This post is for anyone looking to get out running on and around the University’s Edgbaston campus. There are plenty of short running routes around the campus, and longer routes which incorporate parts of the campus and the Vale Village.
I have designed and run various routes as part of the Green Heart Runners’ run-meets, and also for my own solo lunchtime and pre/post-work runs from the Medical School Building.
All routes below include pavements or paths only. There is no requirement to run on the road itself and no off-road trail paths. Some routes will require you to use pedestrian crossings and, on quieter roads, to cross the road carefully with no traffic lights.
Whilst the campus is well-lit, it is advisable to wear some high visibility clothing or accessories during a run at any time of day during the winter months, and to be mindful of when the light begins to fade late in the afternoon so you’re not caught unexpectedly in a poorly lit area (like the canal towpath!), particularly on the longer runs where you will stray well away from the campus.
All the routes below generally start at the Green Heart or at the Medical School on the University campus, but you can start and finish them at any point on the route.
My regular running routes
I often take the Green Heart Runners on one, or a combination, of the first three routes below.
This is a good beginner’s route and also a good one to repeat a few times if you want to do a longer run but stay close to the campus. The majority of it is off main roads and is all within the perimeter of the campus, which is well-lit in the evenings.
This is another good one for beginners and includes a run along the walkway to the Vale and a loop around the lake, before following a short campus loop and running back to the Green Heart.
This is an extension of the three-mile route by taking the canal towpath to the Vale, doing a wider loop there, then running back along the walkway to the campus before taking a circular route back to the Green Heart.
Another four-miler for those who want to include more hill-running at the Vale. An easy start on the canal towpath will warm you up for three loops at the Vale which will get your legs burning, before returning to campus via the walkway.
This six-miler involves multiple different loops at the Vale before returning to campus and running around the perimeter of the campus and back to the Medical School.
This six-miler involves a run up to the top of Harborne High Street, all the way down (watch out for shoppers!) towards the Botanical Gardens and turning sharp right at the White Swan and heading back towards the University, turning left on Pritchatts Road for a quick dash to down to the Vale before returning back to campus.
This seven-miler is a favourite of mine as it takes in quite a few green spaces. From the canal towpath to the Vale, you then keep going further away from campus around the back of the Edgbaston golf course and down to the Bristol Road. After hopping across to the Pershore Road there is a lovely stretch following the River Rea before you make your way to Selly Oak, past The S’Oak (and other student favourites!) and back to the campus.
For those looking for a long run, this route takes you into Birmingham via the canal towpath (and a few loops at the Vale), through the lovely Brindley Place and Centenary Square and into the city centre, where you manoeuvre your way through to the pagoda island on the Bristol Road. The return leg sees you head back towards the University, briefly diverting across the Pershore Road to take in Canon Hill Park, then returning to the Bristol Road, heading up past the University and up the Selly Oak High Street. You then run towards, and around the back of, the QE hospital and up to Somerset Road where the end is in sight as you run back down towards the Vale, turning right to run up the walkway, and back on to campus.
I hope this gives you a few ideas! Strava isn’t always 100% reliable on distance, and they can always vary slightly from run to run, but they’ll be pretty accurate.
I’d love to hear how you find these routes, if anyone gives them ago. Also, please let me know about any new routes you have found which start and end at the University; it’s good to explore new areas and to have a strong repertoire of runs from which to choose.