Many locals and tourists don't have the Birmingham Canal Network in mind when having a holiday - obviously I wouldn't suggest in Winter, but it is good to take a sideways trip from the city sights and experiences to go to the Gas St. Basin/Brindley Place.
All the canals which transported goods at the birth of the Industrial Revolution from Worcester and the Black Country merge and you will find tours available to ride on the slow paced barges.
The Councils and local neighbourhood have done a lot of restoration work over the years, to clean up the waterways for wildlife and people and now there are cleared towpaths where you can walk and cycle for as long as you are able.
The Railways were built alongside the Canals so if you are tired - there is usually a train due to go back!
If it is only refreshment you need you can usually count on an olde pub still being around even if the working-class housing has been demolished; The Fountain Inn at Tipton has had good beers for a couple of hundred years and notes it was also 'office' to an early champion of bare-fist fighting and canal man, William, 'The Tipton Slasher' Perry.(1819-1880)
Being conduits of the Industrious age, I think its a great experience to join the Dudley Canal tours at the Black Country Museum which takes you into the Limestone caverns(where some of my ancestors toiled).
Take the canal side walk from the "Mail Box" to Brindley Place and then on past the NIA. Follow the canal down a steep flight of locks until you emerge at Snow Hill - handy for a trip to the Jewelry Quarter
I got the tip to walk along the canal and yes, this is nice! Unfortunately, the canal is close to the railway, but on a sunday, there are not so many trains passing by.
Along the canal, ther are many fishermen watching their fishing-rods and you come across cycling families and people letting out their dogs.
Do not forget to take our umbrella, since the rain can come (and go) very fast.
The canal takes you to the center of Birmingham and you can get on and of the path at almost every bridge.
One of the nicest things I saw in Birmingham was when walking aside of the canal and seeing one of these boats. You can hire them for a holiday.