"Forgot to mention: though bits of the towpath in the area of Solihull were really horrible, it wasn't too bad further along in the Dickens Heath area - fairly broad and mainly earthen, without the rocks and ruts that had made it impossible…"
"Done it, and reporting back in excessive detail:
Got up at ten past six, and probably set off at around twenty to seven. Headed down the Birmingham/Worcester canal, then left along the Stratford canal. I cycled a short way a long it last year, and…"
"Did this route years ago, on a tourer, it was terrible, dried muddy ruts. Suspect only finished as sustained by liquid pain relief from canal side pubs, took train back, dark by the time I got home. Will be interested to hear how you get on. And…"
"Thanks everyone for your replies - they're really helpful. In view of the state of the towpath, I'm thinking at the moment that I'll follow the canal out of Birmingham, then switch to the roads until Wilmcote, where I'll rejoin…"
"It's doable on a mountain bike but anything else will just beat you up. I did the eastern route via Grand Union and Kingswood Junction on my cross bike and couldn't face another hour of bumpy grass so came back on the road. A fatbike would…"
"It's lovely until you reach the Birmingham/Solihull border, then it goes back to narrow and uneven, sometimes muddy, track. As Russ says, it gets better at Wilmcote. So it's just the 13 or so miles in between! ;-D"
"I've not cycled down it for a while & there is a really rough section between Lowsonford to Wooten Wawen but the lanes between are great not sure about the next part of the canal but from Wilmcote into Stratford the tow path is pretty good!"
I'm planning to cycle from Birmingham to Stratford on Wednesday. Hesitating over how much to use the towpath - is it still very un-cycle-friendly for much of the way? Does anyone have any favoured alternate routes for getting to…"