Owl Spotting Itineraries

The Big Hoot was accessible by bus, train, tram, bike and on foot. Here are a few of the accessible routes developed by Network West Midlands.

Owl Spotting by Bus

Big Hoot Owls: 11150724 milan open top bus

Little Hoot Owlets: 4

Route: Outer Circle No. 11 bus. Every ten minutes Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm. Every 15-20 minutes during evenings and weekends.

Time needed: 6 hours – 1 day, although the route can be done in smaller sections over shorter periods of time.

Cost: National Express Day Saver adult £4.20, child £2.20. Family/group (6 people, including one or two adults with children aged 5-15) £8. Buy tickets on the bus.

Start/finish: At any point on the route.

The No.11 (outer circle) bus route is one of the longest in the UK at 27 miles. There are regular buses in both clockwise (11C) and anti-clockwise directions (11A). Approximate travel times between stops:

  • Erdington to Ward End: 10 minutes
  • Ward End to Yardley (Oaklands Rec): 10 minutes
  • Yardley to Kings Heath: 25 minutes
  • Kings Heath to Harborne: 20 minutes
  • Harborne to Dudley Road (Summerfield Park): 20 minutes
  • Dudley Road to Soho Road (Soho House and Handsworth Park): 10 minutes
  • Soho Road to Perry Barr (One Stop Shopping Centre): 10 minutes
  • Perry Barr to Erdington: 15 minutes

A short walk is required from each bus stop to the owl locations, with a longer walk (10 minutes) to Ward End Park and Handsworth Park.

 

Owl Spotting by Train

Big Hoot Owls: 61 city centre owls and 12 in other locations.

Little Hoot Owlets: 5 city centre clusters and 4 in other locations.

Route: Cross-City line. Every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm. Every 30 minutes on Sundays.

Time needed: 4 hours – half day, although it can be done in smaller sections over a shorter time.

Cost: Day Tripper (after 9.30am, plus all day weekends and Bank Holidays) adult £6.40, child (5-15) £4.30; family (one or two adults plus at least one child (aged 5-15) £11. Buy tickets from station ticket offices or ticket machines.

Start/finish: Any station between Redditch, New Street and Lichfield.

A short walk is required from each station to the owl locations. You can also combine bike and train. Bikes can be carried on the Cross-City line on off-peak trains (no need to book) and Brompton folding bikes can be carried at any time.

 

Owl Spotting by Tram

Big Hoot Owls: 61 city centre owls and 1 at Soho House

Little Hoot Owlets: 5 city centre clusters and 1 at Soho House

Route: Midland Metro. Every 6-8 minutes Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm. Every 15 minutes on Sundays.

Time needed: 2 hours

Cost: Metro all day ticket adult £5.40, child £3.90, family (6 people including one or two adults and at least one child) £10.00. Ticket valid Monday to Friday after 9.30am and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays. Buy tickets on the Metro.

Start/finish: Any Metro stop between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton St George.

A short walk is required from each stop to the owl locations. You can also combine bike and Metro. Brompton folding bikes can be carried at any time and are available to hire from Birmingham Snow Hill (Colmore Row).

 

150724 milan vintagebicyclegirlOwl Spotting by Bike

Big Hoot Owls: 12

Little Hoot Owlets: 4

Route: University and Kings Heath cycle tour

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Time needed: At least 4 hours

Cost: Free (additional charge for bike hire). You can hire bikes from Cycle Chain (canal boat off Brindleyplace) or Brompton Docks (Moor Street and Snow Hill/Colmore Row)

Start/finish: New Street Station, Stephenson Street

  • Back streets to Gas Street Basin (Birmingham and Worcester Canal)
  • Canal towpaths towards University of Birmingham and Bournville Station (connects with Harborne route at University)
  • Quiet streets – Maryvale Road, across Pershore Road and Hunt’s Road to Rea Valley Cycle Route
  • Rea Valley Cycle Route to Cartland Road
  • Busy road – uphill on Cartland Road to Vicarage Road (Kings Heath Park and All Saints)
  • Busy road – Kings Heath High Street to Library
  • Park routes – Highbury Park to Holders Lane and Cannon Hill Park
  • Cycle track (NCN Route 5) to Belgrave Middleway crossing
  • On road (NCN Route 5) to city centre and New Street Station, Gooch Street, Sherlock Street, Hurst Street and Hill Street