ATHERSTONE AND RETURN FROM RUGBY
You can do this route from :
Rugby is a bustling market town in Warwickshire, situated on the River Avon, and is the second largest town in the county.
William Webb Ellis is credited with the invention of rugby football, which occurred when he broke the rules of a regular football match at Rugby School in 1823. The game is now played worldwide, and there is a museum in Rugby dedicated to the sport.
The town centre is just a 30 minute walk from the marina, as are Tesco and banks. There are also a selection of pubs and restaurants very near.
The route to Atherstone passes through peaceful countryside and open landscapes, almost continuously, until the approch to Hawkesbury Junction.
There are lots of pretty moorings en route, along with villages and pubs.
Leaving the marina, you will cruise north-west towards Newbold Tunnel, which is 250 yards long, and is suitable for two-way traffic. There are moorings here, and a choice of pubs – The Barley Mow and The Boat Inn.
Continuing north-west, the canal runs through pretty farmland, and to your left you will soon see All Oaks Wood, with good moorings, but if you want to continue, you can moor up at Easenhall Lane Bridge No. 34, just beyond the woods.
In nearby Brinklow there is a selection of pubs – The White Lion, The Bulls Head and The Raven.
You will have cruised 5 miles in about 2 hours.
Today you will be heading for Rawn Hill Bridge No. 34, about 18 miles away.
On leaving your mooring, you will cross and embankment, which was once an aqueduct, but now its arches are filled in, and a little further is Stretton Wharf, where there are moorings.
Moving on through rolling countryside, the canal enters a deep cutting which is spanned by the M6 motorway.
A wide arc through the open countryside takes you to Ansty, and meets the M6 again at Stone Bridge No. 9.
Ansty is a tiny canalside village. The two buildings of note in the village are St James' Church and Ansty Hall, built in 1678.
This last stretch of the Oxford Canal then ends at Hawkesbury Junction, also known as Sutton Stop, after the name of the first lock-keeper. There are lots of boats permanently moored here and it is a busy junction.
Once at the junction, you will need to bear right onto the Coventry Canal, heading towards Bedworth, on your left.
If you want to stock up on provisions, now may be a good time to do it, or in Nuneaton, the next big town.
Leaving Bedworth behind, the canal wends its way towards Marston Junction, where the Ashby Canal meets the Coventry Canal. Stay on the main line, through a stretch of open fields, and you will soon be in the suburbs of Nuneaton.
Near Boot Bridge No. 20 there are good moorings if you want easy access into the town, which is a typical Midlands town. There is a Tourist Information Centre here, along with Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, which features artefacts from prehistoric to medieval times, among many other things.
There are a selection of pubs nearby – The Horseshoes, Bilberries and The Crown.
The canal winds north-westerly along the side of a hill out of Nuneaton. Disused quarries are now transformed into nature reserves, with the largest mountain of waste now known as Mount Judd, or as 'Jess' locally. Views north, towards the Anker valley are unspoilt throughout the open stretches of countryside.
Just beyond the quarry, is Hartshill, which was once a mining community. For walkers, there is a nice route over Hartshill Green to Oldbury Camp, which is a Bronze Age hill-fort, spanning seven acres. There are shops in the town, which is just a 15 minute walk from the canal, and a couple of pubs, The Anchor Inn and the Malt Shovel.
You can moor here, by Apple Pie Lane Bridge No. 31.
You will have cruised 16 miles and navigated 1 lock, in around 7 hours.
Continuing, the canal leaves the quarry belt and heads towards Mancetter, via open countryside and woods flanking the canal.
Mancetter is in the suburbs of Atherstone, and there is an interesting C13th church with almshouses in the churchyard, dating from 1728.
Once you reach Atherstone Top Lock, you will see the winding hole, where you need to turn in preparation for your return journey.
Atherstone is a pretty market town, with a market square in front of the church. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants in the area, for example: New Dolphin Inn; Market Tavern; The Black Swan and The Kings Head, to name but a few.
Once you leave Atherstone (after turning), find a nice place to moor for the night, and start to retrace your steps tomorrow.
Today you will be on your return journey back to Rugby, perhaps stopping to see things you missed on the way.
You will return the boat to the marina by 9.30am today.
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.
Maps and Guides
Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.