Whatever’s swirling around your head, it’ll be a whole lot clearer when your feet take over. Walking is almost like an out-of-body experience. Sounds, smells and incandescent skies become sharper if we’re ambling along, falling into rhythm with life’s smaller moments.
If you’re living on the city’s edge, that’s even more welcome. Our residents in Park Gate have so many bars, restaurants and live events to drop into – but a slower, calmer day can be just as rewarding.
Follow our lead through six summer walking trails and feel it too . . .
300 beautiful acres across the street from your bedroom? That’s what anyone at Park Gate – a pristine collection of homes east of Birmingham – can look forward to. Sheldon Park lends our site its name for good reason: grasslands and hedgerows run to pockets of woodland that can really take your breath away in the sunshine, especially after a hard day’s graft. It’s a place to recentre yourself.
Take the park in with a 5-kilometre walking route. A footpath from the west side snakes between farm buildings and the football pitch, passing a 500-year-old beech hedge towards the arched bridge of a railway. Download this PDF for a mini guide.
Rea Valley Path
South of Birmingham, you’ll find Northfield and the Rea Valley encasing its titular river – a 6.3km trail that’s accessible all-year-round. Head off Middlemore Road and continue east, hugging the riverbank through Kings Norton Nature Reserve. It’s been known to host deer, foxes and bats in the summer twilight.
If you like, stop off at Wychall Reservoir, ideal for a picnic or a couple of beers. Merecroft Pool lies a little ahead for another scenic break.
The Soho Loop
For a city centre stroll, set off from Waterside Court on Birmingham’s west side. Trace the canal up to All Saints Park then around the City Hospital. With any luck, you’ll catch some standout graffiti and a heron or two.
Make a detour to Hockley Port on the way around again: home to clusters of canal boats, dog walkers and low-hanging trees. Central Square is only a quick skip over the bridge if you want a reviving blast of fountain water.
These are a small way out – we’re talking 27 miles from our door, so drivers might want to brave the distance and pack all-terrain gear, including a good camera to snap carpets of bluebells.
Make the trek though, and Clent Hills might become a regular thing. It’s a National Trust site teeming with footpaths, gardens and 18th century buildings. The higher you go, the more of the Cotswolds floats into perspective. At the summit are four stones like gnarled fingers in the earth; many a Brummie has pilgrimaged here.
This time, catch the 80A bus from St. Martin’s Queensway and get off at Summerfield Crescent. It’s only a five-minute walk from there to reach Birmingham’s splendid western reservoir – 70 acres of open water with woods and grassland.
We can thank Thomas Telford, a Scottish engineer, for the pleasure. He dug the reservoir for the city’s canals, keeping them in full flow. Today, you can walk the banks and hastily fold a white hat for some boating courtesy of the Midlands Sailing Club.
The Sculpture Trail
Campus life isn’t all about deadlines and delinquency. There’s a collection of famous sculptures to see from the Business School Garden through Chancellor’s Court, the Aston Webb building and Cadbury Library. Birmingham is justly proud of its cultural cachet, and you’ll find something you’ve never seen before, like Eduardo Paolozzi’s Faraday giant: half-man, half-machine on a throne of bronze.
Follow the official tour guide for the university loop. It’s got more aesthetic facts than we can fit here – many of which look stunning in the flesh, scorched by a high sun.
Ready to set off? There’s a whole lot more to Birmingham life than you might realise, which comes together in the equipoise of a suburban home just a short distance out of the city centre. Let’s bring you down to earth before firing you up for wilder invites again. Our luxury apartments are living proof. Book a viewing, stroll over, and see for yourself.