Birmingham by Canal

Birmingham has over 200 miles of canal to navigate across via narrowboat, floating restaurant or even on foot across the towpaths

Birmingham boasts more miles of canal than Venice


If you want to take some time out and explore Birmingham from a unique angle then a trip along the canals is your calling. Whilst this may not be the fastest mode of transport, taking a canal boat through the city is one of the most picturesque and relaxing ways to experience both the modern aspects and historical side of the city.

Canal boating also allows you to travel to nearby locations such as Knowle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester and Stafford. If you really want to push the boat out then the waterways can even take you as far as Oxford and even Central London.

Key Facts

  • Birmingham has more canal miles than Venice
  • The Gas Street Basin is at the centre of the UK canal network where the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the Birmingham Canal Main Line meet
  • You can dine in style on a narrowboat as you glide across the canals at Away2Dine


Sitting on the side of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal are the ensemble of restaurants, bars, offices, leisure facilities and lounges that make up Brindleyplace. If you want to stop for an al fresco coffee or a tasty evening meal with a view along the canal front before you set off again, this is the place to drop anchor.

Brindleyplace is only 15 minutes walk away from the city centre making it a great stopping point to do some shopping and culture visits too.

Renting a Boat

Canal boats and narrow boats are available for short or long term hire in various marinas throughout the West Midlands.

Alvechurch Marina is one of the closest areas where you can rent from just over half an hour drive from the centre of Birmingham. Drayton Narrowboat Holidays and hire also have boat hire available from Fazeley close to Tamworth.

Canal Towpaths

Birmingham has over 200 miles of canal to enjoy (which is actually more than Venice), but you don't need a boat to enjoy the sights. Along each canal there are the towpaths following the water's direction allowing cyclists and walkers to enjoy the scenic views of the waterfront. The added bonus of exploring on foot is the ability to hop into the numerous cafes based along the paths.

Tours and Attractions

As one of the most unique experiences of the city, you can discover Birmingham from the water. Tours include trips through Sherborne Wharf with views of the local arenas and historic sites or explore the renowned Gas Street Basin in the city centre.

For something even more unique, you can dine aboard a narrow boat as you glide through the canals or even grab a tasty breakfast at the Floating Coffee Company.

There are further details on tours and sightseeing by canal on the Visit Birmingham website.


Discover More about transport in Birmingham

There are plenty of transport options for travelling in and around the Birmingham region including relaxing trips across the canals and regular trains taking you across the nation and beyond.