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WEST MIDLANDS ROUTE DESCRIPTION

The route starts in the beautiful city Oxford and journeys through both rural and urban landscapes to the heart of England, Birmingham, then takes quiet country roads and traffic-free paths to Derby.

From Oxford the route heads out to Woodstock and passes the impressive Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, who is buried nearby in Bladon churchyard. Heading north, the route takes quiet lanes with outstanding views of the Cotswolds. In Stratford-upon-Avon, it passes near the house famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, born 1564 and buried in Holy Trinity Centre. You can enjoy his work at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the town centre. The historical theme continues north of Stratford-upon-Avon at Coughton Court, where plotters headed after failing to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

The route then passes through Redditch and the rolling landscape of north Worcester, to cosmopolitan Birmingham. Riverside, canal and parkland paths provide a safe, quiet and attractive route into England's second city and the heart of the National Cycle Network, emerging into the magnificent Centenary Square. As you continue through the centre to Sandwell Valley Country Park and Walsall, the urban landscape is replaced by countryside once more; after Lichfield and Burton-upon-Trent the route follows a railway path from Etwall all the way into the centre of Derby.



Information courtesy of Sustrans

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