West Bromwich Circular via Great Barr and Kings Heath Cycle Route

Cycle Route Details
Route NameWest Bromwich Circular via Great Barr and Kings Heath
Cycle Route Location
County/RegionWest Midlands
Start LocationForge Mill Lake, off Forge Lane, West Bromwich
End LocationForge Mill Lake, off Forge Lane, West Bromwich
Cycle Steps
1. A park, road and canal route in Brum. Starts in Sandwell Valley Country Park at Forge Mill Lake Bridge over the river Tame. Winds it's way through to Swan Lake on the other side of the park, where it takes you past the renovated Sandwell Park Farm and Museum housing artefacts from an old Benedictine Priory deep in the wooded park over the M5 Motorway bridge. Through a small housing estate (Europa Avenue) and onto the famous Vine Pub & Restaurant (was in the good food guide a few years ago). The route then picks up the Bimingham canal leading into the heart of Brum, past the posh new canalside apartments. You will need to go around past the Sea Life Centre and through Gas St Basin (Cafe and Bars on the right) and then onto the back of the Mail box. The canal turns sharply to the right and takes you down south, past the University of Birmingham, QE II & Selly Oak Hospitals and Cadburys World in Bournville. There's a good cafe just past Bournville Station called the Wharfside Cafe, a good place for a comfort break and nosh. You have to pick up the route from the other side of the canal via the bridge and onto the Rea Valley route, which takes you back into Birmingham, following the course of the river Rea and into the lovely well maintained Cannon Hill park. There's a cafe and clean toilets available if you've missed the Wharfside cafe. The route is well marked from the park and the remaining stretch is on quiet residential roads, apart from having to cross the busy Belgrave Middleway at traffic lights mind you. Follow the road round, over the mini roundabout and right into Vaughton St (over the river Rea) and head straight until you hit the Digbeth High St. From here, cross over , turn right, then left pass the old Birds Custard Factory into Heath Mill Lane, where over the canal bridge you pick up the GUC canal into Brum. There are two tunnels to negotiate. The first is easy as it's quite wide and well lit (Curzon St Tunnel). The second (Ashted Tunnel..I think) is very narrow, low and once in, room for oneway traffic by bike. Once you've arrived at Aston Junction, you'll need to turn right onto the B'ham & Fazeley canal, heading towards the Spagetti Junction. Here, under the motorway intersection, you'll find a route marker, where you will need to turn left ont the Tame Valley canal. This leads onto the back of the Alexander Sports Stadium and onto the M5/M6 intersection at Ray Hall water treament works. At the top of the aquaduct, looking in a southerly direction, you'll be able to the see Birmingham City Centre and the valley below, with the river Tame flowing through it. By following the remainder of the route, through the park, along the river Tame, you end up back at the start by the Forge Mill Lake. P.S. There's the Forge Mill Park Farm tea shop at the back end of the car park for a well earned break and refreshments.
Landmarks/Sites to see?
Sandwell Valley Park Farm & Museum. The Vine Pub. The NIA at Old Turn Junction by the Sea Life Centre and Apartments. Cannon Hill Park and Tea Rooms. There is a Halfords on Great Barr St and the "On Yer Bike" shop on Bradford St.