BIRMINGHAM RING FROM STRATFORD UPON AVON

 

Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide

 

You can do this route from :
Stratford-upon-Avon Marina

Cruise past attractive villages with half timbered houses at Wilmcote and Wootten Wawen from the medieval market town of Stratford upon Avon birthplace of William Shakespeare to the Uk's 2nd biggest city Birmingham with attractive lovely Canal wharves.

Visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried, and the house where he was born as well as Anne Hathaway's cottage.

Edstone aqueduct 475 feet (200 yards) in length- the longest aqueduct in England.

Gas Street basin is in the heart of Birmingham's canal network, it has been has been redeveloped into a unique experience where traditional narrow boats moor up next to cosmopolitan cafes and bars. The surrounding area is a vibrant arts and entertainment area and there are many shopping options within a short walk.

Amongst some of the attractions are the National Sea Life Centre and the Jewellery Quarter Discovery centre, also many fine Art galleries and over 500 restaurants offering every choice of food!

For shopping a visit to the new Bullring is a must, which covers an area the size of 26 football pitches and a has a huge range of shops.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Cruising Days : 7.00

Cruising Time : 41.00 hours

Total Distance : 61.00 miles

Number of Locks : 110

Number of Tunnels : 4

Number of Aqueducts : 2

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.

 

Download the Cruising Notes

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Download our cruising notes.

 

 

 

 

Cruising Notes

Day 1

You may decide to spend your first or last night exploring Stratford on Avon itself, this beautiful medieval market town is the 16th century birthplace of William Shakespeare.

If you do you can stay at the base which is within walking distance of the town, from here you can visit the many pubs, shops and restaurants that the town has to offer, as well of course as the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried, and the house where he was born as well as Anne Hathaway's cottage.

Day 2

Your cruise today will take you through the quiet stretches of the Stratford Canal to the small village of Lowsonford and the lovely 13th century pub called the Fleur de Lys, the famous pies were once cooked here.

There will be lots of locks today so have a hearty breakfast!

After your first lock at Bishopton, there are the 11 Wilmcote locks to negotiate , but the countryside is pleasant, so take your time.

The small and attractive village of Wilmcote is west of bridge 59 and has a couple of pubs- The Mary Arden Inn and The Masons Arms, the village is also home to Mary Ardens house , mother of William Shakespeare, but it is now known that she actually lived 300 yards away at Glebe Farm, but still worth a visit as it incorporates a museum of rural bygones and is furnished as the home of a yeoman farmer in Shakespeare's time.

Cruising on you soon reach Edstone aqueduct 475 feet (200 yards) in length- the longest aqueduct in England .

Wootton Wawen basin is a popular halt with boaters because of the nearby pub- the Navigation Inn, farm shop and craft centre. Nearby just west of the aqueduct towards the village is Yew tree farm, & Craft centre a collection of 14 business and cafes ranging from clothing to antiques to speciality teas.

The village has many timbered houses and a glorious Saxon church which dates from 1035, most of the tower and walls survive from that time, with many later additions from the 14 and 15th centuries.

The canal continues its peaceful course with a few locks, not passing any villages except Preston Pagot to the west of Bridge 48 with the Crabmill Inn close to the canal, until you reach Lowsonford and the Fleur de Lys pub just north of lock 31.

The trip will take 7.75 hours and there are 21 locks .

Day 3

Today will see you start around the Birmingham Mini Ring and you leave the Stratford Canal, and you can moor up in the heart of Birmingham tonight, amongst the lovely old wharves of the Gas Street Basin or Cambrian Wharf.

At Kingswood Junction turn sharp right just after lock 22 and then turn left to travel north up the Grand Union Canal . The Navigation Pub is canalside by bridge 65 and easy of here is Baddesley Clinton, a national Trust Medieval manor House and gardens little changed from when the local squire lived here in 1633. It is best reached along the Heart of England Way footpath .

The canal continues its peaceful route for just a bit longer , with canalside pubs after bridge 69 and by bridge 70 and soon the Knowle Locks are reached, with the village of Knowle to the west after the 5 locks are negotiated. Knowle has a number of buildings dating from the Middle Ages and a remarkable church built in 1402.

Catherine de Barnes village is a useful supply centre and stopping point before Birmingham is reached, the Boat Inn is canalside.

You can stop here for the night, it is 5 hours cruising to here, but if you go any further it will be difficult to moor and there are a lot of locks between here and Cambrian Wharf or the Gas Street Basin!!!

5 hours cruising to here


Day 4

The food store by Bridge 84 is a useful place to stock up with groceries and vegetables.

From Knowle Locks you will have a long stretch before any more locks are reached which will be the Bordesley Locks in Birmingham. Before that, just a short walk south of Bridge 88 is the Tyseley locomotive works & Visitor Centre. The Museum covers 7 acres and houses both static and working, check website for open days.

At Bordesley Junction just after the locks, keep straight on do not turn right along the Grand Union canal. Ashted locks are soon reached on the Digibeth Branch, turn left at Aston Junction and negotiate the Farmers Bridge Locks.

Just after these locks moor up in Cambrian Wharf, which is a bit quieter than Gas Street Basin, but if mooring is scare, just turn left at Deep Cuttings Junction and moor near the Gas Street, or there are several Canal loops close to there where you can moor. There are many restaurants and pubs around here.

Its is 7 hours to here

Gas Street basin is in the heart of Birmingham's canal network, it has been has been redeveloped into a unique experience where traditional narrow boats moor up next to cosmopolitan cafes and bars. The surrounding area is a vibrant arts and entertainment area and there are many shopping options within a short walk.

Amongst some of the attractions are the National Sea Life Centre and the Jewellery QuarterDiscovery centre, also many fine Art galleries and over 500 restaurants offering every choice of food!

For shopping a visit to the new Bullring is a must, which covers an area the size of 26 football pitches and a has a huge range of shops.


Close by is the National Indoor Arena, one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe. (Website www.thenia.co.uk)

Day 5

From Cambrian Wharf turn left at Deep Cuttings Junction past Gas Street Basin and the Mailbox and enter the Worcester and Birmingham canal .

Just past Birmingham University you reach Bournville, and you can moor here and visit Cadburys World (pre-booking required) It is signposted from the canal. There is an exhibition dedicated to the history of chocolate, audio visual displays, Victorian Birmingham and a Jungle to explore!

Soon you will reach Kings Norton Junction and you turn sharp left, notice the Old Toll House to your right just as you turn, you are now back on the Stratford canal.

The lock free stretch continues as you leave Birmingham behind .

here are very few villages along this stretch, but there is a steel lift bridge which is lowered & raised electrically, and you will need your british waterways key for this. One button does all!

The Canal continues through the countryside until you get to Hockley Heath where you can get refreshment at the nearby Wharf Inn.

Hockley Heath has several shops conveniently close to the canal bridge and there is a handy Cycle shop- Dynamic Rides.

It is 7 hours to here

Day 6
Day 7
Day 8

Bridge 26 and 28 operate hydraulically using a lock windlass.

The canal continues on its quiet south easterly course, briefly interrupted by the M42 overhead. Soon the first of the Lapworth locks is reached, 4 are spaced out, then the flight begins in earnest with 9 locks only a few yards apart, so you crew will be walking a lot for a while!

There is a useful canalshop by Bridge 14, meanwhile the locks are interspersed with the old cast iron split bridges that are typical of this canal, these bridges are built in 2 halves separated by a 1 inch gap so that the towing line between the horse and the boat could be dropped through the gap without having to disconnect the horse.

There are shops south of Bridge 34.

Below Junction 19 is Kingswood Junction which you last saw on Day 3, this time you are carrying straight on through locks 21-24 along the same route you did on Days 1 and 2.

It is 14 hours from Hockley Heath back to the marina, so take your time and enjoy the sights you didn't see on your trip up the canal!

 

NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.

Boats

The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)

Avon Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Blythe Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Cherwell Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Farndale Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Roman Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Tamar Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 7 People).

Tame Valley 6 (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Tame Valley 8 (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Wharfedale Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.

 

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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.