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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Cycling on canal towpaths

Birmingham Cycle Revolution

Birmingham is well known for its extensive canal network which provides traffic free routes through many parts of the city.

Thanks to Birmingham Cycle Revolution and Canal and River Trust, summer 2016 will see the completion of the resurfacing of over 50km of canal towpath in the city with a clean, well-drained, grippy grit surface.

Getting onto and along the canal is easy too, with improvements at access points and the opening up of towpath gates and barriers.

Whatever your age or cycling ability, taking to the towpaths on two wheels is a great way to escape rush hour traffic, get some exercise and enjoy a little bit of the countryside in the city.

To help you make the most of these fantastic routes, Birmingham Cycle Revolution has created six downloadable maps, each highlighting a key canal route in the city. Download yours below:

simple map of canals in Birmingham

Cycling on the canal towpaths

The Canal and River Trust welcomes all users and encourages you to respect the serenity of the local environment and each other.

Most of the upgrades to the Birmingham canal towapths and access points is complete, but there is still some work to come. Read more about progress updates and search for details of temporary closures during the works.

The Towpath Code: share the space, drop your pace

Our waterways can be very lively spaces. Visit and you could see cyclists, walkers, boaters, anglers, kayakers and even horses pulling boats along the water. With so many activities taking place, there is a need for people to share the space considerately. To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, Canal and River Trust have put together a towpath guide:

Share the space

Towpaths are popular places to be enjoyed by everyone. Please be mindful of others, keep dogs under control and clean up after them.

Drop your pace

Pedestrians have priority on the towpath, so be ready to slow down; if you're in a hurry, consider using an alternative route for your journey.

It's a special place

Our waterways are living history, with boats, working locks and low bridges so please give way to waterway users and be extra careful where visibility is limited.

We recommend you obtain third party liability insurance and equip your bike with a bell or equivalent. (You can obtain third party insurance by joining the Cycling UK.)

Read more tips on the Canal and River Trust website.