West Midlands

Not to be confused with the much larger West Midlands region, the West Midlands county is made up of the metropolitan boroughs surrounding and including the City of Birmingham. Competing with Manchester and Edinburgh for the title of the UK’s second city, the prominence of Birmingham has turned the West Midlands into a vital and vibrant urban area with excellent schools, universities and fantastic transport links to the rest of the UK. To find out more about what the West Midlands has to offer, read on!

4.63
Average Location Score

Excellent

73%

Very Good

20%

Average

6%

Disappointing

1%

Very Poor

1%

Best places to live in West Midlands

HomeViews Top Rated Development ranking takes into account the Star Rating and HomeViews Transparency Rating of every development in the area

A canal in Birmingham, West Midlands

Where is the West Midlands

The term, ‘West Midlands’ can often be a little confusing, as it refers to both a metropolitan county and one of nine official regions of England. In this case, we’ll be talking about the metropolitan county, which is located in the western-central area of England, largely around the city of Birmingham.

What areas are in the West Midlands?

The West Midlands is made up of seven metropolitan boroughs, including Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and the cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton. It also includes the Meriden Gap, which is a section of the West Midlands Green Belt.

Birmingham

The second-largest city in the UK, with around 3.6 million people living in its metropolitan area, Birmingham is widely regarded as the second city in the United Kingdom because of its size and economic value.

Once a hub for manufacturing, Birmingham has evolved into an international commercial centre and convention centre. This vibrant and influential city boasts internationally renowned cultural institutions, a thriving art, music and food scene, and seven universities, making it the largest higher education centre in the country outside of London.

Coventry

The West Midlands’ second city, Coventry has built a reputation for being a centre of excellence for arts and culture and was the 2021 UK City of Culture. For business purposes, Coventry is the most centrally located city in England and boasts excellent transport links to the rest of the country. 

A centre of engineering innovation and manufacturing excellence, especially for the automotive industry, Coventry is the industrialized heart of the UK’s economy.

Meriden Gap

While the West Midlands is one of the most heavily populated and urbanised areas in the UK, the Meriden Gap, which separates Coventry from Solihull, is a greenbelt area that retains its rural character. 

An enticing stretch of green between heavily urban areas, the Meriden Gap offers all the picturesque beauty of the English countryside, within easy commuting distance of two of the most vibrant cities in the UK.

Anne Hathaway's cottage near Stratford upon Avon, West Midlands

West Midlands universities

The West Midlands offers an excellent choice of universities, split between the cities of Birmingham and Coventry.

Birmingham alone hosts seven out of the ten universities in the county, including Birmingham City University, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham and Newman University. 

It also has campuses for BPP University and the University of Law as well as the West Midlands regional base for the Open University, making it the largest centre for higher education in the UK outside of London.

Coventry hosts Coventry University and the prestigious University of Warwick, while the University of Wolverhampton is split between Telford and Walsall campuses in Wolverhampton.

Top schools in the West Midlands

The West Midlands has some of the best schools in the country, including:

King Edward VI School

The school where Shakespeare learned his trade, the King Edward VI School was voted West Midlands Independent School of the Decade by the Sunday Times and is ranked as the 12th best school in the UK.

King Edward School in Birmingham (KES)

Offering the international baccalaureate to its sixth form students, and with consistently excellent overall exam scores, KES Won the Sunday Times’ West Midlands Independent School of the Decade.

King Edward VI High School for Girls

The partner school of the equally well regarded King Edward VI High School for Boys, this school has won the West Midlands Independent Secondary School of the Year twice in the last three years.

Population of the West Midlands

The West Midlands is one of the most heavily populated areas in the UK. It is the third most populated area in the country, just behind Greater London and Greater Manchester, with 2,440,986 people currently living there.

The population of the West Midlands is largely centred around the areas of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, the Black Country and Solihull.

Reviews in West Midlands

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Affordable and comfortable city-living

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date May 2024

Really close to the center of Birmingham, great transport links and enough shops nearby to cater to your needs. Despite the central location, it’s relatively quiet and feels safe.

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The concierge is friendly and will help you with most needs. I moved in late in the day and security staff were manning the concierge – they were both extremely helpful and helped me to move in stress-free. The flat is well furnished and extremely clean. As with most new-builds, it holds the heat a little too well but this won’t be a problem in the Autumn/Winter.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Not a huge problem but if you are ordering a big food shop, the delivery driver is not allowed to come directly to your flat’s door to deliver. You need to put the items on a trolley, supplied by concierge, and take it to your flat that way. I’ve lived in a new-build in London and this was never how big food deliveries were made, it was always directly to your door.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Quick response, friendly. They directed me to their app, where I can submit any problems or maintenance issues.

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
4
Value
5
Management
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Nearly perfect

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date May 2024

Well designed departments with great facilities and fast internet, but very disappointing response times to any enquiries. This extends to when I left when they have been very slow to repay my deposit which I’m still waiting for.

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Great design and nice furniture. Well designed departments with great facilities and fast internet, but very disappointing response times to any enquiries. This extends to when I left when they have been very slow to repay my deposit which I’m still waiting for.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I would have put more effort into checking the storage space which I think was lacking even for one person in the one bed apartment.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

They have but it took lots of chasing up. When eventually they responded the work was done.

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
5
Value
2
Management
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I would recommend The Mercian to anyone

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date May 2024

The central location of the Mercian is great for work and leisure. It is in the heart of Birmingham, bring vibrancy to daily life.

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The Mercian is state of the article. Amazing facilities and great staff. Vincent Turlej, in particularly, is amazing. Super friendly and professionally. Has supported me throughout my time living in the Mercian. I would recommend The Mercian to anyone.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

The constant raise of the rent. Moda Living needs to balance rent with what they provide.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Brilliantly. Vincent Turlej has been very helpful throughout my stay. I have needed to use maintenance a few times during my time in the Mercian. They have been quick to response to my needs.

4
Facilities
4
Design
5
Location
3
Value
5
Management
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Manager Response

Thanks NAK for your recommendation and feedback! I will be sure to share your kind words with Vincent- he is a real asset to The Mercian team 🙂

Good area and close to everything in the city centre

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date May 2024

Good area and close to everything in the city centre, not terribly busy even though it is in front of the main road

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It is a good building with friendly staff, enjoyable activities, good facilities, a maintenance team that is always ready to help, and easy to communicate with. I have no complaints. Only moving due to the cost of living, as even though it is a very good place to live, the prices are outrageous now and cannot fit my budget

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Nothing, happy with the process and our stay for almost 2 years here

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Quick reply and good problem-solving, always open to help

4
Facilities
4
Design
4
Location
4
Value
4
Management
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