Living in a city can sometimes create a delusion of being stuck inside a world of walls and barriers. In fact especially with Birmingham there has been a misconception that the city is a concrete slab that has just been slapped in the middle of the UK, the green is gone and the grey is here to stay. Well everyday I take sheer enjoyment in proving this wrong and the day that we went to Sandwell Valley was no different!
Sandwell Valley is in West Brom but right on the edge of Birmingham, when we heard about the mountain bike trail we couldn’t resist! The thing that I love about it is that it is so easily accessible via the BCN Main Line canal which is a great scenic off road route, while also being relatively close to Smethwick Galton Bridge train station. You not only get a great little trail but also a scenic ride from the city and into the wilderness in no time at all and to top it off some amazing views along the way. It would also be rude not to stop and say hi to the friendly cows getting up to mischief in the fields along the way.
“The Miner’s Trail” opened here in June 2013 and you can see has regular use so it is great that it is maintained well. It also suits all abilities, with a blue trail that feeds onto a lot of smooth flowing red trail and if you want to go that little bit further theres some small black sections too. The entire trail is only three kilometres long which is one of the things that we like about it, as you can do a quick blasts round several times working on speed and technique. The mega flowy trail means you can pick up speed really well, especially towards the bottom where there’s a few jumps and table tops perfect for practising getting in the air and developing skills to take to the bigger trails and bike adventures out in the wild.
Once we were done shredding the trail, it was homeward bound and again we headed back on another off road route I had mapped along the Tame Valley Canal with stunning green views to contrast the points we passed under the concrete motor ways, really not a route to be missed. Then hopping onto NCR 5 again for a small road section before hitting the Rea valley route, finding the gap in the trees and a favourite wooded trail back to Stirchley, totalling a 30mile stint we had grins ear to ear and we were caked in mud, a perfect day in the saddle! Now there was A LOT of cleaning to do. Luckily the hubby is the great Mr BeerYeti himself, he had thought ahead, and waiting for us was some beautiful cans of Mango Guppy from Pipeworks Brewing to finish off the day. I knew there was a reason I married him!
You’ll catch us on twitter @mybikeadventure out and about exploring the trails, give us a follow and tag us in your pics we’d love to see any trails you think are worth giving a go! 🙂
General info: Sandwell Valley offers bike hire best to book in advance just in case. The bike trail is located in Jubilee Woods next to Swan Pool car park just off Park Lane (B71 3SX). The trail is free to use. For visitors with roof-mounted bikes, we recommend parking either at Sandwell Park Farm or at Forge Mill Farm.