Tag: selly oak

These are a few of my favourite things 🎶

As the hope and warmth of Summer approaches, now is as good a time as any to reflect on the best things about Selly Oak. Whether you live or work here, Selly is a diamond in the rough…and here’s why we love it.

There’s always somebody around to have a chat with. The Selly Oak community is a vibrant one, with families, young professionals, retirees, students, business owners, and more calling this place home. When the sun and the BBQs come out, this is even more apparent – lazy afternoon parties across multiple back gardens and people walking down to Aldi to get more ice or extra burger buns!

There’s everything you could need. Your weekly shop is covered with a whole choice of stores including Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and a handful of independent supermarkets. There’s a few pharmacies, a vintage shop, a hardware store plus a Homebase if you really need to grab something in a hurry. There are countless takeaways and restaurants, including the beloved Nandos on the new shopping park. Don’t even get us started on the TK Maxx, the great (and cheap) pubs, and of course the convenience stores (Campus Wines for the win!). Oh, and there’s our very own train station.

It’s easy to get into town or out to the countryside. Between the train station and numerous bus routes, getting into Birmingham city centre is really easy. You can also go in the other direction towards Longbridge and Reddich, with the Lickey Hills not far away by train. Birmingham is one of the greenest cities, but it’s also one of the youngest, and getting to events on Broad Street, Digbeth, and the Jewellery Quarter costs £2.80 on a railcard and takes about 15 minutes tops. We prefer a picnic in Lickey Hills Country Park to dancing the night away at Lab11 but there’s nothing in your way…even if you want to do both!

We could keep writing for weeks, but we want to hear what’s your favourite thing about Selly Oak. Comment below or on social media!


#ThisIsSelly – James

self portrait of man in glasses in black and white

Introduce yourself

I’m a second year maths student and I’ve lived in Selly since July. Before that I lived in Liberty Park for my first year so I already knew the area quite well. I’m originally from Dorset, so I love everything about the sea. Although, you don’t get much of the coast in Birmingham! As well as my studies I’m in PhotoSoc and would love to be a travel photographer one day, maybe after saving a bit of money from an accounting job. My plan is to use my degree to go onto an actuarial graduate scheme when I graduate but taking photos is definitely my passion!

What is your favourite thing about Selly Oak?

Selly is an amazing place for students. It’s like a second campus right next to the main one – it’s really likely that you’ll have other students for neighbours, and it’s almost impossible not to bump into someone you know on the way to uni in the morning or coming back in the afternoon. There’s a really relaxed feeling because it’s the place most people come home to after a day of studying. So I guess my favourite thing is the chilled atmosphere, and how there’s always someone you know not too far away.

What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you or you’ve seen happen in Selly Oak?

By far the weirdest thing I’ve seen is a girl in one of those blow-up T-Rex costumes doing the Dirty Dancing lift in Circo. It was before Sports Night so it’s not actually too unusual for a Wednesday night!

What does ‘community’ mean to you?

Selly Oak has so much going on and you never feel alone here. There’s always someone around that you know or one of your housemates knows and it’s amazing to have that where I live. Selly Oak is absolutely a community, and I know sometimes students get a bad rap but I think they bring energy and atmosphere to the community. Because Selly is such a fun place to live, with all your mates around you and the best pubs and takeaways right on your doorstep, not to mention the University is within walking distance, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we’re not in uni halls anymore. I’ve had to learn a lot about what it means to live with friends, and as part of a bigger community – no-one will cook or clean for you, you have to set up your own bills, and organise your own rubbish for bin day. That said, I’m already a lot better at that now than I was in the summer when I moved in, and I hope that I can contribute even more and be an even better part of this community as the years continue.

#ThisIsSelly – Claire

claire bent headshot

Introduce yourself

My name is Claire Bent. I’m the Community Engagement Manager for the University of Birmingham, and have lived in Birmingham for just over a year, since taking up this post. I have spent all of my working life involved in Community Development/Engagement, Peace and Reconciliation work, and so love this role. I am a fan of tea, Persian food, being barefoot, travelling – especially to out-of-the-way places, and the feeling of being wrapped up warm on a freezing day.

What is your favourite thing about Selly Oak?

I love the people. It’s a magical mysterious mix of local residents, students, business owners, academics. That makes it a challenging dynamic to work within, but makes for a really interesting community!

What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you or you’ve seen happen in Selly Oak?

Hmm. I’ve not had too many ‘weird’ Selly experiences, which is a little odd as I normally attract weirdness like a moth to a flame. I have never quite before had the experience of feeling as though I could potentially, if I’m not careful, be playing human ten pin bowling by simply driving my car down the high street and round to the back of Uni. Seriously, people, look where you’re going! Ha!

What does ‘community’ mean to you?

Ah, it means everything. Seriously. It means home and welbeing and someone to bring you soup if you’re sick. It means belonging – not just in a practical sense, but in an existential way, in that there are people who are sharing your journey. It means a place for people to grow and develop and learn from one another about both practical life stuff, but also about what it means to be human. It means having a place to fail and succeed within, a rallying troupe of people who are there no matter what. It means being able to knock on a neighbour’s door, remembering birthdays, inviting people who you know will be alone over for a coffee or Christmas Dinner. It means sharing the brilliant things in celebration, and the hard things in collective grief. It’s a thread that holds everything together. Still glad that you asked that?!