If you remember Birmingham back in the ’80s, the UK’s ‘second city’ had something of an unflattering reputation.
Nowadays, though, Birmingham has plenty to offer for residents and tourists alike and is becoming increasingly well known for its extensive canal network (often said to exceed that of Venice) and its great shopping centre.
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For those who want to stretch their legs, there are a number of great walks in and around Birmingham. Eight of these are outlined below.
1. Clent Hills
Just ten miles away from the city centre, the Clent Hills feature numerous historic footpaths that make for fantastic walks as well as superb vistas across the Cotswolds and the Welsh Borders.
2. Earlswood Lakes
These three reservoirs near Solihull are surrounded by woodlands and offer great walking options. Special areas of interest around the lakes include Terry’s Pool (where you’ll find wild otters and turtles) and Clowes Wood.
3. Sandwell Valley Country Park
This award-winning Green Flag park is set in more than 600 acres and offers walks for all abilities complete with great scenery, pools, streams and farmland.
4. Lickey Hills Country Park
This massive park is located at the far southern edge of Birmingham and is home to several walking trails. The park’s summit is Beacon Hill.
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5. Moseley Bog Nature Reserve
This is mixture of wet and dry woodland that is allegedly the inspiration for the forests in Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.
6. Tardebigge Canal Circular Walk
This charming five-mile walk along the canals starts at Saint Bartholomew’s Church and features picturesque farms and even a superbly situated pub (perfect for refuelling).
7. Woodgate Valley Country Park
Woodgate Valley connects to other routes such as the North Worcestershire footpath. There are a number of walking routes of various lengths.
8. Sheldon Country Park
This park features a 17th-century farm, nature trails and several walking routes. There is even a special viewing area for plane enthusiasts.