New Hall Valley ride
Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham
New Hall Valley Country Park. Credit: Martin Richard Phelan (Geograph)
See the best of Birmingham’s nature in this family-friendly nature themed ride. Let’s begin with the New Hall Valley cycle route, a 6-mile traffic-free ride through two of Birmingham’s larger parks. You’ll first cycle through Pype Hayes Park, which is filled with beautiful traditional ornamental gardens, dwarf yew hedges and a modern millennium garden. You’ll also have sight of the 17th Century grade II listed Pype Hayes Hall. As you ride further into the park, you’ll pass by the park’s fishing pool where you can often spot Mallard Ducks, Canada Geese and Mute Swans.
As you leave the park, the route follows the Plants Brook waterside path until you reach New Hall Valley Country Park. Here you’ll ride through the park’s historic wetlands and buildings while taking in the amazing views across to Sutton Coldfield.
For the final part, you’ll re-join Plants Brook waterside path, where you’ll be treated to an array of animals, birds, and butterflies. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, kestrels, reed buntings, dragonflies, and brook trout.
Wheels and wings cycle
Sheldon Country Park, Birmingham
Sheldon Country Park. Credit: Brian Robert Marshall (Geograph)
This four and a half mile traffic-free route is an excellent choice for beginners and will lead you through more of Birmingham’s green open spaces. Upon your departure you’ll soon reach the free viewing area for Birmingham International Airport. With great views of the runway, you’ll get to experience up close the various aircraft coming and going. Time it right and you may see the world’s largest passenger airliner land!
From the viewing area, you’ll wing yourself further into Sheldon Country Park. Through the park, you’ll enjoy woodlands, winding brooks and a seventeenth century Old Rector Farm. The farm is free and open all year, so you can lock your bikes up to visit the Jersey cattle, goats, and ponies.
From here, you’ll head out of the park following Kinghurst Brook until you reach Meriden Park. Enjoy an array of wildlife by the park’s large natural lake and thick woodlands. Got kids riding with you? Then you will not want to miss visiting one of the country’s leading adventure playgrounds. Here they’ll enjoy a range of climbing frames, swings, sandpits and a zipline.
Kingswinford urban escape
Kingswinford Railway Walk. Credit: Stephen Rogerson (Geograph)
This route is perfect for families with smaller children, or those who want a nice simple relaxing ride. Within just a few minutes into the ride you’ll be enjoying a traffic-free urban escape. This scenic 4-mile route follows a section of the Kingswinford Railway Walk which runs from Himley into Wombourne. The route is relatively flat and suitable for all riders, especially families.
Along the route you’ll pass through Himley Plantation, here you’ll enjoy a woodland full of oak and sycamore trees. Further along, you’ll continue to discover more wildlife and flourishing flowers. Don’t forget to stop and relax away within the urban escape at one of the various picnic sites dotted throughout the route.
Coombe Abbey circular cycle
Coombe Abbey Country Park, Coventry
Coombe Abbey Hotel
Perfect for connecting with nature in a relaxing setting, this 3-mile traffic-free route begins in the majestic Coombe Abbey Country Park. Before embarking on the route, we recommend spending some time exploring the various paths throughout the park to see the wildflower meadow, beautiful gardens, historic woodlands, and peaceful lake. And don’t miss out admiring Coombe Abbey Hotel, famous for housing royals, being part of the Gunpower Plot and even surrendering to King henry VIII.
Once, you feel you’ve explored the park it is time to follow the route out towards the New Close Wood and The Grove to enjoy an escape into ancient woodlands filled with wildflowers. The next stop before looping back to Coombe Abbey is to pass Coventry Stadium, the former home of the Coventry Bees speedway team.
Brueton Park bash
Malvern and Brueton Park, Solihull
Brueton Park. Credit: David Stowel (Geograph)
This three and a half mile traffic-free route along flat tarmac paths explores two parks in one and is perfect for little kids and big kids too! The first section you’ll discover is Brueton Park which is the town’s local nature reserve. You’ll take a spin around the park’s ornamental lake full of ducks, geese, and other wildlife. You’ll then head deeper into the park, weaving through mature woodland, featuring magnificent England oak, Giant Redwood, and Indian Bean trees.
Once, you’ve headed through Brueton’s magnificent woodlands then it is time to head into Malvern Park. Here you’ll experience formal town gardens and get to see the magnificent “Prancing Horse and Man” statue. There’s plenty of spots for picnicking as well as a café. For children, Malvern Park is full of adventure where they can enjoy rope swings, slides, trampolines, and bird nest tree climbing.
There you have it, five of British Cycling’s favourite traffic-free cycling routes within the West Midlands. You can discover 80 more British Cycling approved routes across the West Midlands in OS Maps and find out how to get the most from your ride with these cyclists top tips for using OS Maps.
If you're new to riding, find out how to get into cycling with these budget-friendly British Cycling resources.
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