Birmingham Cycle – Edgbaston Reservoir, Harborne Walkway, University of Birmingham, Canals and Brindley Place

A circular cycle route of 15km (9 miles) along good quality canal towpaths, a well surfaced disused railway line and quiet green roads – you will see Edgbaston Reservoir Nature Reserve, the popular suburb of Harborne, the lovely original red-brick buildings at the University of Birmingham and parts of leafy Edgbaston. You can also link this route with the Moseley and Cannon Hill Park cycle route.

Start this cycle outside the Ikon Gallery at Brindley Place.

Facing the entrance to the Ikon, turn left to head towards Central Square of Brindley Place where the Costa Coffee pavilion is located. Head over to the right hand side of the coffee shop towards Sealife Centre and take the passageway to the left of the Sealife centre towards the Barclaycard Indoor Arena. Turn left to cross the bridge over the smaller canal on your left, then take the bridge on your right to cross over to the other side of the main canal. Turn left down the bridge to head out along the canal towpath with the canal on your left hand side as you cycle along. Follow this good quality canal towpath – you will go under the first bridge, then past The Distillery pub, then under another bridge, then past a small canal inlet on your right, then under another larger bridge, then the canal bends to the left a little and you will come after that to a canal crossroads where the canal carries straight on or turns right or left.

At this point take the bridge that carries you straight on, over the canal on your right, and then take the canal bridge just beyond here which crosses over to the left to the other side of the main canal. Turn left once on the other side of the canal so you are heading back in the direction you have just come from, back towards Brindley Place, but on the other side of the canal. You will almost immediately cross over another canal bridge (crossing a canal inlet on your right) and then after around 150 metres you will see a gate on your right hand side to leave the canal towpath onto Rotton Park Street. Take this road all the way to the end, then turn right onto Icknield Port Road.

Birmingham’s canals just a stone’s throw from the City Centre

After approximately 250 metres heading up Icknield Port Road you will see the entrance to Edgbaston Reservoir on your left. Turn into this entrance and follow the path around the reservoir in an anti-clockwise direction. Carry on past the first exit from the reservoir you will come to (on your right) but leave the reservoir at the second exit onto Rotton Park Road.

Turn right onto Rotton Park Road, then right again onto Selwyn Road. Follow Selwyn Road all the way to its end, at the junction with Gillott Road, Carry straight on over Gillott Road into a continuation of Selwyn Road and after approximately 100m you will see an entrance into Summerfield Park on your right.

Turn into this entrance, keeping to the path, and after approximately 60m you will see a path veer off to your right and head back in the direction you have just come from, underneath a bridge – this is the entrance to the Harborne Walkway, an old disused railway line.

Harborne Walkway
Harborne Walkway

Head onto the Harborne Walkway and keep following it all the way to the end, approximately 2.25km. You will know when you are close to the end as you will see a steep path head down to your left towards a road, and the main path continue ahead over a bridge (which goes over the road). Follow the path ahead and you will come out into a cul-de-sac road called Forest Drive.

Leave Forest Drive by turning right onto Park Hill Road, then at the t-junction turn right again onto Park Hill Road. Follow this to the end, and turn left onto Nursery Road. Go over the pedestrian crossing and turn right into Yateley Road.

Follow this to the end and turn left into Harborne Road. Follow this for approximately 100m and turn right into Brook Road, just before the pedestrian crossing lights. Follow this to the end and turn right into Richmond Hill Road. Head uphill here for approximately 175m then turn left into Farquhar Road. Follow Farquhar Road all the way as it bends round to the right and you come to a crossroads with Somerset Road. Carry straight on over the crossroads into a continuation of Farquhar Road.

Continue along Farquhar Road and at the roundabout turn left onto Pritchatts Road. At this point you can detour into the main University of Birmingham grounds which are on your right, and go and visit the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Lapworth Museum of Geology.

Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University
Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University

Once finished with your University stop, continue along Pritchatts Road to the end and turn left into Edgbaston Park Road. Cycle along this road, passing the Winterbourne House and Botanical Gardens on your right.

Just after you pass the Elms Day Nursery on your left you will come to Somerset Road, also on your left. Continue on past this point and at the bottom of the hill you will see a layby on your left. Pull into this layby and come off the road to follow the path towards the lake at The Vale, part of Birmingham University’s accommodation campus area.

Follow the path around to the right which goes up the hill slightly, heading towards the taller tower. Keep following this path until you come to the tall tower (called Chamberlain Tower) and follow the path to the front left side of this tower to bring you out onto an access road, called Mason Way, still within the Vale grounds.

Birmingham University The Vale
Birmingham University The Vale

Turn left onto this road and head down the hill a little until you see a car park on your right, with a small brick bridge ahead which takes you across the canal and down onto the canal towpath. Follow this, and once on the towpath head towards Birmingham City Centre (when you come down the steps/path off the bridge, this will be in the opposite direction, or behind you).

Birmingham University The Vale Canals
Birmingham University The Vale Canals

Keep following the canal towpath all the way to the Cube and the Mailbox where the canal bends 90 degrees to the left. Follow the canal round the corner all the way back to Brindley Place and the Sealife Centre where you started this cycle.

Overview of route:

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