you come out of the train station on Stephenson St and they serve delicious coffee with plenty of space to work. Inside, the cafe is calm and bright, with huge windows letting in lots of natural light. It is great for working in groups, as they have different sized tables and a great menu of light meals for when it’s time for a break.
In a similar vein, Urban is a bright space with a spacious, inviting seating area that is perfect for smaller groups looking to work. With three locations across Birmingham (Jewellery Quarter, Harborne and Church St), you can study on the go or take a break at some of the beautiful museums and green spaces that surround Urban Emporium’s locations. You can get out of town for a bit if you fancy visiting Harborne and the surrounding areas or study in the bustling city centre so, however you like to study, there’s a place for you at Urban.
Now, if you’d prefer somewhere quieter, Cherry Reds is the perfect place for you. Set into a beautiful building in the city centre, Cherry Reds is just minutes from the main train station. They have a lovely menu, with lighter bites or heavy meals if you’re in for a day-long study session, as well as delicious hot and cold drinks. The inside is cosy and great for a distraction-free study session in the day – although it does get busier as it comes into the evening, so I would advise you cut your session off at 5!
Saint kitchen is another fantastic Jewellery Quarter location to get some studying done. I am a firm believer in going for walks as a study break because it gets you out in the air and away from your screen for twenty minutes or so. I recommend the JQ very highly for some quick study-break walks, with plenty of historic sights to see and green spaces to enjoy the sunshine (when you can).
A special mention has to go to the Second cup coffee company before we wrap it up. It is a fantastic coffee shop and a lovely place to go with friends. The coffee is delicious and their staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about what coffee you might like. Although I would not necessarily recommend working there, as it is often busy and it is a popular place for larger groups of friends to hang out, we’d highly recommend a visit.
6. University Coffee Shops
Although it’s always exciting to try somewhere new, never disregard your university’s coffee shops. After all, they are designed for students to work in. Of the five universities in Birmingham, there are too many shops to list, but these are some of our favourites, all of which are in or close to a university campus. Some are in the city centre, others a bit further out, so whatever you prefer, there’ll be something near a uni for you. The UoB Costa Coffees are great for studying, spacious and with quiet and computer areas for individuals, and communal tables if you’re in a group.
Over at Aston, Cafe Libro is perfect for studying over coffee with friends, although not the best if you get distracted easily! BCU and UCB are both home to Starbucks concessions for studying on the go, and Newman is home to the lovely Atrium Cafe, with a great range of snacks and coffees made on-site.
One of my personal favourite study spaces is the Birmingham Library cafe and the upstairs study spaces. Grab a coffee from the cafe and maybe a snack if you’re in for a long session, find a table or head upstairs to their dedicated study area. With comfy chairs and lots of space to spread out your books, the city library is a fantastic place to work, not to mention the amazing resources they have.
So, wherever you decide to study, there are plenty of cafes in Birmingham that are perfect for studying alone or in a group. Getting out of your room and the library and into a different environment can make for a really productive study session, so, if you’re feeling stuck with revising, try heading out somewhere.