Worcester & Birmingham Canal - Part 2

Published September 18, 2023

A blue sky with green trees in the background, and in the foreground a battered old signpost pointing to Birmingham on the right and Worcester on the left

In July, I wrote about the first part of a multi-part canal walk, following the towpath between two cities: Birmingham and Worcester. The first part of the walk was a lot of fun, and I quickly followed it up with a second outing. That was less fun. I was saving writing about it until I could potentially combine it with a more fun third element, but time has been ticking away and the weather is turning and who knows when that will be. So here we go!

The second part of the walk started with only a short section next to the canal itself, which was quite overgrown and moving aside for joggers and cyclists often resulted in thorn-related injuries. Then the canal disappeared into Wast Hills Tunnel, which is reportedly one of the longest in the country - maybe an interesting fact if you’re going through it but not when it means you have to walk through a housing estate to get to the other side. Boring!

A view from the canal towpath, overgrown with green weeds and trees, of the Wast Hills tunnel entrance to the left and the towpath rising up and away from the canal to the right

However, rejoining the canal on the other side of the tunnel saw a shift in surroundings from the more industrial cityscape of Birmingham and its outskirts to proper countryside. Lovely greenery, lots of canal boats pootling along, and more and more wildlife.

A canal bridge wall with the bricks spray-painted with the image of a swan

In fact, I should have used the above picture as a warning - presumably the swans were marking their territory as not much further along, an adult swan was blocking the towpath and protecting some young which was, frankly, terrifying. People were paused either side of this threat, so I just took a deep breath and plowed on through very quickly. I survived, thankfully, but will be on the lookout for more graffiti warnings next time.

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