Brindley place is a pretty central point on the Birmingham canal network so have assigned this as the start point of this walk. There are many places to meet up with a group or have a meal or drink before embarking in the area.
The Canalhouse, Bank and The Pitcher & Piano are some great spots, all of which are somewhat dog-friendly. For last-minute refreshments, a picnic or a drink for the journey there are some mini supermarkets including a Spar as well as a Sainsbury’s on Broad Street Near Black Sabbath Bridge.
This section of the canal network is marked in detail on the “Canal & River Trust” website.
Canal Path From Brindley Place
If you aim towards the sealife centre you will easily see the canal, known as the New Main Line. There is a canal roundabout here very near to The Malt House Pub which is signed to reach Wolverhampton, Worcester and Fazeley.
To get to Edgbaston Reservoir the route market Wolverhampton is the correct direction. You may cross the bridge towards Legoland then head east on the towpath. An alternative option is to follow the Oozells loop which leads to the same point via a housing complex
Following the new main line canal, when you pass Sheepscote Bridge there is a very nice bar with outside seating called The Distillery. The Distillery is a relaxed pub with a canalside outdoor seating area. They serve great beer, have a gin bar & cook casual eats such as pizza plus an outdoor area on the canal.
After the distillery the Oozells Loop rejoins the mainline, there are many narrowboats moored up here and is quite photogenic on a sunny day.
Heading towards Wolverhampton the canal is quite urban with graffiti or street are depending on your preference. The canal has some food bridges for vantage points to navigate on whichever side you chose to walk. This takes you past the busy Ladywood Middleway that passes under the canal.
From here the canal again splits into another loop, this one called The Icknield Port Loop which was originally known as the Rotton Park Loop. This is a 0.6-mile loop of the eighteenth-century-built Old Birmingham Canal Network Main Line. The was originally opened to boats back in 1769 but was replaced by the straighter New BCN Main Line.
Continuing along the mainline you reach the other end of the Port Loop which has a food bridge across it. Directly opposite is another footbridge that is the entrance to the Soho Loop, another option to extend the walk. The Soho Loop takes you past the Birmingham City Hospital if you wish to add distance or walk somewhere new.
After the twin bridges is the Lea Bridge, passable by foot which has a steep footpath leading to Northbrook Street. The Lea Bridge is a great spot to admire the second Cities skyline or to take a few photos
From Northbrook Street, there are various side roads to head towards the reservoir whose entrance is on the road B4126. There is a pedestrian crossing, a few shops and the entrance is clearly marked.
The first thing you see as you enter the circular footpath around the reservoir is the Sailing Club with small boats parked up. At various locations on the banks are information boards with maps and details of wildlife that call the reservoir home.
Heading clockwise there is a great and sometimes busy walkway that has great views across the lake on one side or of the city skyline. Buildings such as the BT Tower in the Jewellery Quarter are visible from here.
Further clockwise a golden coloured roof becomes visible, this belongs to the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara. This is pretty special and part of a Buddhist academy with resident monks.
The bank then takes you towards the car park which seems busier which has a cafe open in normal times. My last visit was during lockdown so was self-catering only for walkers.
Towards the south of the reservoir is home to the Birmingham Rowing Club, sadly a place I hadn’t visited when I was competing. Birmingham regatta is a shorter sprint event, which was my cup of tea.
The Southern bank has some picnic tables and benches to sit on and watch the world go by or have a bite to eat.
Heading clockwise again more reeds and trees are thriving on the east bank making it a haven for spotting wildlife including many waterfowl.
The path eventually puts you back at the Midlands Sailing club where you could either use public transport or return on the canal, possibly hiking on the opposite bank that you arrived on.