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Paddle to the Heart returns for 2022

Birmingham is set for its annual mass paddling event, Paddle to the Heart where around 100 paddlers will navigate the canal networks en route to Brindley Place, the iconic heart of Birmingham.

Taking Place on Saturday 11th June, and organised by the West Midlands Regional Development Team the event is now in its eleventh year, and celebrates the West Midlands’ varied network of waterways and has grown in popularity year on year.

With 4 exciting routes varying from 1.5 to 30 miles, all leading to Brindley Place in the centre of Birmingham, local paddlers are invited to choose a route and get involved! Once everyone has arrived at Brindley Place there will be water based fun and games taking place on the canal.

Paddle To The Heart 2022 1

The event celebrates the West Midlands’ varied network of waterways and has grown in popularity year on year. It is designed to provide a real focal point to attract new people into the sport, experienced paddles to find new places to paddle and stimulate those who really like a challenge to think big and achieve something special.

For more information on the Paddle to the Heart and to find out how you can get involved, please click here

The Routes

Route 1 – From Tipton Factory Junction (via Mainline Canal)

Suggested start time: 9.00am

This route starts at Tipton Factory Junction (park at Malthouse Stables) Hurst Road, DY4 9AB. Malthouse Stable, run by Sandwell Council is situated between the Barge and Barrel Public house and the Pie Factory on Hurst Road. Ian Clews, Senior Youth Officer of Malthouse Stables Outdoor Activity Centre, will be participating and is able to offer a limited shuttle service.

Distance: 9 miles Locks: 3 Duration: 4-5 hours

Route 2 – From Shirley Drawbridge, Drawbridge Road B90 1DD (via Worcester and Birmingham Canal)

Suggested start time: 8.30am

This route starts at Shirley Drawbridge, Drawbridge Road (park near to Wake Green Amateur Football Club to unload craft and kit) B90 1DD. As you approach the canal from the car park you’ll see the drawbridge, the direction of travel is to the right as you put on from the car park.

Distance: 9.5 miles. Locks: 0 Tunnels: 1 (322m) Duration: 4-5 hours.

Note, there are no toilet facilities at this start point.

Route 3 – Icknield Port B16 0AA (via Mainline Canal)

This is the shortest route and an opportunity will be provided for paddlers to carry out a canal clean up on the way with appropriate kit being provided i.e. bags, litter pickers, gloves

Suggested start time 10am

The route starts at British Waterways Yard, Icknield Port Road, B16 0AA. The yard is situated next to the Centennial Centre near to the bridge over Icknield Port Road.

Distance: 1.5 miles Locks: 0 Duration: 30- 45mins

Route 4 - Brownhills Challenge route

Suggested start time: 5am

This route start at Brownhills base of Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club, Silver St, Brownhills, Walsall WS8 6DZ

Distance: 30 miles. Tunnels: Yes. Duration: 5-10 hours

Cautionary Note

Some paddlers will need to navigate the 122m Galton Tunnel. This tunnel is listed on Canal and Rivers Trust’s (CRT's) canal tunnels open to canoes and other small craft. The CRT’s conditions for use of canal tunnels less than 400m are as follows:

  • All paddlers are to have a forward-facing white light such as a head torch.
  • Paddle in groups of 3 or more.
  • A whistle attached to your BA.

Galton tunnel is a short tunnel with a direct line of sight to the far portal. Paddlers are advised to check for oncoming traffic before committing to the tunnel.