Sutton Park, Birmingham: 8 Exciting Activities & All You Need To Know

Sutton Park is a gorgeous 2,400-acre national nature reserve, cared for by the Birmingham City Council and Natural England. 

It’s located 6 miles from Sutton Coldfield, a suburb of Birmingham in the West Midlands.

The park, a relic of historic England, has a landscape of open heathland, woodland, wetland, and lakes. It’s been named a Site of Specific Scientific Interest and the second most valuable park in the United Kingdom for health and wellbeing.

Sutton Park is also the venue for the triathlon and para-triathlon events in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Let’s dive into the many fun activities available in and around Sutton Park, what makes this park so iconic, how you can get there, and other essential information.

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This Article Covers:

8 Exciting Things To Do in Sutton Park

  1. Watch the 2022 Commonwealth Games Triathlon Events
  2. Visit the Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary
  3. Enjoy Jogging, Walking, Cycling, and Horse Riding
  4. Go Fishing
  5. Take a Sailing Lesson
  6. Play a Round of Golf
  7. Try an Orienteering Course
  8. Have Fun at the Playgrounds

A Brief History of Sutton Park
How To Get To Sutton Park
9 Commonly Asked Questions About Sutton Park
Other Attractions Near Sutton Coldfield’s Sutton Park

8 Exciting Things To Do in Sutton Park

There is much to see and do at this large nature conservation park. Let’s take a look at 8 of our favourite activities:

1. Watch The 2022 Commonwealth Games Triathlon Events

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham from 28 July to 8 August this year. 

Sutton Park is the venue for the triathlon and para-triathlon events, where athletes compete in a challenging swim, cycle, and run. This year’s para-triathlon will showcase the Commonwealth’s best visually impaired triathletes.

Spectators can cheer on the athletes, “have a go” at the events, or meet Perry the Bull.

2. Visit The Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham 

For a fun family adventure, this is a fantastic spot.

The Donkey Sanctuary is an organisation that improves donkeys’ lives worldwide. At the Sutton Park sanctuary, visitors can meet and touch the donkeys they care for. This is something kids and pupils will adore!

Opening Times:
Saturdays: 10am-12pm and 1pm to 3pm
First Sunday of each month: 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

Entrance Fees: Entry is free, but donations are encouraged.

How to Find the Sanctuary: To access the Donkey Sanctuary, enter Sutton Park at the Town Gate.

3. Enjoy Jogging, Walking, Cycling, and Horse Riding

Sutton Park is an excellent place to get active and breathe some fresh air.

Use the bridleways for horse riding and cycling or the footpaths for walking or running through the park’s lush green space.

4. Go Fishing

There are seven stunning man-made lakes (or pools) inside Sutton Park:

  • Little Bracebridge Pool
  • Bracebridge Pool
  • Blackroot Pool
  • Keepers Pool
  • Wyndley Pool
  • Powells Pool
  • Longmoor Pool

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely day’s fishing at the Bracebridge, Blackroot, Keepers, and Powells Pools.

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5. Take a Sailing Lesson

Sailing and canoeing are popular activities at Blackroot and Powell’s Pools. 

Blackroot pool is the home of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club, where you can kayak and canoe or take a lesson.

Sailing lessons are also available at the Sutton Sailing Club, located at Powell’s Pool.

Opening Times:

  • Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club: Saturdays, 2pm-4pm
  • Sutton Sailing Club: Daily, 9am-5pm


  • Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club: £5/ hour per person
  • Sutton Sailing Club: From £3 per hour for dinghy boat hire

6. Play a Round of Golf

If a day on the golf course seems enticing, check out Boldmere Golf Course. 

This 18-hole golf course is situated along the banks of Powell’s Pool and features beautiful scenery and challenging holes. Or, take lessons at the club to improve your swing.

Opening Hours: Daily, 7am-5pm

Fees: £5.25 – £25
Lessons: £30 per person for a six-week training course

7. Try an Orienteering Course

Orienteering is an activity where teams use a map to navigate an area and find hidden markers. There are two orienteering courses inside Sutton Park. You can collect the maps at the Visitor Centre.

This can be an enjoyable team-building activity for pupils, coworkers, family, or friends.

Dates Permitted: 2 September to 31 May, during park opening hours.

8. Have Fun at the Playgrounds

Sutton Park has two playgrounds to enjoy with kids, located near Town Gate and Banners Gate, respectively. 

On a nice day, getting to the playgrounds makes for a tranquil stroll through the park.

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A Brief History of Sutton Park

Sutton Park, formerly known as Cannock Chase and Sutton Chase, holds centuries of history.

In the Medieval period, park areas were created in historic England to keep and hunt deer. One such area was Cannock Chase, which King Henry gave to the Earl of Warwick in 1125. Part of Cannock Chase became known as Sutton Chase and, later, Sutton Park.

The earliest pools, Wyndley Pool and Keepers Pool, were likely constructed around 1126. Bracebridge Pool followed in the early 1400s. The lakes provided fish for residents of nearby towns.

Recreational use of the park started in the 19th century with the introduction of Powells Pool, a golf course, and two horse racing courses.

By 1976, after a fire destroyed large parts of the park, invasive plants overtook the heathland and woodland. Efforts to restore the open heathland began in 1989 and continues today.

How To Get To Sutton Park

Here’s how to get to the park by bus and train:

  • By Bus: Each route on this list – 110, 33, 6, X14, X4, X5 – stops close to Sutton Park.
  • By Train: The nearest train station to Sutton Park is the Sutton Coldfield station. The park is about 2.4km from the station, about a 30-40 minute walk. You can pick a bus route to travel the rest of the way.

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9 Commonly Asked Questions About Sutton Park

Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about Sutton Park:

1. Where is Sutton Park Located?

Address: Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2YT, United Kingdom
Phone number: 0121 355 6370

2. When Does The Park Open And Close?

The park’s closing time varies through the seasons. As a general guideline, the opening times are:

  • Summer: 9am-10pm
  • Winter: 9am-5pm

3. Is There An Entrance Fee?

No, the park is free for guests to enter.

4. Is There A Visitor Centre?

The Visitor Centre is located near the Town Gate entrance and car park. Here, you’ll find public toilets, baby changing facilities, a gift shop, and park maps.

Opening Times:

  • Summer: Daily, 10am-6pm
  • Winter: Daily, 10am-4:30pm

Not near the visitor centre? There are also toilets near Banners Gate and Wyndley Pool.

5. Is There Parking Space At Sutton Park?

There is a car park at each of the following three gates: Boldmere Gate, Town Gate, and Hartopp Gate.

There is a £2/car parking fee from Easter until September and on bank holidays. Otherwise, parking is free.

6. Are Dogs Allowed In Sutton Park?

Yes, you can take your dog(s) to Sutton Park.

7. Are There Places To Eat In Sutton Park?

There are four excellent restaurants located in the park:

  • Toby Carvery (formerly called Park House, and near Town Gate)
  • Miller & Carter (near Boldmere Gate, accessible via Stonehouse Road)
  • The Bracebridge (near Bracebridge Pool)
  • The Blackroot Bistro (near Hartopp Gate and Blackroot Pool)

8. Who’s in Charge of Conservation at Sutton Park?

Birmingham City Council and Natural England, a government nature conservation organisation, manage and conserve the park.

The city council conservation plan restricts activities in certain areas or at certain times of the year to protect plants and wildlife.

9. Are There Other Sutton Parks In The UK?

Aside from the Sutton Park National Nature Reserve in the West Midlands, there are a couple others in the UK. One, in particular, is called Sutton Park Estate, located in North Yorkshire.

The North Yorkshire Sutton Park Estate is made up of the house, gardens, and an incredible art collection from Buckingham Palace (Buckingham House):

  • The House: The Sutton Park house is a fine example of early Georgian architecture built in 1750 by architect Thomas Atkinson for Philip Harland. Its interior features elaborate 18th century wallpaper.
  • The Gardens: The wildflower garden and orchard were designed in the 1960s by Percy Cane and Lady Sheffield. 
  • The Art Collection: Sutton Park Estate famously displays art and furniture originally from Buckingham House, which later became Buckingham Palace.

The estate also has an exclusive glamping site for guests to enjoy. 

Other Attractions Near Sutton Coldfield’s Sutton Park

Sutton Park is well-positioned, 6 miles from Sutton Coldfield town centre and 13 miles from Birmingham New Street. So, there are plenty of nearby attractions to add to your itinerary.

Here are some of our favourites:

  • Sutton Coldfield Heritage Trail
  • Aston Hall
  • Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens
  • Jaguar Manufacturing Tour at Castle Bromwich

If you’re looking for a green space closer to Birmingham, check out Cannon Hill Park and Lickey Hills Country Park.