Rea Valley Route

Route Details

  • From - to: Birmingham to King's Norton Park
  • Distance: 6 miles one way, 12 mile round trip
  • Type: Traffic-calmed streets and canal towpath
  • Access: Birmingham and King's Norton railway stations
  • Surface: Mixture of roads, tarmac paths and stone track

Route Description

One of Britain's biggest and busiest cities, Birmingham grew impressively during the industrial revolution, its prosperity based on manufactured goods ranging from nails to steam engines. This ride links the city centre with Cannon Hill Park and King's Norton Park via the Rea Valley.

Starting from the Tourist Information Centre, Chamberlain Square in central Birmingham, you head out on the Rea Valley route through Cannon Hill Park. Cycle through the park, between the MAC arts centre and the boating lake, and past the children’s play area. Continue south where the path takes you through some trees, along the stream, and through Pebble Mill Playing Fields where you’ll join Kitchener Road.

National Cycle Network Route 5 is signed as an immediate left turn along Cecil Road and at the end of the road you’ll cross Dogpool Lane (you don’t have to dismount because there’s a toucan crossing for both pedestrians and cyclists). A short stretch of tree-lined path brings you to another toucan crossing over Cartland Road, before carrying on to a right turn over a bridge into Hazelwell Playing Fields. Here you can either turn left and continue to follow the Rea Valley route or follow Hazelwell Road, taking the zebra crossing over Pershore Road onto Mary Vale Road, which brings you quickly to Bournville railway station and the visitor centre just beyond.

If instead you continue along the Rea Valley route you’ll pass through Stirchley, over Fordhouse Lane and to a residential estate where you’ll veer left up Beilby Road and Dacer Close to a cutting onto the Birmingham and Worcester Canal towpath. Turn left and follow the towpath to the junction with the Stratford Canal. At this fork, bearing off right will bring you through playing fields, over Pershore Road South and through Kings Norton Park to Kings Norton local nature reserve and the Wychall reservoir.

The path eventually brings you on to Middlemore Road, crossing West Heath Road onto Station Road, which leads quickly to a set of fairly easy steps up to Northfield Station. Here you can either hop on a train or turn round and head back to Cannon Hill for well-deserved drinks and snacks at the MAC or the park cafe.

For entertainment along the route, take a pedalo out on Cannon Hill Park lake, explore the MAC acts centre, divert to Bournville’s Visitor Centre on the village green, or nearby attractions the Carillon or Cadbury World, or see the lemurs and red pandas at Birmingham Nature Centre (where children go free when accompanied by an adult).

Local attractions:

Bike hire:

Zoom level: 
Buy the map

Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.

This ride links Birmingham City Centre with Cannon Hill Park and King's Norton Park via the Rea Valley.

6 miles