Through our Secret Birmingham project we are sharing cycle friendly routes for people to explore #BrumByBike and discover their local green spaces, bike-friendly cycle routes and learn about some of Birmingham’s hidden heritage sites along the way. This is a self-guided digital cycling tour which is great to do on your own, with friends or as a family.
There are three interactive cycle routes to choose from, each with their own amazing hidden stories. The Tolkien Route, which follows the footsteps of the writer of ‘The Lord of the Rings‘, The Chamberlain Route, which explores the area around the University of Birmingham visiting Old Joe, the worlds tallest freestanding clocktower as well as venturing out to heritage sites via greenways and canal towpaths and The Cadbury Route:
The Cadbury route
Cadbury is a world famous chocolatier that was one of the world’s pioneers in the invention of milk chocolate. Established in 1824 here in Birmingham, the Cadbury family invested huge amounts into the local area to ensure their workers had good living conditions and a great local community.
Starting at Bournville train Station, Mary Vale Rd entrance, the Cadbury route is a 12 mile route which will lead you through thousands of years of heritage including the history of the Cadbury family and Bournville Village, exploring some of Birminghams hidden greenways and traffic free paths out to Northfield Library where you can learn more about the Suffragettes and the big fire.
The route then uses a few quiet roads and shared paths on NCR 5 – Rea Valley route heading to Longbridge town centre and Austin Village before continuing on this lovely green route to Kings Norton where you will join the canal tow path to get to your final destination Cotteridge Park, where you can discover more about the park and stories behind the stones that lie at the top of the hill. We highly recommend popping into ‘The Shed’ to find out about what activities/events are going on in the park. Refreshments and toilets are also available.
This is a great bike friendly route that you can do in one day or choose one or two heritage sites to visit and use the route to help plan your journey.
Start: Bournville Station, Mary Vale Rd entrance
Finish: Cotteridge Park
Average Cycle Time: 1hrs 45min
Heritage Sites Along This Route – The sites are brought to life through great video content, you can view these by clicking the links below:
Viewing the route:
You can view the route in google maps or use route finding and navigation app Komoot to follow this route and learn about the heritage sites by watching the video content as you explore the route HERE.
As a city we are tackling the air pollution crisis through the Clean Air Zone as well as the council investing in a series of new cycle infrastructure throughout Birmingham and a pilot scheme of Low traffic Neighbourhoods. Cycling is used by many in the city to commute, but not always as a social mode of transport.
We hope that by Secret Birmingham will help improve access to the city’s heritage whilst engaging more people in social cycling and we would love for you to get involved!
- Tuesday 14th September – Heritage Week – Led Ride – The Tolkien Route
- Wednesday 15th September – Heritage Week – Led Ride – The Chamberlain Route
- Sunday 19th September – Heritage Week – Family Ride – The Cadbury Route
Explore Secret Birmingham independently
Exploring these routes independently is easy, the PDF tells you everything you need to know about Secret Birmingham including more information about the routes and the heritage sites as well as some fun games to play to improve your knowledge about local heritage along the way.
We hope you have fun and ENJOY exploring our ‘Secret Birmingham’ routes. We’d love to see what how you get on remember to use the hashtag #BrumByBike and tag @ecobirmingham when sharing your adventures on on social media.
We have some fantastic prizes up for grabs, these include super cute Loffi cycling gloves, bike locks, bells and vouchers to use at some of the local heritage venues you will discover along the routes. All you need to do is fill in our short survey about your experience using the ‘Secret Birmingham’ heritage routes for a chance to win. *Winner of the prize draw will be announced end of September* Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates!
Secret Birmingham is a digital guided cycling tour of heritage sites in the South of the city developed by ecobirmingham and C&T.
Supported by Heritage Lottery, Swire Trust, John Feeney Trust and Edward Cadbury Trust.