Birmingham, West Midlands
- Distance: 15km/9 miles
- Time: 4hrs
- Type: Urban and canal
- Where: Circular walk along Birmingham’s canals via the sprawling Spaghetti Junction.
- Start / End: New Street station (SP069866).
- Terrain: Level streets, with some steps down to canals and busy road junctions.
- Maps: OS Explorer 220; Landranger 139.
Click map for larger version.
This year marks the 40th birthday of one of the UK’s most controversial pieces of construction. Spaghetti Junction first opened its slipways and flyovers to traffic in 1972 and has, for many, symbolised our car-dominated transport system. Every day, thousands of motorists thunder through this concrete lattice, unaware that underneath lies a network of canals that lead to and from the centre of Birmingham. The city’s first canal was built in 1769 and swiftly became the lifeblood of Victorian Birmingham and the Black Country. Even today, the waterways that encircle the city extend for some 100 miles, and in recent years some much-needed TLC has been applied to parts of this network. This walk will never win a beauty contest, but aside from the decidedly odd experience of standing underneath a motorway, it shines a light on Birmingham’s industrial past and present.
Routecard, GPX and further information
- Click here to download a route card [PDF download]
- Click here to download GPX [GPX download]
- Click here for instructions on how to use Walk's Routemaster Guides
- Click here to upload photos taken along this route