Canal Boating Holidays on the Mid Worcestershire or Droitwich Ring

The sleepy Droitwich Canals have just reawakened after almost a century of closure.  Years of restoration work estimated at a cost of approximately £12.7 million have been invested into the reopening of the canals. The canals and the River Severn link to form the Mid Worcestershire mini Ring-perfect for three night breaks.

Picturesque Bridge on the Canals
Picturesque Bridge on the Canals

The Droitwich Canals, being some of the oldest, were designed by James Brindley, to connect the River Severn with Droitwich town’s salt industry in 1771. After the introduction of the rail network, and following competition from other industrial developments, the Canals were no longer required. The mid 1920’s saw the last boat to cruise the Droitwich Canals before their closure.

The ring stretches approximately 22 miles and consists of 30 locks, achievable in a short break and ideal for holidaymakers wanting to do a ring that isn’t too ambitious.

Dawn, from Waterways Holidays, took to the waters to experience the Mid Worcestershire Ring last week, following the Droitwich Canal Opening and Water Festival.  We thought it might be interesting to share a few of her personal experiences of the mini ring with you:

Having just done the Mid Worcestershire Ring, how easy did you find it to achieve in a weekend break?

It was comfortable, although we did keep an eye on the time as there are so many distractions along the way! The boat yard at Stoke Prior was really helpful. On arrival, they chat with you about the route, places to moor and eat out before you depart.

What did you experience each day?

Day 1

We left Stoke Prior at about 3pm and arrived at Dunshampstead within 4 hours of rural cruising, to moor up for dinner at The Fir Tree Inn.  The Fir Tree Inn is a pub/restaurant recommended to us by the marina, with lots of great food on the menu and a good selection of real ales and wines.

Worcester Cathedral from the Waters
Worcester Cathedral from the water

Day 2

We arrived at Worcester City centre at about 3pm. If you want to go into the City centre, then its best to moor up above lock 3, and simply cross the bridge. Worcester is a very picturesque city with lots of charming architecture and greenery. The magnificent Worcester Cathedral can be seen towering above the City from almost everywhere. The afternoon was spent exploring the beautiful City and shopping with the girls in the many high street stores.  After a pub dinner, we moored overnight at one of the 48 hour mooring spaces.

Day 3:

We journeyed up the River Severn, a stretch with no free mooring spaces- so don’t forget some change if you’d like to stop.  The only lock you come to on this part of the river is manned, so just wait for the go ahead and drive the boat in, watching the lockkeeper do the work. It took approximately two hours to get to Droitwich Spa and we moored up at Vines Park, where you can eat out in the town or shop at the Waitrose nearby. We discovered Droitwich is a town known for its salt spa, which is equal in salt density to the Dead Sea. This area is a very pretty, historic hub with lots on natural heritage sites.

What was the highlight?

“Being able to do a ring in the weekend- even if you’re a beginner”

Thanks Dawn for giving us your review of the Mid Worcestershire Ring.

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