Cruise 20 -
The Warwickshire Ring £1950pp
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21st September - 5th October 2022 (14 nights)
From: Fazeley Mill Marina (Birmingham & Fazeley Canal)
To : Fazeley Mill Marina (Birmingham & Fazeley Canal)
Via: Warwickshire Ring (Anticlockwise)
Deep Cuttings Junction,
Gas Street Basin,
Bournville (Cadbury World),
Kings Norton Junction,
Royal Lemington Spa,
Napton Junction (Wigrams Turn),
Since our previous guests departed, we’ll have spent a couple of days (hopefully) moored in the marina with electric hook up - it’s so much easier to get through 5 loads of laundry ‘plugged in’ than on the boat’s power. We should be ready for our new travelling companions to arrive around 1.30pm.
After the usual introductory blah blah (and ubiquitous glass of something fizzy), we’ll pull ropes and chug off in a south easterly direction. If it’s a nice day, we’ll probably put in a bit more effort than usual and aim to get up through Curdworth locks before tying up for the night near the tunnel.
Next morning, we’ll chug off through the tunnel (it’s only a small one), through Minworth locks –probably stopping briefly to top up the water tank. When we reach Salford Junction, we’ll take the 2nd exit so to speak and work our way up Aston Locks and call it a day around Aston Road Bridge.
After an early breakfast the following day, our journey will continue up through central Birmingham, passing Gas Street Basin and we will aim to tie up either before (or after) Edgbaston Tunnel.
Now on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, the following day is less strenuous than of late. We’ll work our way through Selly Oak – possibly stopping for a visit to Cadbury World if desired, before we take a left turn at Kings Norton Junction onto the Stratford and Avon Canal. IF we’ve made good progress and not detoured into Cadbury world, we might travel to the end of the canal at Hawkesley (just to tick it off in the book) and then retrace our chugs to Kings Norton Junction. Our suggestion mooring for tonight being near Warings Green – trying to keep a little way back from the M42 motorway.
We’re heading down hill now for a while and our next day will take us through Lapworth Locks - topping up the water tank most likely before we turn on to the Grand Union canal at Kingswood Junction and look for somewhere to settle down for the night.
The next day, we can discuss whether to put in a long one (and get down the Hatton 21 lock flight) or take it steady and moor for the night at the top – ready to begin our descent the following morning. If we have made it down the flight today, our efforts may be rewarded by having tea in The Cape of Good Hope.
We’re in Warwick now and from memory there are several pubs alongside the canal in the lower pound… perhaps a lunchtime libation will be on offer before we leave the area and get into Leamington Spa – it’s hard to tell where Warwick ends and Leamington Begins.
After a hopefully peaceful night somewhere around the bottom of Bascote Staircase, we’ll begin our ascent and aim for the top of Stockton locks by the end of the day.
As we continue our journey around the ring, once up through Calcutt locks, we’ll come to Wigrams Turn (where the Oxford Canal meets the GU) and we’ll turn left at Napton Junction to make our way to Braunston Turn (where we’ll turn left and continue on the North Oxford section) our journey will take us around Willoughby and we’ll probably tie up around bridge 85 for the night – perhaps to facilitate a visit to the Rose Inn (Willoughby) if we can be bothered with the walk.
The next day will be quite a slow one – from memory there are a lot of linear moorings which will mean long distances on tick over. Once through Hill Morton locks, we’ll be skirting Rugby and probably aim for Newbold on Avon for the night to use the services.
A lock free day lies ahead as we navigate North Easterly, through Ansty to Hawkesbury Junction (where we turn right on to the Coventry Canal) and pass through Bedworth and on to Nuneaton.
Our penultimate day’s cruising will take us through Atherstone Locks – perhaps on as far as Polesworth trying to keep ‘this side’ of the M42 for a more peaceful evening.
We’ve not got far to travel on our last day – perhaps we can pausing a while around lunchtime for a visit to the remains of Alvecote Priory, before heading through Tamworth and on to our mooring back at Fazeley for our final evening together - We’ll say our goodbyes and bid our guests farewell after breakfast the next morning.
NONE of the suggested overnight stopping places are set in stone – we can play it by ear/weather and adjust our stops accordingly.
Total distance is 104 miles, 120 locks . There are 5 moveable bridges; 28 small aqueducts or underbridges and 6 tunnels (Curdworth Tunnel (57 yards long), Factory Tunnel, Edgbaston Tunnel (105 yards long), Brandwood Tunnel (352 yards long), Shrewley Tunnel (433 yards long) and Newbold Tunnel No 49 (250 yards long)