19th - 24th August 2021 (5 nights)
From: Aston Marina (Stone – Trent & Mersey Canal)
To: Baddesley Basin (Atherstone -Coventry
Great Haywood Junction,
Aston Marina (Stone) to Atherstone
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Since our last guests departed, we'll have re-stocked and chugged on down to Aston Marina for a few days on Shoreline... Ellis is self sufficient but it's nice for a change to be plugged in to the National Grid – especially during a change over... laundry is SO much easier with mains power rather than running the engine for hours on end to power the washing machine and tumble dryer.
We're starting this cruise from Aston Marina (visitor moorings) on the outskirts of Stone... having had a few days off here in the past, it's a lovely marina with a very friendly vibe to it. We're in 'proper' canal territory on this cruise - skirting our way along part of the Black Country Ring.
Our guests will arrive about 1.30pm and after an introductory blah blah, we'll chug off (perhaps with a glass of fizzy stuff in hand) and probably aim to spend our first night together around Weston upon Trent or if we've made good progress (and the sun is shining) maybe Great Haywood Junction.
After a (hopefully) peaceful night, we'll have a late departure if desired so our guests can explore Great Haywood before lunch... perhaps a visit to Shugborough Hall? - after which, we'll chug off through Little Haywood and aim to tie up for the day around Fradley Wood - before Fradley Junction.
Next morning we'll continue our journey along the Black Country Ring and (turning right at Fradley Junction) onto the Coventry Canal towards Huddlesford – perhaps stopping off for a pint in the pub at Huddlesford or to explore the Wyrley and Essington Canal arm (on foot) around lunchtime. After we've eaten, our journey will continue to Fazeley Junction and (probably after topping up with water) we'll moor somewhere around Tame Aqueduct for the day.
Continuing along the Coventry Canal, we'll pass Alvecote Nature reserve and the remains of a Benedictine Priory.... stopping to explore if desired. Perhaps we'll have a shorter day and tie up around Polesworth.
Our final days travelling will be another short travelling day – bringing us to the bottom of the Atherstone flight by lunchtime... Depending on the weather, we may take a view on whether to moor up at Baddesley Basin as planned or perhaps tie up near Watling Street Bridge which is a little closer to the railway - (to make it easier for our guests to catch their train home the following morning after breakfast)... if that's not possible, we may aim for the top of the flight instead.
This is a trip of 41 miles and 15 locks and none of the stopping places on this trip are set in stone... we'll just amble along and go with the flow – stopping to explore whenever we like.