Lonbir three
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By David Sanderson on 10 Jul 2021







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Route follows Rea Route from Longbridge but diverts via canal to link up with Bournville Station and then mutiple rest and refreshment options in Stirchley (about half way) before rejoining the Rea. More stopping and refreshment options at MAC (Midlands Art Centre) and in Highgate

Route follows Rea Route from Longbridge but diverts via canal to link up with Bournville Station and then mutiple rest and refreshment options in Stirchley (about half way) before rejoining the Rea. More stopping and refreshment options at MAC (Midlands Art Centre) and in Highgate


This route has been reviewed by 4 people.

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Reviews - 4

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Is this route good enough? -  Yes (4)

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Grid Ref SP0138577573
Lat / Lon 52.39619° / -1.98106°
Easting / Northing 401,385E / 277,573N
What3Words spit.scarcely.nation
Grid Ref SP0692386533
Lat / Lon 52.47670° / -1.89950°
Easting / Northing 406,923E / 286,533N
What3Words bumps.report.covers

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23 Feb 2023 Winter

A lovely walk, after a short section through the city centre the route is almost entirely off road following the Rea Valley route all the way to Longbridge, this does mean there's not many places to get refreshments after the MAC in Cannon Hill park, the middle of the route in Stirchley and then the end.

The route is almost entirely very flat and with a good paved surface, there are however a couple of bridges over the canal in the second half towards Longbridge which have steps and steep slopes to be aware of.

As the route goes into Stirchley you go past a Morrisons and several cafes and shops, however if you don't need to stop off I'd recommend just staying on the Rea Valley route, it joins up with the canal and the route shortly afterwards. There's then lots of shops, bars and a great spot for street food (Herbert's yard) in Longbridge.

David Sanderson

30 Jan 2022 Winter

One of the best Slow Ways I've ever walked. I started on a windy Saturday morning from New Street. The route past the theatres and then through Chinatown and the Gay Village bustles nicely and constrasts with the quiet walk (once you've left Sherlock Street) on the road to Highgate. Highgate itself, by the Birmingham Central Mosque, offers yet more food and shop options. As you cross the River Rea for the first of many times, you learn that you are where the Saxon, Beorma first settled (Beorma-ing-ham). Crossing the dual carriageway of the Inner Ring Road is easy, via the pedestrian crossing. Beyond there is a short walk past the park and through the terraced streets of Balsall Heath before passing Edgbaston Cricket Ground. You continue to follow the Rea Valley Way through the excellent Cannon Hill Park, past Midlands Art Centre (MAC) which is always worth a visit and then beyond to the suburb of Stirchley. When I walked it, the way was busy with walkers, runners and cyclists of all ages. I felt like I was experiencing the best of the city. The route leaves the Rea for a section along Pershore Road, which might not be the nicest in terms of how busy the traffic is, but it offers a truly impressive array of cafes, pubs and independent shops. The Pershore Road section is not that far, as you leave it to join the canal at Bournville Railway Station. The towpath is well maintained and the walk is popular. Just as you pass the junction with the Stratford Canal you rejoin the route of the Rea and follow it through to Longbridge Railway Station via parks and nature reserves. If you want to be direct then Lonbir 4 is the Slow Way to use. If you've brought your own refreshments and want to be as offroad as possible then Lonbir 2 is the one. But if you want variety, lots of stopping options and the chance to see some of the best of South Birmingham, then take this one. I visited Attic Brewery for lunch, a small looking address by Bournville Station. It seems to possess TARDIS like qualities as you make your way through to the warehouse sized venue. As well as serving beers brewed by Attic, they also serve excellent pizza. The venue, like many others in Stirchley, is very family friendly and there is an amazing community vibe. I'm pleased to be the person to "snail" this Slow Way!.


02 Nov 2021 Autumn

Better route than Lonbir 1 as Lonbir 3 takes you past the MAC cafe for a lovely refreshment stop. I'd personally recommend sticking to the route of Lonbir 2 through Stirchley as the river route is much nicer than Pershore Road, but I understand the detour of Lonbir 3 is useful for some to access Bourneville Station or Stirchley refreshments (some lovely cafes available!).

Jane Taylor

29 Aug 2021 Summer

Splendid route along the river Rea, with a slight detour up the Worcester and Birmingham Canal to Bournville. It's slightly less direct than Lonbir 4, but more than makes up for that by having some top notch refreshments and places of interest on the way. Take this one if you're not in a hurry!

I walked from Birmingham to Longbridge. The route begins in Birmingham by passing through the China Town area where there are nice restaurants (cash only), which would make a good destination if you are walking this route from Longbridge. It heads downhill to the river Rea. I wasn't aware that Birmingham is on a river until I walked this route - there is some information along the way about Birmingham being founded on the river Rea.

The first 2-3 km are on road through a mix of inner city small businesses and residential streets, but eventually you arrive at Cannon Hill Park where there is a good place to stop for a cup of tea - MAC or the Midland Arts Centre. There's usually an exhibition to look at and generally a nice family friendly vibe.

The next stretch is all green following the river, lots of dog walkers. At Stirchley the route leaves the river and goes into the town in search of refreshments - I found a lovely bar called the Wildcat Tap which served some of the best cider I've had in many years! Stirchley has some interesting local history boards telling the story of the area and the civic buildings that were provided by local factory owners in the 19th century.

The route then goes to Bournville station, and this is an area well worth some time to explore. I left the route and visited Selly Oak Manor, but not Cadbury World which is expensive and needs pre-booking. There are more refreshment options here too.

Back on the route, from Bournville station it goes on the canal tow path to Kings Norton, where it meets the River Rea again, which it will follow all the way to Longbridge.
However there is one more treat in store - the Old Mill Cafe at Northfield is a fantastic local cafe serving all day breakfast, bacon sandwiches etc, and mugs of tea, and is very popular with locals who pop in and out, everyone knows everyone and it generally made my day! The cafe straddles the river Rea, mill style, on West Heath Road. It's easily spotted walking from Birmingham direction; from Longbridge you need to turn right when you reach the junction of Station Road and West Heath Road at Northfield.
The rest of the route follows the river to Longbridge on the same line as Lonbir 4.

I really enjoyed this route, even though its longer than Lonbir 4 I give it full marks for being pleasant and interesting, and having such good rest places.

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