Three Great Birmingham Cycling Routes To Try

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If you live in a big city, chances are that your best way to commute is by bike, which is both cheaper and more pleasant than driving your own car or taking public transport. It’s often quicker too, especially once you start getting clever with your route.

However, the joys of cycling extend far beyond a superior commuting experience. If you started riding to and from work in Birmingham lately, you’re in for a treat once you point your handlebars towards greener pastures. If you live elsewhere in the UK, we recommend heading for the West Midlands with your bike – you won’t be disappointed.

Sustrans, the UK’s walking and cycling charity, has detailed maps and information on cycle routes all over the country, so we asked for some recommendations for rides in and around Birmingham.

1. Birmingham to Wolverhampton

Distance: 13.4 miles (21.5km)

This route travels along a green corridor between the two cities. It starts just five minutes away from New Street Station and 90% of the route runs along traffic-free paths. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to take in wildlife-rich surroundings – if your luck’s in you may spot an otter.

2. Birmingham to Sutton Park

Distance: 8.2 miles (13.2km)

Leave Birmingham city centre for Gravelly Hill on cycle path 535 and you’ll take in a short stretch of the Tame Valley Canal before riding through the 970-acre Sutton Park. If you have the time, stop to explore the heathland, woodlands, wetlands, marshes and lakes therein.

3. Rea Valley Route

Distance: 5.7 miles (9.2km)

Another route that starts in the centre of Birmingham – right by the Tourist Information Centre, so if you’re new to the city you can load up on useful info before heading out for a shortish ride along mostly traffic-free roads that passes through several parks.

The route starts by taking you through Cannon Hill Park before joining up with the little River Rea and riding through the open space of Pebble Mill playing fields and the greenery of Hazelwell Park at Stirchley. At this point you can make a detour to Cadbury World, if you have kids and/or want to load up on chocolate yourself. If not, ride on to finish in Kings Norton Park.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.