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12 Nov 2020 - 4 minutes

Birmingham’s best running routes

Blog header for the best running routes around Birmingham

With gyms closed once again, it’s time to seek other ways to keep the blood pumping. Many of us have Joe Wicks to thank for helping us stay active through the first lockdown. For the second, why not try combining your exercise with getting some fresh-air and seeing some of Birmingham’s most beautiful sights?

With more canals than Venice and one of the largest urban parks in Europe, Birmingham is full of great running routes, perfect for both beginners and seasoned athletes. Read on to find out about some of our favourites. On your marks, get set, go!

Edgbaston Reservoir

This serene spot is close to the city centre and has a lovely circular trail running around its perimeter, clocking in at just under 3 km. The route affords you great views across the water and the ever-evolving skyline of the Birmingham. There’s ample parking at the south eastern end of the reservoir.

The skyline of Birmingham can be seen silhouetted against an orange sunset over the calm waters of Edgbaston Reservoir

Harborne Walkway

This route begins near the beautiful Moor Pool estate in Harborne. The old Harborne railway has been transformed into a stunning urban walking, running and cycling route. What was once a Victorian short branch-line, connecting Harborne to Birmingham city centre, is now a 2.5-mile leafy trail that is perfect for a traffic-free run.

Magdalena wf
Image: @magdalena_wf

Rea Valley Path

The Rea Valley path cuts through the south of the city. It begins near the River Rea in Cannon Hill Park before passing through Moseley, Selly Oak, Kings Norton and Northfield. Covering such a large suburban area means the route crosses several main roads. If you’re new to the track, ensure that you follow the signs to keep on track and you’ll be able to enjoy one of the best urban running routes for miles around.

Image: @philbantingbrum

Cannon Hill Park

Cannon Hill Park is made up of 80 acres of formal parkland and 120 acres of conservation and woodland plantation, making it one of Birmingham’s most popular open spaces. It is also home to one of its best running routes.

Various paths interconnect in the park, meaning you can run different routes and keep things fresh. The most popular run loops around the main lake and past the Midlands Arts Centre. Outside of lockdown, its café is a great place to grab a post-run coffee.

Image: @dbaricelli

Sheldon Country Park

A green sanctuary in one of Birmingham’s most sought-after suburbs, the 300-acre Sheldon Country Park is a mixture of grassland, wetland and mature woodland. Doing a 5 km loop of the park’s path will take you past its 17th century dairy farm, Birmingham International Airport and an ancient beech hedge, built on the site of an old moat.

What’s more, all of this could be right on your very doorstep! Our spacious, 1-bed apartments at Park Gate overlook this beautiful wildlife haven and could be yours from only £725 pcm!

Strap on your running shoes and head over to our website to book a safe, in-person viewing today!

A footpath runs through a green field in Sheldon Country Park in Sheldon in Birmingham. A church spire can be seen on the horizon

City centre to the University of Birmingham

Starting next to the Cube and the Mailbox, the recently-refurbished canal towpath can take you all the way out to the historic toll house in Kings Norton. However, if you’re looking for a shorter route, follow the path to the University of Birmingham and back.

Talking of universities, did you know that Birmingham is home to five of them, with over 73,00 students making up the population? It’s no surprise that Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe, with almost 40% of its population being under the age of 25.

Image: @mikefarley

Sutton Park

Sutton Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, with a whopping 2,400 acres to explore. It is located 6 miles north of the city centre and is designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. With seven lakes, wetlands, marshes and open heathland, there are a multitude of routes that can be run throughout the park. We suggest an 8.5 km run starting from Thornhill Road in Streetly. Head south east towards Powell’s Pool, across to Town Gate and then back to Thornhill Road.

Mhmax pt
Image: @mhman_pt

Cole Valley

After having recently received more than £500,000 of funding for improvement, The Cole Valley route is a shared-use, off-road running and cycling network taking you through the east of Birmingham.

It’s a flat, three-mile route that passes across wild open spaces and alongside the River Cole.

Image: @meglily97

Earlswood Lakes

Earlswood Lakes were built in 1820 by prisoners of war from the Napoleonic Wars. The lakes supply water to Birmingham’s vast canal network between Hockley Heath and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The lakes now offer a variety of family and leisure facilities, including a small amount of parking spaces. All three of the reservoirs have trails surrounding them that are well-maintained, perfect for an early morning run.

A boat sails down a canal at Earlswood Lakes in Birmingham
Image: @earlswoodlakes
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