Walk 2204 - printer friendly version
Aston Junction & Millennium Point, Birmingham Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 3.5 miles / 5.7 km
Ascent - 0 feet / 0 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference SP066869
Lat 52.479987 + Long -1.9042496
Postcode B3 3AA (approx. location only)
A stroll through some of the industrial heritage of the city before exploring parts of modern Birmingham including the new Bullring. The start is outside the Council House in Victoria Square (grid ref SP066869). This point can be easily reached on foot from most city centre car parks, the railway stations and bus termini.
With your back to the Council House facing the 'Floozie in the Jacuzzi' turn left and walk along Colmore Row. Turn left down Newhall Street passing the Exchange on your right, which was built for the Bell Edison telephone company as an exchange in 1896. Cross over Great Charles Street and continue downhill over Lionel Street and Fleet Street. Crossing the canal turn left down steps to reach the towpath. Turning left to walk under Newhall Street. This canal is part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations. In total there are 13 locks that form this flight known as Farmer's Bridge Locks.
Stay on the tow path for approximately 1 kilometre passing under the attractive cast-iron Barker Bridge to reach Aston Junction. Ignore the canal branch going left instead crossing the bridge and walking southeast under Love Lane Bridge and past the modern buildings of the Aston Science Park to reach Ashted Tunnel. Further locks add to the character of this section of the canal.
A second tunnel is negotiated under the railway tracks to reach Digbeth Junction. Ignore the Grand Union Canal to your left and cross the bridge to leave the towpath and emerge onto Fazeley Street. Turn right and right again into New Canal Street. On your right is the original railway terminus in the city, Curzon Street station, built in 1838 and the northern terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway. Ahead, across Curzon Street, is Millennium Point, which houses the Thinktank (a contemporary version of the Birmingham Science Museum).
Turn left up Curzon Street towards the city centre. This leads into Albert Street and a rather daunting modern intersection. Bear half left here using the crossings provided. This should lead you to the front of Moor Street Station. Recently refurbished much of the original Edwardian flavour has been retained and there is usually a steam locomotive of the old Great Western Railway on display.
Exit Moor Street Station and cross the road towards the stunning new Selfridge's store. Bear left and follow its perimeter around to St Martin's Church which remains the focal point of the Bull Ring development. With the church's main door on your right head up the ramp past Nelson's Monument. As the pavement levels look out on your left for the large bronze bull, a popular meeting point, with the Rotunda rising above. Fork left into New Street and follow this for some way to reach Victoria Square and the start of the walk.