Fact or fable: Birmingham has more canals than Venice?
When the first canal in Birmingham was commissioned by the Birmingham Canal Navigations Company, who knew that it’d be such a popular tourist attraction? Our canals helped kickstart the industrial revolution and helped Birmingham become the city of 1000 trades. They’re now helping to attract many tourists to our city.
This walking tour takes a short walk along, under and over the canal as we explore and learn about the canals history and uses over its many years. And we’ll also address the fact that Birmingham has more canals than Venice.
This 1.5 mile circular tour takes in the most photogenic parts of the city center’s canal system, so be sure to bring a camera!
- A 1.5 mile guided walking tour of the city’s canals.
- Learn about Birmingham’s canal history.
- Fully guided by our team of trained and experienced tour guides.
What happens on the day:
- On arrival, you’ll be warmly welcomed at the Visitor Centre where you will be issued with a headset that allows you to hear the tour guide above the hustle and bustle of the city.
- The route takes you along the water’s edge through the city, stopping at certain key points to hear about the history of the area. See Birmingham landmarks like the Mailbox, Gas Street Basin, Baskerville House and more.
- The tour finishes back at the Roundhouse.
What about the weather?: Guided tours will go ahead in all but the worst of weather. If we need to cancel the tour because of very poor weather, we will reschedule at the earliest opportunity.
What should I wear?: Our city streets can be a little uneven, slippery and steep in places, and this tour will involve some walking. Sturdy, sensible shoes are your friend! Don’t forget to wear clothes suitable for a day outdoors as well.
Great for: An introduction to Birmingham’s brilliant spaces, histories, and people for first time visitors. Groups looking for something fun and interesting to do in the city centre.
Dates: Various: Saturdays and Sundays from March-November.
Time slots: 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Meeting Point: Please check in at the Roundhouse Birmingham Visitor Centre, 15 minutes before the advertised tour start time.
Finishing Point: The tour ends at Roundhouse Birmingham.
Directions: View our Getting here page for detailed directions.
Duration: The walking tour is approximately 2 hours and is around 1.5 miles long.
Suitable For: 8+, all under 18’s need to be accompanied by an adult.
Number of Steps? This package tour is roughly around 3500 steps. Requires a basic level of fitness and mobility.
Our Victorian cobbles can be a little uneven and steep in places, and most Roundhouse Birmingham experiences will involve some walking. View our access page for more details on what to expect when you’re here, though sturdy, sensible shoes are recommended.
The route is designed with access in mind, avoiding stairs where possible. There are some steep sloped sections by the Utilita Arena.
Our guided tours and walks will go ahead whatever the weather, so plan accordingly.
Your tour guide will use audio systems to ensure that they are audible in noisy environments.
Tour headsets are available so everyone can hear clearly. Please bring plug in headphones if you have them, or you can use those we have available.
If a number of people in your group would benefit from the tour guide system’s hearing loop, call ahead to let us know on 0121 716 4077, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for something to eat and drink after your tour? Ticket holders receive 20% off food at The Distillery pub and 10% off food and drink at Ristorante Caffe Arena. Discount is valid on the day of your tour on production of your ticket. Booking is recommended.
Alternatively, you’re welcome to bring a packed lunch to eat in our courtyard.
Venue: Roundhouse Birmingham
Directions: Please come to the Roundhouse Visitor Centre 15 minutes before the tour start time.