Exploring Digbeth - Birmingham's cultural quarter

Charlotte Aston Blogger
Charlotte A’Court

1st year Psychology student and blogger

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Just like every Friday morning, I met Andra (a lovely employee from Aston’s creative department) to explore a new section of Birmingham. This week, Andra and I visited Digbeth to look around the graffiti-ed streets, independent vintage shops and food stalls.

It was only a short 15 minute walk from the Main Building on campus to the famous Custard Factory in Digbeth, some of which was through a very pretty park where the leaves where just turning golden. I recommend taking a walk through the park if you don’t want to go all the way to Digbeth.

Entrance to Custard Factory

When we walked into the Custard Factory, I was blown away by how forgotten this street could be if you were in a rush or just not paying attention. It was so quiet in the street that it felt like we had just stepped into a tucked away, secret lane, whereas in reality the Custard Factory is actually very well known.

Vintage shopping a short walk from campus

After window shopping by a few very cute little shops selling candles, makeup, handmade jewellery and homeware, we wandered up to see the graffiti that is painted all over the street walls by famous artists. Andra showed me her favourite piece of art and it quickly became my own favourite as well. It is a beautifully vibrant and colourful piece of a lady closing her eyes created by an artist by the name of ‘Jimmy C’. The piece is drawn completely from large to small circles and, for me, it embodies the spirit of a city because of its unapologetic energy for life.

Wall art in Digbeth
Street art in Digbeth

We stopped to watch some skateboarders do some tricks in the Custard Factory’s indoor skate park. It was great to watch, but I couldn’t help feeling jealous of how talented some of the boys were. 

Just as we started walking back towards the University campus, Andra and I decided to stop in one of my favourite vintage chain shops called ‘Cow’. This Cow in Birmingham is absolutely huge! I didn’t expect it to be so vast – it was the size of a small warehouse and stocked everything from dresses to jumpers, trainers to t-shirts and bags to bracelets. I can only wish that my student bank balance wasn’t so tiny!

Overall, I loved our little trip out to Digbeth, and I would recommend anyone who loves vintage fashion or has an alternative style to head straight on down there!

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