NEW for 2015: Book your next holiday on a 1930s sailing yacht starting at the village of Ludham off the River Thurne on the Norfolk Broads. [caption id="attachment_4567" align="aligncenter" width="470"] Tradtional Sailing Holidays on the Norfolk Broads[/caption] The historic mahogany yachts are part of the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust and have traditional gaff rig sails. There are 14 boats available for holiday hire, sleeping up to 4 adults. Each of the boats offers competent sailors an unforgettable holiday. At least one person in group needs to have sailing experience. The yachts handle easily and the gaff rig makes these boats well suited to the ...
Boating holidays with WiFi are becoming increasingly popular and the trend is set to continue into 2015. We'll have WiFi on over 30% of our narrowboats and Broads cruisers next year. Here's some useful information about using WiFi on your next boating break: WiFi is normally free of charge, you may be asked to leave a security deposit on arrival WiFi is perfect for browsing the web and for looking up local pub & restaurant menus If you can't leave the office behind, WiFi enables you to check your emails more easily You'll be able to use the apps on your tablet that require ...
Summer 2014: New base at Penton Hook on the River Thames. Penton Hook Marina is situated near to the vibrant town of Staines-on-Thames and about a mile downstream from Runnymede where King John signed the Magna Carta. The marina is ideally situated for cruising through Surrey villages on the Royal River, spotting wildlife and mooring beside the many waterfront pubs. The majority of the locks on the River Thames are electronic and manned, making it a perfect location for those wishing just to relax whilst taking in the picturesque scenery. As an example of what’s available, 'Mississippi' is a 6 berth narrow boat ...
The River Wey is one of Surrey's best kept secrets. Today the 20 mile navigable stretch of the river and its 16 locks, are owned and maintained by The National Trust. The River Wey holds both surprises and untold stories round every bend, it offers people the chance to experience and see the lovely countryside of Surrey from a completely different direction. A narrow boat holiday provides holiday makers of all ages and with any level of experience to relax and unwind from everyday life. When will you make your own mark on the River Wey? Holidays on the River Wey run ...
We began our weekend cruise along the lovely Kennet & Avon Canal from the pretty town of Bradford on Avon, next to the lock. We were staying and cruising on the Princess 2, which was perfect for just the two of us, plus our two dogs. The Princess 2 has a ‘reverse’ layout, which means that the kitchen and saloon area is at the back of the boat rather than the front, making it easier to get drinks or snacks when required without completely deserting the person who is steering the boat. The Princess 2 also had a very comfortable ...
'Serenity' is a luxury widebeam boat sleeping four, available for self-hire holidays on the Grand Union Canal in Bedfordshire. This widebeam is fully equipped with top-notch gadgets including flat screen TV’s in the bedroom and saloon (with Freeview), wine cooler in the galley, DVD Players and a DAB Radio/CD player with iPod dock and USB port. You will also find playing cards, Monopoly and Scrabble on board for afternoon entertainment when spending an evening in. This widebeam has been built in a 'reverse' layout, which refers to the kitchen and living room area being at the back of the boat. This ...
Britain’s largest protected wetland, the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads offers over 125 miles of lock-free cruising. Broadland attractions include plentiful waterside eateries, market towns, villages and many pleasant walks. Hire a boat from Horning on the Norfolk Broads and enjoy a relaxing boating holiday afloat with the family this Easter. There are so many attractions to visit on the waterfront, suitable for all the family you will be spoilt for choice! Four berth Copper Emblem is currently available throughout the Easter Holidays, suitable for family groups with a double and 2 single beds. The weekly hire charge is £698.00 or for a ...
2014 Unique Long Term Cruising Opportunity! If you fancy taking 3 months or more to explore the UK's fabulous historic canal system, we are now offering 70 foot 'Lillian Ginger' for extended cruising at a cost of just £1,295 per month (minimum hire 3 months). Cost excludes fuel (depart with full tank and pay for top up on return, first 2 gas bottles supplied). 3 sets of bed linen supplied. Perfect for 1 or 2 couples as she offers 2 double bedrooms each with its own bathroom. Call 01252 796400 for more information and bookings. Available for long term hire from ...
Available for 2014 holiday hire on our website is four berth vintage cruiser, 'C'est La Vie.' Hire this classic boat and experience a holiday on one of the few remaining mahogany trimmed cruisers, a high end boat built in 1967 with a stylish interior reminiscent of times past. The boat sleeps four in comfort, with either one double and two singles or four singles, perfect for family groups or friends looking to return to the Norfolk Broads on a boating holiday. It has a fully equipped galley and a sliding roof to admire the Norfolk Broads in the open air. [caption ...
A short break from Stretton under Fosse to Braunston: Arrive at the Stretton under Fosse marina and receive your detailed show through of the boat to make sure you are comfortable with your hire boat. Once you feel comfortable operating your narrowboat, cruise south on the North Oxford Canal, meandering through the woodlands before reaching Newbold Tunnel at Newbold on Avon. After navigating your way through the 250yd long tunnel, you may want to take a break at one of the two pubs located along the moorings here. Leaving behind Newbold, pass over the two aqueducts on the outskirts of Rugby, where ...
March Marina is situated on the outskirts of the village, once an island floating amongst the marshy fens, now a market village situated on the River Nene. The river banks are lined with pretty thatched cottages and reeds with scenic views.
As you depart March and head south you will pass St. Wendreda’s Church, named after the Saxon Princess, the church is known for its roof that features 120 angel carvings. Cruising to Peterborough is easily achievable in a weekend break taking 6 hours to reach, passing the historic town of Whittlesey and through marshy waterways. Ferry Meadows Country Park is also located on the waters, with a variety of activities available such as horse riding, walking, windsurfing and sailing. The park is an ideal mooring point for all the family before making your way to Peterborough.
Peterborough is home to a rich heritage as well as a large selection of shops and dining opportunities. In a weekend break you could choose to spend the day off your hire boat and explore the city by foot. Perhaps browsing the local boutiques or visiting Cathedral Square in the city centre for alfresco dining with plenty of street entertainment. A collection of unique sculptures can be visible from the water or closer inspected by foot, they are often located in areas of great beauty such as Thorpe Meadows, Lynch Wood or Burghley House.
Ely Marina is situated on the River Great Ouse within easy reach of the town centre, once home to historic leader Oliver Cromwell. The towering Ely Cathedral, known locally as the Ship of the Fens, is visible wide and far around the flat countryside of East Anglia. From this marina you can leisurely cruise south and merge onto the River Cam to float into Cambridge in a weekend break, taking approximately six – seven hours cruising.
Float down to Cambridge past Wicken Fens and the Nature Reserves, where there is a wealth of things to experience in the City Centre. Whether you are looking to experience the heritage of Cambridge, the nightlife entertainment through theatre performances or one of the many bars, or if you’d rather a healthy walk to explore the local scenery. There really is something for everyone to experience with a large selection of shops to browse or restaurants and pubs to dine in. The City also offers water lovers the opportunity to take to the River in slightly less orthodox form of vessel, sailing down the marshy flatlands in a wooden Punt.
For one week plus holidays from Ely, why not cruise past Huntingdon and St Neots and make your way to the cultural town of Bedford where the navigations end. This is achievable in a week with approximately 6 – 7 hours a day. There are a wide selection of villages tucked away down country lanes along the River, each with their own historical significance.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.
The Lancaster Canal offers boating holiday makers the chance to experience the scenic views of the Lancashire rolling countryside, Forests of Bowland, Morecambe Bay and Lancaster City Centre.
The Lancaster Canal stretches from Tewitfield to Preston, covering 41 miles of lock free contour built canal. From Preston in the South, dating back to the Doomsday Book, the Canal meanders through rural Lancashire passing market villages such as Catforth and Bilsborrow. At Bilsborrow you can moor up your narrowboat and visit the award winning Garden Centre and Cafe. Situated across the water at Barton, you can browse the horticulture, grab a cup of tea and cake before returning to your canal boat. Cruising North you approach the medieval village of Garstang, a place full of history and culture, explore the town centre with its unique craft shops and boutiques. The village offers several walks as well through the sweeping rural valleys and fields.
Moor up to experience the Glasson Branch by foot, it is worth a detour if you have time. Glasson port was once a fully functional method of transporting goods via the River Lune until Preston Dock opened. Now a quiet village boasting some spectacular views, on this stretch you will encounter six locks, travelling through the open countryside as you approach the port. The dock is now a quiet backwater at the mouth of the River Lune.
Lancaster City, originally a Roman settlement, is full of interesting architecture, museums and shopping facilities. Lancaster Castle provides lofty views of the City and Coastline, as does the Victorian domed building, Ashton Memorial, overlooking Morecambe Bay. There are plenty of restaurants to pick from here, if you’re stopping off for the night. Or if its just a flying visit you can grab a cup of tea and snack to go at one of the tucked away cafes. The maritime Museum is just off the water front as well for those interested in the history of the port and the merchants activity.
Returning to your hire boat, you can cruise out of the city North to Tewitfield, where the Lune Aqueduct will shortly become visible. An impressive piece of architecture designed by John Rennie and completed in 1797, the aqueduct carries the canal for 664ft at a height of 61ft. A canal boat holiday on the Lancaster Canal really offers the perfect combination of historic architecture and culture, scenic Lancashire Countryside views and a coastal experience, all accessible by boat!
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.
A member of our booking team at Waterways Holidays took to the waters again. Dawn, accompanied by friends, family and Meg the dog, booked a canal boating holiday on the narrowboat ‘Jade’ from the base at Linslade. We thought it might be useful to supply you with a day-to-day diary of a weekend boat hire from Linslade.
After studying our canal guide and chatting to the lovely staff at the marina, we took their advice and decided to cruise north from the Linslade marina with the hope of reaching the bottom locks before Stoke Bruerne and walking to the Canal Museum. This was the furthest that the marina staff advised for a weekend cruise. We boarded promptly at 1.30pm and set off with our boat instructor, Pete, after receiving tuition at the yard. After running through the lock tuition for the benefit of my novice boaters, Pete said his goodbyes. We started cruising at 3.50pm. The Canal navigates following the River Ouze and meanders much like the river up to Stoke Hammond. The landscape begins quite hilly with expansive woodland and then towards Soulbury flattens to reveal some very well maintained grounds.
We arrived at Stoke Hammond at around 5.15pm and cruised past what appeared to be an old pump house that was being used as part of someones farm grounds. Here we stopped off to pick up some freshly laid eggs for the following morning fry up. Just pass this farm is a connection to the Milton Keynes Boundary Walk, if you fancy stopping off the stretch the dogs legs for a nice scenic walk.
We decided to stop for the night at 6.30pm stepping off our canal boat to eat at the Bridge Inn for some pub grub. Ideal for those with dogs and families, very accommodating.
We began by passing the outskirts of Milton Keynes with light industrial buildings to one side and a large nature reserve along the other, it’s a great route with ever changing landscape! We stopped at The Black Horse Bridge pub for a nice lunch at 1pm, we decided the weather was nice enough for eating in the pub garden with nice views of the canal. After starting off again we came across some professionally painted walls that appeared like graffiti and then passed over a main road on the Grafton Street Aqueduct with some impressive views.
We got a little way laid by the dredger boat on the water on the second day. A group of volunteers had dedicated their weekend to clearing up the waterways. Unfortunately their hard work did slow us a little, which meant we decided to turn an hour or so short of the Canal Museum. We came to the decision that it would be better to turn around rather than panic to get the boat back to Linslade on Monday morning! And of course, we knew we’d have to pass them again on our way back to the marina. Just goes to show how tricky it can sometimes be to plan your route before hand.
We turned our hire boat at Yardley Gobion, a village just south of Stoke Bruerne, just past the pretty Solomon’s Bridge. Cruised back to Thrupp Wharf and ate dinner at The Navigation Pub. Here children and pets are welcome in the eating area or garden. There is a selection of real ales and bar food available, and it had a really friendly atmosphere.
Heading back past Milton Keynes we noticed in the far distance what appeared the metal structure of a theme park ride, after further research we’ve determined this to be Gullivers Theme Park, featuring rides, splash zone and dinosaur area. If your travelling with the children and have a spare couple of hours, it looked at exciting place to stop! We cruised to a point along the canal an hour or so from the Linslade marina for our last supper- spent on board the boat. After our meal, we had a stroll up the tow path back toward the Soulbury Three Locks and enjoyed a nightcap at the lockside pub. By the way, the food looked great there too. Although you may choose to eat out at the Globe Inn on the last night, which also looked nice and served good food. (Mooring at the Globe in would have only left us 30 minutes cruising back to the marina, but we ran out of light!) Mooring just beyond the three locks left us with one hour’s cruising to get back on time.
We arrived at Linslade marina for 9am on Monday morning. Staff were ready and waiting for us. We were directed to our mooring and helped tie our boat up for the final time. We handed over the keys, off loaded our belongings and said a fond goodbye to our very comfortable home of three nights.
We all agreed, the weekend was thoroughly enjoyable as it was pretty active, but cruising along at 4 miles per hour, you get the relaxing feeling of watching the world go by. My novice boater friends fell totally in love with life on a narrowboat and have vowed to do it again… So the only question is where next?!
More photos will be up for Dawn’s Boating Holiday on our Waterways Holidays Facebook page.
To speak directly to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.
A perfect boating holiday for family groups of four are the Wier Class boats, ‘Teddington’ and ‘Shepperton’ from Wootton Wawen marina, near Stratford upon Avon. This class of boat is perfect for a family of four with a fixed double and two singles in the galley area. These boats are showing at a price of £625.00 for the weekend all inclusive.
From Wootton Wawen, you can amble down the Stratford Canal into Shakespeares town and experience a traditional british town, steeped in history and surrounded by Warwickshire countryside. From the marina to Stratford is a flight of 11 locks and two locks, taking approximately 4-5 hours, leaving you plenty of time to stop off for a long afternoon in the town and cruising onto the Upper Avon navigations.
Easter boating is proving to be a very popular family break, with the increasingly early Summers, this is a great time to try something different for a weekend away 0n the UK Canals in the glorious British sunshine.
The marina at Lower Heyford on the South Oxford Canal are offering a one way hire to Lechlade marina on the River Thames, on the 6 berth four star boat: ‘Godstow’.
This one way is suitable for a weekend break, commencing either the 29th/30th March 2012, if you can start on the Thursday the 29th this would give you a bit more cruising time. The marina will also provide a mini bus at Lechlade to return you to your car. Hurry this offer won’t be around for long!
Route Description: Starting on the South Oxford Canal, cruising through picturesque scenery, to Dukes Cut. From here you navigate onto the River Thames cruising West towards Lechlade. The route takes approximately 17 hours, working out about 7 hours a day for the Friday- Monday. Or if you can commence the holiday on the Thursday, this would make for a more leisurely cruise, and an opportunity to stop off at Oxford City Centre.
See below for further details on applicable holidays – valid until 12/03/12.
Visit the Thames and the Dreaming Spires of Oxford:
Combine a family boating holiday aboard one of the youngest narrowboats in the country with a sight seeing break in Oxford. Skirting the Cotswolds, the Oxford Canal meanders alongside picturesque parks – great for a family picnic and a chance to walk the dog. Visit Oxford with its dreaming spires, ‘home’ of Alice in Wonderland.
Check availability for Discounted Boating Holidays in Oxford:
Explore the stunning Pennine and Yorkshire Waterways:
Explore Yorkshire’s Secret waterways, where the scenery is grander, the waterways less crowded – and the beer cheaper! Three canals cross the Pennines, each with its own character, but all showing the determination of two centuries ago to get goods moving across the hills and build prosperity.
Check availability for Discounted Boating Holidays in the Pennines:
Visit the World Heritage Roman City of Bath by boat:
Save 10% this Summer when you visit the World Heritage City of Bath by boat. Set in rolling Somerset and Avon countryside, explore the quaint villages of Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge, experience the Avoncliffe and Dundas Aqueducts and visit the Roman City of Bath on selected boats from Bradford on Avon.
Check availability for Discounted Boating Holidays in Bath:
Click for all our special offers currently running: Canal Boat Holidays on the UK Canals or Motor Cruisers available for Norfolk Broads boating holidays.
The Norfolk Broads wouldn’t be complete without the sight of traditional yachts with their sails billowing in the breeze – the perfect place to enjoy some of the best inland sailing anywhere in the world. Broads yachts are built to harmonise with their surroundings and offer a choice of both traditional gaff rig sails to catch every breath of wind or modern bermudan rig for ease of handling. Most traditional yachts feature cosy traditional interiors evoking a sense of yester year and a slower pace of life.
Sailing on the Norfolk Broads is ideal for those with a little previous experience of sailing. If however, you are looking to sail for the first time on the Broads, Upton Marina can provide some introductory instruction, which can be booked in advance at a charge of £15.00 per hour. This will include sailing on the river to demonstrate basic sailing manouevres in confined waters plus exciting sailing on the open waters of the larger Broads. The duration of this instruction can be extended if further tuition is necessary, this will be charged at an hourly rate.
Sailing Yacht Rigs:
Perfect for a family of four with a little previous sailing experience is the yacht ‘Coriander’ with 3 single beds and 1 double. This 30ft yacht has a modern Bermudan rig with a 10hp Yanmar Diesel in the fore peak. The bermudan rig is most familiar to those with dinghy or coastal sea sailing experience and often includes a furling jib as well as the standard triangular mainsail. By comparison, the gaff rig, featured on the yacht ‘Windjammer’, is a more traditional Broads sail arrangement and is perfect to catch every last breath of wind. ‘Windjammer’ is a fast and elegant yacht built using traditional styling and she is equipped to a high standard. She sleeps 4 comfortably in a double and two singles.
Sailing yachts are the essence of the Norfolk Broads and have been present on the waters for over 50 years, hiring a sailing yacht is a perfect way to familarise yourself with the waters and forget the stresses of everyday life.
Just for all you boating fans out there, here’s an exclusive first look at some of the new boats for 2012 on the Waterways Holidays website and a reminder of some of the boats that were introduced in 2011.
‘Olympic Light’ from Potter Heigham- New to the Norfolk Broads in late August 2011.
A luxurious dual steering 6 berth motor cruiser with two shower rooms (full sized showers in each). Fully equipped with bow and stern thrusters to aid the boat when mooring or manoeuvring. Hydraulic drive with stern housed engine helps to make the boat quieter for those on board. There are LCD TVs and DVD players in both the saloon and rear cabin, with a satellite tracking dome to receive Freeview channels. There’s lots of handy little extra’s, such as a stereo radio/CD player with a premium sound system, LED lighting and a wine rack in the galley.
‘Radiant Emblem’ from Horning- Brand new to the Norfolk Broads in 2011.
A specially designed aft cabin cruiser. Combines a spacious interior saloon with a flying bridge up top, features modern home comforts including satellite TV. The master cabin is aft of the saloon and provides a nice space away from the rest of the accommodation. The forward two cabins have a separate shower compartment and toilet compartment. The upper helm allows for excellent views across the marshes and beyond.
Watch this space! New Norfolk Broads for 2012
‘Royale Light’ from Potter Heigham
A high class dual steering motor cruiser being built this winter. Fully equipped with three fixed double beds in three cabins fitted with sprung mattresses and two en suites. The upper sundeck is being built with seating for six and two sunbathing platforms for those wishing to soak up the rays.
Check out the Waterways Holidays facebook page for exclusive pictures of this boat being built at the Potter Heigham marina.
‘Quartet’ from Wroxham
A 5 star cruiser perfect for a party of four. With two double cabins, an en suite in the rear cabin and powerful full sized showers. Satellite TV with DVD and USB facilities available on board. This yard also supply dog life jackets as well for pet lovers wishing to bring their furry friends.
‘Heron’ from Rugby- New to the UK Canals late October 2011.
Classic cruiser stern boat, with well equipped galley including full sized fridge and a free standing cooker. The furnishing is modern light wood and there is a solid fuel stove providing a flare of the traditional working narrowboats as well as full central heating on board.
‘Princess class’ from selected UK marinas- New to the UK Canals early August 2011.
A cruiser stern narrowboat fitted to a high standard with a double bed and sprung bed mattress for extra comfort. The 47ft canal boat is carpeted throughout and has white walls and light wood furnishing for a light and airy finish. The shower in the bathroom, located next to the fixed double cabin, is full sized for extra luxury.
Watch this space! New canal boats due to be completed in 2012
‘Buckingham’ from Sowerby Bridge
Explore the historic Yorkshire Canals aboard 56ft ‘Buckingham’ from the base at Sowerby Bridge. Perfect for families of four to six, ‘Buckingham’ has a flexible bed layout with sprung mattresses on all permanent beds. Facilities on board include a radio/CD/mp3 player with four speakers, a TV/DVD player and 230v power for extras like the microwave and hairdryer.
‘Dove class’ from selected UK marinas
Coming to the waters in mid December are the Dove class boats available from Aldermaston on the Kennet and Avon canal, Gailey on the Grand Union Canal and Worcester & Avon. Flexible bed layout allowing for double or single beds, depending on the party. Fully equipped galley with some handy extra’s such as a microwave, toaster and filtered coffee machine.
‘Bond class’ from selected UK marinas
The four brand new bond class boats are available from Great Haywood, Bradford on Avon, Oxford, Bath, Trevor and Wootton Wawen, so plenty of marinas to choose from! These boats are fully equipped with flexible sliding doors for added privacy between cabins, and large stern and foredeck for groups to relax together in the open air. They are fitted with two shower and toilet cubicles with full sized showers as a luxurious perk.
‘Rachel’ & ‘Madeleine’ from Stockton & Warwick
Explore Warwickshire aboard two beautiful brand new narrow boats for 2012. Both still being built, 45ft ‘Madeleine’ will have a semi-traditional stern with a light interior providing comfortable accommodation for a family of four. 50ft Narrow boat ‘Rachel’ will be ideal for couples, complete with fully equipped galley, light interior and plenty of storage space.
Check availability for new boats in 2011 & 2012:
Click: Norfolk Broads boat hire to search for our live availability of Broads Holidays, or click: Canal Boat Holidays to search for our live availability on the UK Canals. Or give us a call on 01252 796400 to talk to one of our friendly team, the office is manned 7 days a week.
Waterways Holidays are delighted to introduce an excellent start location to our canal boat holidays for 2012. Situated on the Ashby Canal in Warwickshire, the marina is perfectly nestled in the scenic countryside, just a hop and a skip away from Warwick, Birmingham and Coventry.
‘Carlton’ is a luxurious 56 ft narrowboat. Perfect for two couples with a fixed double bed and a make up additional double in the Saloon. The narrowboats at Stoke Golding marina are fully equiped with a galley featuring oven, hob, electric fridge with small freezer, microwave, toaster and Cafetiere. They also include a welcome pack including fresh flowers, some nice biscuits, coffee and tea for your arrival. The boat ‘Carlton’ is a cruiser stern canal boat so there is plenty of room at the rear for the skipper to be seated with family and friends whilst navigating the hire boat.
Cruising from Stoke Golding:
A boating holiday on the Ashby Canal offers 22 miles of lock free cruising, perfect for those seeking a relaxing break. You can meander along the Ashby Canal and pass the historic scene of the Battle of Bosworth or cruise onto the Coventry Canal, cruising into the City Centre through Warwickshire countryside. Coventry offers something for everyone, famous for its historic cathedral, the area is steeped in history. You can also experience Coventry’s buzzing nightlife with an assortment of bars, pubs and clubs and the largest casino in Britain.
3/4 night break:
Stoke Golding to Atherstone + Return: (13 hrs out and back) lock free cruising.
Stoke Golding to Rugby + Return: (19 hrs out and back) 1 lock at Coventry.
7 night break:
Stoke Golding to Great Haywood + Return: (44 hrs out and back) 16 locks each way.
10+ night break:
Stoke Golding to Gas St Basin + Return: (50 hrs out and back) 50 locks each way.
A ring route that we recommend for a beginners first one way route as it is an achievable distance and not too lock heavy.
Along this route you can experience the Great British countryside at its finest one day and the next stop off for a touch of the hustle and bustle in Birmingham’s City Centre. With the benefit of being able to retire to your floating mobile holiday home in the evening after dining out in one of the many restaurants Birmingham has to offer.
Which Canals are part of the Lapworth Ring?
Cruising from the Lapworth Junction, where the Stratford upon Avon Canal meets the Grand Union Canal, you have a flight on 14 locks to navigate, to start your journey towards Birmingham. From Lapworth Locks you can see the Lapworth Church Spire in the horizon, nestled amongst shrubbery and white walled cottages. The Stratford Upon Avon Canal is the most lock heavy canal on this route, so starting your cruise with this navigation does allow you to cruise more leisurely after entering the Gas Street Basin at Birmingham. Lapworth is home to a few gastro pubs such as The Boot Inn, offering high quality food with a relaxed pub atmosphere, visible from the canal, amid the country lanes.
The Brandwood Tunnel, an intricate 322 metres redbrick tunnel built in the mid 1790’s, leads up to where the Stratford Upon Avon Canal meets at Kings Norton with the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Just past Lock 77, on the Worcs & Birmingham Canal, is the town of Bourneville and Cadburys World, a perfect stop off for chocolate lovers. The canals where crucial for Cadburys development, bringing milk deliveries from Ports at Southampton and London.
Travelling further North towards the City, the Worcs & Birmingham Canal is frequently joined by the railway line, weaving over the canal. Along the East, the University of Birmingham is one of the first indicators that you are approaching Birmingham, although the route is still dominated by rural views and overhanging foliage. The canal seems to meander through built up areas as though detached from the rest of civilization, with tree lined footpaths just a stones throw away from shopping centres, sports facilities and Birmingham’s Hospital. Waterfront apartments and restaurants welcome you to the Gas Street Basin, with limited mooring spaces available at the hub.
After the Aston Locks you are just over half way through the ring. The Grand Union Canal on this stretch until Knowle is lock free, allowing you to pick up the pace slightly, especially if you’ve found it difficult to tear yourself away from the hub of Birmingham! Knowle is home to the Knowle Park just 5 miles south of Solihull, a nice stop off for an afternoon of stretching the legs or picnicking on a sunny day. The village has all the amenities you could need as well if you are in need of topping up the essentials, or dining out in the evening.
This circular route is easily achievable in a weeks hire, with time to explore the various villages and Birmingham centre. The closest marinas situated near this ring are Alvechurch and Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. From these marinas, allow approx 3 hours to reach the junction of the Stratford upon Avon Canal, Kings Norton. This mini ring is an additional part of the bigger Black Country Ring, details which will follow soon!
To speak direct to one of our friendly team at Waterways Holidays Ltd, call us on 01252 796400, open 7 days a week.
For a visual representation of the Lapworth Ring see below: