The ‘Lapworth Ring’

Ring Stats

42 miles
approx. 26hrs

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?

  • Stratford upon Avon Canal
  • Grand Union Canal
  • Worcester & Birmingham Canal

    Lapworth Lock
    Lapworth Lock

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.

Canal Boat at Gas Street Basin
Canal Boat at Gas Street Basin

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!

Search for your boating holiday on the Lapworth Ring:

Departing between which dates?
For how long?

 Or click to search for all our Canal Boat Holidays or to search for motor cruisers available for Norfolk Broads boat hire.

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:

Lapworth Mini Ring
Lapworth Mini Ring