What better way to spend a weekend than going for a long walk? Beautiful countryside and peace aren’t words you would usually associate with Birmingham, but the city is fortunate enough to be surrounded by plenty of green land and hiking options. With 600 parks and more trees than Paris (yes, really), Birmingham hiking trails are plentiful. Here’s a list of some of the best ones.
Sutton Park – 5km walk
Sutton Park is one of the largest urban parks in the UK covering over 2400 acres. There are a range of habitats to hike through: woodland, wetland, marsh and heath-land. This part has plenty you can see and do throughout the seasons. Parks, golf courses and the seven lakes are a good start. There is one trail devised in a circular route and has three starting points: Palace Hill (Town Gate), Flying Field (Boldmere Gate) and Jamboree (Streetly Gate). You can see the Jamboree Memorial, Keeper’s Well and the Keeper’s Pool on this hike. You can find out more about the detailed walking route on their site.
Lickey Hills Country Park – 2km walk
This park is a popular visitor attraction roughly 10 miles away from Birmingham. The Lickey Hills trail starts at the visitor centre and goes to Beach View; the highest point on the hills. This view is absolutely stunning and looks over Birmingham and the neighboring counties. Bilberry heath-land, woodlands and conifer plantations are there to explore on this trail. There is a 570 million year old quartzite Lickey Ridge and Licky Warren, which is an underground city of rabbits. You can find 280 species of plants, 250 species of fungi and 17 species of fern; the wildlife is certainly abundant. Detailed walking route: The 524 acre park is full of marked trails, including this one to Beacon Hill, which are all available from an official book in the visitor centre.
Shire Country Park – 5km walk
The inspiration behind J.R.R Tolkien’s classic novels The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings, the Shire country park is a mixture of open green space, a river & woodland found in South Birmingham. Starting at Sarehole Mill, one of Birmingham’s last working watermills, the circular walk follows the River Cole. Continuing into Moseley Bog, a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, this wet woodland is home to two burnt mounds dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Detailed walking route: Find a leaflet with the different Tolkien routes you can take at Sarehole Mill Visitor Centre.
Cannon Hill Park – 5km walk
A Green Flag awarded park, Cannon Hill was first opened to the public in 1873. With more than 100 species of trees, the park is a haven for wildlife. On this walk there is plenty to see including the starting point at the MAC (Midlands Art Centre) theatre, Canoe Pool, the boathouse & a model of Elan Valley Reservoir. The 5km walk also takes you past the Victorian bandstand, through a wildflower meadow & the Queen Mother’s Woodland. The final part of the walk goes along the Rea Valley Walking & Cycling Route, following the river that runs through the park. For kids there are play areas and swan boats to paddle on! Look out for kingfishers & bats as you stroll round! Here is the detailed walking route.
Earlswood Lakes – 8km walk
This pleasant walk starts around the lakes & then goes out into open countryside. The three reservoirs of Earlswood Lakes are surrounded by beautiful woodland & are full of wildlife. The footpath follows the water’s edge around the 3 lakes: Terry’s Pool, Windmill Pool & Engine Pool. Here there are chances to spot grebes, herons &, if really lucky, otters! Further on, the walk continues into open woodland and countryside with 20 stiles to cross. The detailed walking route information is here.
Sandwell Valley – 4km
Sandwell Valley Country Park covers 660 acres in North Birmingham & is ideal for gentle strolls as most of the paths are surfaced, giving good accessibility. Habitats range from woodland, pools, streams & farmland. There is also an RSPB site worth visiting & a farm. Here is your detailed walking route.
Packwood House – 5km walk
Packwood House is a beautiful National Trust property in the Warwickshire countryside. The house was transformed from a 17th Century farmhouse into a Tudor style country home. There is an easy stroll around the estate & the accessible footpaths follow through the grounds and into the surrounding countryside. To start, walk by the beautiful lake & park with its topiary bushes & the gardens with herbaceous borders, meadows & orchards. The circular walk then follows country lanes & footpaths, visiting the 13th century St. Giles church. Detailed walking route information can be found on nationaltrust.org.
Baddesley Clinton Heart of England – 4.5km walk
Baddesley Clinton is another National Trust property, very close to Packwood House. The estate is set in the Forest of Arden & was home to the Ferrers family for 500 years! The house was a sanctuary for persecuted Catholics, hiding from priest hunters during the 1590s. There are many different walks available at Baddesley Clinton, a popular one starts at Church Walk and meanders along country lanes & field paths. En route, look out for the Old Keeper’s Lodge, Wroxall Abbey & Rowington Church.
Clent Hills History Walk – 1.5km
The Clent Hills are just 10 miles from Birmingham and are very popular with locals. Panoramic views across the Cotswolds & Welsh Borders make this a stunning area to visit. There are miles of footpaths to choose from & plenty of wildlife to look out for. This walk goes through woodland to reach the Welsh Black Mountains that can be seen from the summit on a clear day. The circular walk starts at Nimmings Café and gradually ascends to the summit. Once at the top there are prehistoric standing stones and a gate through to 250 year old beech tree woodland. Look out for greater spotted woodpeckers!
This 300 acre country park of open grassland is perfect for a family day out. The 17th Century Old Rectory Farm is home to a range of farm animals & is free to access. There is a kid’s play area & planes fly low over the open fields, perfect for ‘mini’ plane spotters. Starting at the car park, pass by the farm & the football pitches to reach the small brook. There is an ancient beech hedge built on the site of an old moat which is between 400 & 500 years old. Look out for skylarks on this pretty walk.
Let us know what you think about these Birmingham hiking trails! Have you been to any? Drop us a line!!
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