Today’s post is written by Matt from Birmingham Blogger. If this week’s weather hasn’t made you want to get outdoors, I don’t know what will, and there is no need to let living in a city stop you. So hop on y’bike and enjoy the sunshine people, but first check out which routes in Brum Matt recommends…
Though the city may be better known for canals than bicycles, Birmingham is so vast and geographically diverse that it lends itself well to any budding cyclist. There is often the perception that Birmingham is just a massive urban jungle, with nothing “scenic” to enjoy. But one look at Google Maps would show you that the city is actually bursting with waterways, parks, and eye catching building, which can make for very interesting cycling routes.
Want some ideas for your next trip? Well here are a few I have come up with. They range from inner city dashes to water side marathons:
Route 1: Jewellery Quarter – Birmingham Cathedral – Birmingham Art Museum
The first route I have mapped out is the shortest, and represents a quick blast around some of the cities beautiful buildings. It takes in St. Paul’s Church in the historic Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Cathedral in “Pigeon Park”, and Birmingham Art Gallery (alongside Birmingham Council House). Ideal for a quick work out either before or after work.
Route 2: Edgbaston Reservoir
Probably the closest you are likely to get to a “picturesque lake” in inner city Birmingham, Edgbaston Reservoir is a huge expanse of water not far out of the heart of the city. It is surrounded by trees and wildlife, and looks particularly beautiful on a sunny day. This seems better suited to those looking for a lazy weekend trip as opposed to anybody determined to push themselves. Those looking for something similar nearby may want to give Sandwell Valley in nearby West Bromwich a try.
Route 3: Three Parks
Edgbaston isn’t the only park you could visit on your two wheels. In fact, there are a surprising amount of them scattered around the outskirts of the city. The three shown here represent a good “course”.Starting north of the Jewellery Quarter, you’ll be flying over streets, paths and grass. You can mix it up however you like, and maybe include some of the other parks positioned not too far away. A great way to mix up your workout.
Route Four: Football Clubs
Why not combine one sport with another? Two historic and rival football clubs, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion, are situated only 4 miles apart from each other. Villa Park and The Hawthorns are connected by several big roads, which makes the trip between them slightly more intense than others I’ve mentioned here. But if you are up for the challenge, this course is perfect for expansion. You could include the Birmingham City ground, St. Andrews, or go crazy by including the Wolverhampton Wanderers ground, The Molineux, too! I’d have a friend ready with a car to pick you up unless you want to collapse at the end of it though!
Route Five: Canal Loop
Finally, Birmingham famously has more miles of canal than Venice, so utilise them! This route will take you from Birmingham City Centre, near the newly renovated Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA), and out into the outlying suburb of Winston Green. You’ll be right next to the water the whole time, looping around Birmingham City Hospital before returning to loop the Barclaycard Arena. This is a cycle route that few other UK cities can match, and offers a great way to see a hidden part of the city. And again, you can always expand the course to further down the canal if you really want to feel the burn.
Thanks to Matt for taking the time to write this post – if you want more tips and articles about living in Birmingham then head on over to Birmingham Blogger!