Birmingham Canals, More than Venice!

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Once used primarily for the transport of coal, Birmingham’s canal network provides lovely waterside areas all over the city.

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Not being a flat city, there are lots of locks. They open like a door, on a pivot. It looks like it would take a very long time to make much progress in a boat in some of the areas where there are multiple series of locks.

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There are lots of bridges overhead. City roads continue unhindered by the waterways, often it is not apparent that it’s a bridge at all from the street perspective.

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These long, narrow boats are refered to as “barges” and many have been retrofitted to be residential, I assume for recreational use.

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Here you can see my folding bicycle that I brought with me from Canada. I had imagined using it every day but it has rained very often. On this day I cycled in the intermittent rain anyway.

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I wasn’t kidding.

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At this time of year (May) there are many young families along the canal.

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I think a helmet is extra important canal side where the paving stones get slippy in the rain.

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Not just geese but ducks as well. Not shy either, I’m sure they are often fed by humans.

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This is when it all went wrong. I had to retreat to the nearest street access behind me and continue my journey by road.

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After passing one family, I was brutally attacked by Mother Goose. She took flight and went for my head, banging her heavy body into mine as I raced to cycle away. I was not hurt whatsoever, but I did learn my lesson to keep my distance. If not possible to pass with a good birth, leave the canal. I had to retreat the next time I tried cycling on the canals also. It should be their space first but it would be nice to be able to use them more. I’m sure I’ll be able to use the canal network more freely when I come back in July, before flying home to Canada from Birmingham.

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Here are some views in the more central district where restaurants and pubs make use of the lovely water views.

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Here a fellow has set-up tables of things for sale, like a car boot sale but from a barge.

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I’d recommend visiting the central canals at night as well as during the day. There are canals alongside the nightclub and entertainment district on Broad Street.

If you visit Birmingham, make sure you make some time to enjoy a stroll along the canals as they are a wonderful feature of this city.

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8 thoughts on “Birmingham Canals, More than Venice!

  1. lovely place!! and the way they take care of the environment, leaving wildlife coexist with urban development.
    I live in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and our riachuelo (little river) has been contaminated since I was born and nothing has changed yet…

    • Birmingham has very much cleaned-up naturally over the past few decades, this used to be an industrial town but not for a long time. Thanks for reading my blog and for your comments! I am sure I will visit your great city someday too! Cheers! Darren

  2. Thank you Darren for sharing your travels. Birmingham does look like an interesting place to visit. Myself and husband are travelling long term and have come to the conclusion that the ‘iconic’ tourist sights are not always worth the money, time, energy etc. We are currently in Lisbon, Portgual travelling slowly due to low energy but really getting to know the places we stop to live in. You never now what is around the corner when exploring with an open mind. (it could be a goose hahaha) Thanks again and I look forward to reading more about your trip. Pauline

    • Thanks for checking-out my blog Pauline! I visited Lisbon very briefly last August from a cruise, it looks like a lovely place to spend some time. I appreciate your comments. I hope to make some improvements to my blog’s appearance when I’m home to use my laptop, I’m only travelling with my iPad! All the best on your travels! Cheers! Darren

  3. Thank you so much. I had no idea. What a beautiful city. I thought Chicago, my home town was beautiful. Good show!

    • I look forward to visiting Chicago, I think it is quite a nice city. I was there with my Dad when I was 15 or so, time to go back for sure! Thanks for checking-out my blog and for your comment! Cheers! Darren

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