Birmingham’s heritage is based on water – the River Rea that the city slowly grew up around and later the canals. The River Rea bubbles it’s way through Birmingham often ignored until it bursts it’s banks with winter flood waters; it is the river on which Birmingham was founded by the Beorma tribe in the 7th century.
Later the widespread growth of the canal network meant that Birmingham was to become the heart of the British canal network with all canals converging on Gas Street Basin. It is said that Birmingham has more canals than Venice and although many canals have been filled or are clogged with silt it is still true today.
Exploring these canals by a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard is an ideal way to see the city and explore areas that are unreachable by foot. You can silently glide past the site of a camouflage paint factory and watch the cities 3 herons as they wait breathlessly for a fish to swim by.
Why not check out British Canoeing’s Birmingham and Black Country Canoe Trail! The downloadable maps will be available soon!