A circular walk at Middleton Lakes near Birmingham

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RSPB Middleton Lakes in the River Thame Valley near Birmingham is a rich habitat of wetland, lakes and meadows with miles of beautiful trails to explore. Purchased in 2007 this 400 acre site is now home to a huge selection of unique birds including grey herons, kingfishers, lapwings and much more. The area is hugely popular with wildlife photographers and birds-otters. You’ll undoubtably meet several on your walk.

blue sky and fluffy clouds above middleton lakes

Middleton Lakes is a glorious place for a walk whatever the season. We visited in Autumn when the colours were magnificent and the slightly cooler wether made some of the inclines more bearable.

This is a 6.5 mile hike around several lakes. It takes in the Middleton Lakes side and also crosses the river to the Kingsbury side.

Middleton Lakes walk route

Begin the walk in the Middleton Lakes Car Park which is right next to the Aston Villa training ground at Bodymoor Heath. Leave the carpark past the small visitor centre (which is currently closed) keeping the picnic benches and play area to your right and follow the signs. Some of the smaller trails and bridges are currently fenced off as it would be impossible to social distance. This won’t impact the walk at all.

Continue down the lane until you reach a signpost. We started by following the wetland trail. The trail changes from a robust road to a narrow mud path. Follow this past several birdwatching shelters and along the small stream until you reach a bridge over the Canal.

view of canal boats on water from bridge

Cross over and then follow the next trail curving to your left. You’ll eventually see a pretty green bridge, keep it to your right but don’t cross over just yet. Once you hit the river you’ll eventually come across a metal bridge crossing it. Take this bridge and follow the trail further into the lakes.

metal bridge over river at middleton lakes

You’ll eventually get to a trail going up a fairly steep incline. Take this up to a fairly open field at the top. Once you reach the top there is a bench to rest those weary legs. Up here is my favourite view of the area.

Continue down the other side and you’ll be heading towards the paddle boarding and open swimming area at Kingsbury. The Waterfront looks like it would be a lovely place for a drink when it open. Once you hit the waterspouts area, turn back on yourselves and head back across the field to the river.

pin image for walking at the dunstall estate

This time, instead go taking the elevated path up to the view point, you’ll be taking the lower path alongside the river. You can follow this all the way back across the metal bridge, retracing your footsteps to the green bridge.

dog on green bridge

Cross over it this time and you’ll eventually make it down to the Birmingham and Fazeley canal. I recommend taking the canal path for a while, its a nice change of scenery.

industrial bridge over a canal

Once you reach this rather industrial looking bridge, climb up the canal bank and cross over. Once over you can follow the path back to the car park and your starting point. I recommend adding a quick detour to Middleton Hall here.

Pass the carpark keeping the field to your right. Take the small path past a house to your right (it says no entrance to vehicles) and left at the end. Middleton Hall and Gardens is a gorgeous, independently owned Stately Home which is normally open to visit. Unfortunately closed when we arrived we had a quick wander round the shopping village. Home to several independent retailers and a fabulous drinks shop. We treated ourselves to a cold, rather uniquely named beer.

After that it was a quick walk through the woods past some amazing wooden teepee shaped dens back to the car. Stopping in the covered seating area for our drink.

Walk details

Length: This route is around 6.5 miles. You could easily make it longer or shorter depending on how energetic you feel.

Duration: The walk took us about two and a half hours including a stop fr a drink a quick mooch is the shops at Middleton Hall.

Difficulty: Middleton Lakes is a pretty easy place for a walk. Its relatively flat and well footpathed. There are a couple of rather tough elevations but these aren’t long and can be skipped altogether if needed.

middleton lakes at twighlight

Car parking: The main carpark is located past Aston Villas Bodymoor Heath training ground. As you drive up it may feel that’s all there is but keep going to the end of the small lane and you’ll reach it. Plug the postcode B78 2BB into your sat nav and you’ll find it. Parking is £3 regardless of how long you stay, you can pay by card.

Facilities at Middleton Lakes

You’ll find toilets, a cafe and several shops in the courtyard at Middleton Hall. Unfortunately there aren’t any on the walk route. There are plenty of picnic areas and benches as you head round the lakes.

Visiting with Dogs

Middleton Lakes is a wonderful place to visit with dogs. Remember this is a nature reserve so make sure to keep your pet under control at all times. There are some areas that dogs are not allowed to protect the wildlife, these are all well signposted. Please ensure you alway pick up after your dogs and keep the trails clean and safe for all. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the picnic area or kids play area.

Visiting Middleton Lakes with Kids

Kids will love a walk around Middleton Lakes. There’s so much wildlife to discover and endless muddy puddles to jump in. The play meadow is very popular with families and includes a much shorter trail than the one above, den building, bug hunting and opportunities for pond dipping. Although currently closed I expect this to reopen in December.

kids meadow at middleton lakes

Where to stay near Middleton Lakes

A great place to stay near Middleton Lakes is the Belfry Hotel. A beautiful 5 star hotel with Spa, gold course and fabulous restaurants.

Make sure you pin for later to plan your next walk at Middleton Lakes.

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