Secret Birmingham – Tolkien Route

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 Cadbury Route, which takes you through the sights and chocolatey smells of Bournville, and into the lesser known First World War prefab housing estate, Austin Village, 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 as well as The Tolkien Route.

The Tolkien Route 

This cycle route is a cultural journey through the history of one of the UK’s greatest authors, J.R.R. Tolkien. World famous author of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. He spent much of his childhood in Birmingham, exploring the very places you are about to cycle to, including Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill. Many of these places were cited by Tolkien as inspirations for his writing.

This is a 14mile, circular route starting and finishing on the A38 Cycleway, Pebble Mill Rd junction. You will begin by heading to Cannon Hill Park, enjoying the green space and learning about the old building that sits at the back of the park and then moving on to Highbury Park before exploring some of the history and St Mary’s Church in Moseley before venturing into the world of Tolkien – exploring Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill.  

Please Note: Moseley Bog is a nature reserve and there is *NO CYCLING* through the Bog. Please lock up your bike or dismount and walk through to enjoy it, or cycle round. Thank you! 

The last heritage point on the Tolkien Route is the Billesley Prefabs at 6.5miles. Feel free to make your own way home from here or follow our scenic route back to the start via the fantastic greenway and canal.  

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/Finish: A38 Cycleway, Pebble Mill Rd junction.

Distance: 14miles

Average Cycle Time: 2hrs 30min

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:

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!

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.

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.

Secret Birmingham – Cadbury Route
Growing Up Green Festival

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