A look at the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Starting near the Mailbox, heading down Edgbaston, Selly Oak, Bournville, Stirchley to Kings Norton. Also at look at the other end of the canal down in Worcester. Between Five Ways and Bournville, the canal and railway run almost parallel. There is also the Ariel Aqueduct in Selly Oak! At Kings Norton you can leave this canal for Stratford!

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From Birmingham to Worcester on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal





A look at the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Starting near the Mailbox, heading down Edgbaston, Selly Oak, Bournville, Stirchley to Kings Norton. Also at look at the other end of the canal down in Worcester. Between Five Ways and Bournville, the canal and railway run almost parallel. There is also the Ariel Aqueduct in Selly Oak! At Kings Norton you can leave this canal for Stratford!


We start at The Cube. In this August 2013 view near The Mailbox. Directly ahead is Gas Street Basin, where the Worcester & Birmingham Canal ends at Worcester Bar, and near the start of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline (through the Broad Street Tunnel). I normally do the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in small sections. I usually see cyclists on the towpath, and occasionally dog walkers. The Salvage Turn Bridge (as it is called) aka the Love Lock Bridge. It was recently repaired.

In this January 2011 view from the Granville Street Bridge. Head down the steps, and you can walk towards Bath Row, then onto Islington Row Middleway. Student halls on the left are for University College Birmingham (UCB). You may also see an abandoned railway line on the right (usually full of litter). Could do with restoring somehow!

View from April 2014 near the IQ student accommodation. From Bath Row towards Islington Row Middleway. The exit near here is on the other side of the Bath Row Bridge. In recent years, a new exit to Islington Row Middleway and Five Ways Station was installed. As that is the last exit for a while before The Vale at the University of Birmingham!

In this view from February 2012, from the Islington Row Middleway Bridge, you can see a pair of narrowboats, including the Sherborne Wharf tourist trip boat, on the left. While Five Ways Station with a London Midland Class 170 passing (it does not stop there on the way to Hereford). Abandoned railway line in the middle, that used to go to about where the AXIS building is now (the tunnels are still there, but are blocked off). The St James Road Bridge does not have steps, so if you are on the towpath and want to get off, you have to walk towards The Vale! Beyond here it is very leafy and tree lined, to keep the Calthorpe Estates of Edgbaston looking pretty!

The Edgbaston Tunnel seen from near the north portal, during April 2016. Running on the right is what is now the Cross City Line. The lost Church Road Station used to be around here. A narrowboat is seen going through the tunnel. In 2018, the towpath in the tunnel was widened, so this section was closed for a few months (it is now open again). I regularly see cyclists down here when I walk this section. Hallfield School is on the other side of the tunnel.

Also April 2016. If you want to get off after a walk from The Mailbox, take this bridge at The Vale, near new student accommodation blocks for the University of Birmingham. The road / path leads to Church Road in Edgbaston, near the number 1 bus route! The bridges around here normally get tagged!

Another set of steps at Somerset Road in Edgbaston to get onto the Worcester & Birmingham Canal towpath. Near the University of Birmingham. On the Cross City line during January 2018, West Midlands Railway 323203, is seen cruising towards Longbridge and Redditch (is always nice to be sat on the train, when passing the canal down here). The totem pole was heavily vandalised at the time.

Next up is this February 2013 view from the Pritchatts Road Bridge in Edgbaston, around the University of Birmingham. On the Cross City line around to the right is University Station. No towpath access here, the next one up is next to University Station at the Westgate (or University Road West).

The Selly Oak New Road opened in 2011 and that including building an aqueduct for the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and a railway viaduct for the Cross City Line. This view from February 2013. The road below is called the Aston Webb Boulevard, after the architect of the original University of Birmingham buildings. From the canal you can see the railway. You can also see th aqueduct from a train passing over the railway viaduct! Beyond here is the Battery Park redevelopment site, where the new Selly Oak Shopping Park opened in late 2018. While the Life Sciences Park for the University of Birmingham has yet to be built!

The Worcester & Birmingham Canal switches sides with the Cross City line between the Bristol Road and Raddlebarn Road bridges in Selly Oak. In this March 2018 view, a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train is seen heading towards Selly Oak Station. The Bristol Road entrance to the canal is via The Dingle. But is also access near some of the new housing developments.

March 2018 between Bournville Station, Mary Vale Road towards Raddlebarn Road in Bournville. As a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train headed south towards Longbridge, I was approaching the Cadbury Railway Wharf Bridge. It is no longer used. Was the former Cadbury private railway that led to the chocolate factory! But the bridge remains!

An October 2011 view of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from near Mary Vale Road in Bournville. London Midland 323215 was at Bournville Station, while a cyclist and some joggers were heading up the towpath! On a nice autumnal day! I hadn't started to use the Cross City line at that point! If you get on the canal in Stirchley (on the Pershore Road near Lifford Lane), you can get off here, and head down Mary Vale Road to the Pershore Road. Or head in the other direction to Cadbury World and Bournville Village.

An unexpected site during March 2015 from the Pershore Road Bridge in Stirchley. A club of canoeists on the canal! The road on the left, is another section of a lost railway line. Lots of industrial units up this way.

The Camp Hill Line railway bridge seen during April 2016 in Stirchley. This part of the towpath is part of the Rea Valley Route. There is various paths along the River Rea that goes through Stirchley, then joins the canal near here, and goes down to Kings Norton and beyond.

The view from March 2012 in Kings Norton. This part of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Kings Norton Junction, near the start of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal. Not far from here is the Guillotine Lock on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal. This building was the Lock Keepers Cottage, also known as Junction House, a Grade II listed building. It has been empty for a long time, and was sadly a victim of an arson attack. It was built in 1802. Hopefully the Canal & River Trust / Birmingham City Council can restore it, and give it a use. Maybe a canalside cafe / tea room. It can't be left empty forever (and hopefully it won't be demolished!). It might even date to as early as 1796!

The furthest south in Birmingham on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal that I have explored was from Parsons Hill in Kings Norton, near Wharf Road. From here in March 2012, I would have walked up to Kings Norton Junction. I have yet to cover the section south of here. Anything further south in Worcestershire, I covered by getting a train to Alvechurch or Worcester!

A February 2016 train trip to Alvechurch in Worcestershire. Near Alvechurch Station is the Alvechurch Marina on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. A useful place to start a boating holiday. Seen from Scarfield Hill

Now a look at some parts of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in the City of Worcester!

My last visit to Worcester by train was during August 2018 to check out their Giraffe sculpture trail, Worcester Stands Tall (similar to the Big Hoot / Big Sleuth in Birmingham). This view from the bridge on Lowesmoor Place in Worcester.

November 2011 in Worcester. Converted factories and Albion Mill in the Diglis area of Worcester. New buildings and old being converted into flats / apartments, like in Birmingham.

Diglis Basin and the Dry Dock during November 2011 in Worcester. Like with Birmingham, they have converted old factories into apartments, and built new buildings up the canal. Many narrowboats here.

The end of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at the River Severn in Worcester. Seen November 2011 at the Diglis Bottom Lock. I acutally walked down the River Severn path, then up the towpath from here towards Worcester Shrub Hill Station! The lock here is Grade II listed Barge Lock No 1 Adjacent to River Severn, Worcester.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

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