The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal is one of the most distinctive canals located in the West Midlands, connecting the heart of Birmingham with the impressive countryside and London itself. Starting from the Fazeley Coventry Canal, and ending in Old Turn, BCN Main Line, it connects to the Main Line of Birmingham, the Coventry Canal, the Grand Union Canal and Tame Valley Canal. In other words, it spreads from Gas Street Basin, the centre of the British canal network, all the way through the most notorious landmarks of Birmingham, including the Post Office Tower and the International Convention Centre, creating a mysterious atmosphere that brings visitors back to the past.
The Birmingham & Fazeley Canal was the outcome of an inspiration that wanted to link Coventry Canal and Birmingham, which principle engineer John Smeaton helped take flesh and bones, on behalf of Birmingham and Fazeley Canal Company, back in late 1700s. It is part of a larger network of canals that connects with the entire British canal system at numerous junctions, and counts approximately 160 km (257 miles) of canals, although only about half of it is still navigable, mostly by tourists and narrowboats of residents.
Travelling back in the Canal’s industrial prime time, one could see the great Birmingham & Fazeley Canal shut away from the city behind majestically-built walls, until the 1980s, when it was restructured to meet the needs of locals for a green paradise to walk through and spend their leisure. For that reason, the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal’s surface became a new meeting place with new access points for residents to enjoy.
One of the most outstanding sights found in the entire canal network of Birmingham is the infamous Farmer’s Bridge Lock Flight, whose archways are filled with dramatic lighting and heart-stopping tunnels that give out a feeling of a dramatic step back in time, right in the middle of the 21st century.
Number of locks: 44
Name: Birmingham & Fazeley Canal
Connects to: Birmingham Canals Navigation Main Line, Coventry Canal, Grand Union Canal, Tame Valley Canal
Navigation Authority: Canal & River Trust