AVON RING FROM WORCESTER
You can do this route from :
A fabulour cruise along the Stratford upon Avon canal, the Rivers Avon & Severn, visiting historical towns like Worcester & Tewkesbury & Evesham, & the home of the Bard himself William Shakespeare - Stratford upon Avon, and the location of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Allowing two weeks enables a detour down to Gloucester to visit its docks, warehouses and museums.
Worcester ,Tewkesbury, Evesham and Stratford each offer a superb mixture of culture, history and shopping.
Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holidayRead our cruising notes.
If doing this trip over 11 or 14 days spend more time sightseeing the lovely towns that you pass through, eg Worcester and Stratford upon Avon.
Worcester has plenty to offer the visitor, including the imposing cathedral which dates from 1074. In Friar Street is Greyfriars, dating from 1480 this is one of the finest half-timbered houses in the country. Charles II escaped from here after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. It is now owned by the National Trust.
The museum at the Royal Worcester Porcelain works is well worth a visit, as it contains the most comprehensive collection of Worcester Porcelain in the world.
There are many bars, pubs and restaurants and takeaways around Worcester, and plenty of shops to stock up on supplies, or for a little retail therapy.
Turn right out of Lowesmoor Wharf and proceed down the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, and perhaps moor at the Diglis basin before you get onto the River Severn.
It is 2 hours to here .
Once on the Rivers you can only moor at recognised sites, and be prepared to moor up side by side where this does not obstruct traffic. Moorings are marked as M on the Maps.
You go through the Diglis Locks to the River Severn. Once through the last lock turn left and you will begin your journey down to Tewkesbury. Cruising on the River is very different to the Canals, there is no continuous towpath and therefore no right to land and moor up as you please. The scenery is one of quiet water meadows & prolific bird life. Moor up only at recognised sites .
The River winds its way through lovely peaceful countryside passing delightful towns like Upton upon Severn, which is situated on the riverbank with various pubs close by. As Tewkesbury approaches, turn left just after King John's bridge, avoiding a shallow spit projecting from the junction with the River Avon.
The Avon Lock is operated by a resident Lock-keeper, & is only open from 9am to 6pm, or until 8pm in May-August. In the winter you can use the lock yourself. He is also closed for lunch between 1-2pm. last locking 15 minutes before closing time. You will need to buy a Lower Avon navigation trust licence to cruise on the River Avon.
You can moor up in Tewkesbury it is 5.5 hours cruising to here.
Time to explore the historic town of Tewkesbury with its many attractive & ancient buildings including of course, it's cathedral-like Abbey, which is reckoned to be one of the finest Norman churches in the Country. The abbey was completed about 1120, and is splendid both inside & out. Its magnificent and beautifully decorated tower stands at 130 feet high and 46 feet square, and is the largest Norman tower in existence.
The most unusual buildings in Tewkesbury are the row of medieval shops near the Abbey, in fact most of the medieval aspects & character of the town have survived to this day.
One of the more unusual aspects of the town is the maze of small alleyways leading off from the main street. There is a couple of museums, and the Tourist information office can tell you more about other attractions.
The Battle of Tewkesbury fought here in 1471 was the penultimate battle in the War of the Roses.
There are many pubs and hotels in Tewkesbury.
From Tewkesbury cruise along the River Avon which twists and turns through the lovely vale of Evesham, passing small villages like Bredon with its many fine timbered buildings. Just beyond the Severn Sailing club, beware of a weir which spills into the River creating a very strong cross current when the river in high. The same is true of the weir just past Pershore.
Pershore is a small market town with many well kept Georgian buildings set amongst the many fruit farms & market gardens that are scattered all over this area. Just past Pershore is Fladbury, another picturesque village of half timbered cottages and houses. Craycombe farm, just north of Fladbury & Evesham Golf course, is a farm shop where you can buy fresh fruit and veg, local ciders & country wines, and home make cakes & preserves. There is also a gift shop, both are open all year.
Moor after Pershore lock at the designated mooring.
It is 5.5 hours to here, or continue onto Wyre Piddle where the Anchor Inn provides the only mooring for the Village., it is another hours cruising
The River continues on its meandering course past small villages including the lovely named Wyre Piddle, just opposite Tiddle Widdle island, and where you will find the Brewery that makes 'Piddle in the Hole' Ale!! (Wyre Piddle Micro-brewery is North west of the Anchor Inn. Open Mon-Fri).
The Anchor Inn here is ideal for mooring.
On your approach to Evesham, look out for the cable across the rive, this is Hampton ferry, the wire will be lowered when the ferry man hears 3 blasts of your horn.
In Evesham there are 3 lots of Visitor moorings along the River, as the Avon cuts a loop around Evesham, the last and most extensive are by Workman Gardens.
There are many pubs & restaurants in Evesham, and even a night club!
Evesham has many elegant Georgian houses and fine timbered buildings.
It is 5 hours cruising to here from Tewkesbury
On your departure from Evesham take the centre arch at Workman bridge, avoid the weir just after Evesham lock, and then keep to the left for a short distance.
The Lock-keeper here sells Lower Avon Navigation trust Licences, he is open from 9-6 or 9-8 May to August. During the winter the lock is set for manual operation. Out of these hours you cannot go through the lock, nor during his lunch time 1-2pm!
Evesham Country Park at Twyford is a short walk on your left hand side as you approach Offenham on your right. This is a shopping & garden centre & also incorporates the Vale Wildlife Centre. There is a narrow gauge steam railway running through the 130 acre Park.
The River now heads away north approaching Bidford-on-Avon with its splendid bridge. The village makes a good place for mooring , there are a few pubs close by. The river continues to meander its way as it enters Warwickshire and Stratford -upon-Avon is reached. There are moorings opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre by the recreation ground.
Stratford has endless streets of low-timbered buildings. The whole town is full of Shakespeare relics and buildings, like Ann Hathaway's Cottage, Shakespeare's birthplace, and Halls' Croft where his daughter lived, and numerous bars and restaurants.
Cruising time to here is 8.75 hours.
Unless you are planning to stay a night in Stratford, leave the mooring to head for the village of Wilmcote, the home of Shakespeare's mother .
Wilmcote is just north of the Wilmcote locks, a flight of 11 locks, rising just over 77 feet in total. Before these locks, is Bishopton Lock, on the outskirts of Stratford.
Once moored, Wilmcote village will be to your left. There is a fine old pub here, called The Mary Arden Inn, due to its proximity to Mary Arden's house. Real ales, and bar and restaurant food are available. There is a beer garden, and children are welcome. Nearby, is another pub called The Masons Arms, with open fires, and also serving food and real ales. Again, children are welcome.
You have cruised for 3 hours and done 3 miles.
You will be heading towards Lapworth Locks.
As you cruise out of Wilmcote, you will be heading towards Edstone Aqueduct (South end). This is the longest aqueduct in England, with a towpath that is level with the canal bed, making it even more unique. At this end of the aqueduct, there is a very pretty cottage.
For a while the canal straightens out as you head towards Wootton Wawen. After navigating Bearley Lock, the canal curves to the left, and as it straightens again, you will see Austy Wood and Manor away to your right. A bend to the right takes you over another aqueduct, and Wootton Wawen is to your left.
If you want to moor up here, there is a conveniently placed pub, called The Navigation, which is in the basin. Real ale and home-cooked food are available. There is a garden with children's play area, overlooking the canal.
Continuing, you may just be able to see Wootton Pool over to your left, as you wend your way through the peaceful countryside. You will soon get to Preston Bagot Locks, Claverdon Top Lock, then Yarningdale Aqueduct. You will now be able to moor for the night if you wish.
Canalside, there is a pub called The Fleur-de-Lys, at Lowsonford. You can moor here, but you must ask first, and don't tie up to the trees. Again, real ale and bar meals are available, and there is a large canalside garden, which is safe for children to play in.
It is 8.5 hours to here
Cruising northwards, the canal crosses the M40, disturbing the relative peace for a while, as you meander through mostly open countryside. To the right, you may see the Grand Union Canal, as it too makes its way to Kingswood Junction.
Once you reach Kingswood Junction, keep left, on the Stratford Canal. Lapworth Lock No. 21 is between the two branches, then you will navigate the locks until you reach No. 14. You can moor here for the night, before tackling the rest tomorrow.
There is a handy shop near to Lock No. 14, and a pub called The Boot Inn. Children and well-behaved dogs are welcome. Real ale and food served lunch and evenings.
After completing the Lapworth Locks, you continue past Lapworth village, and on to Hockley Heath, to the right of the canal. Here you will find a few shops near the canal, and a pub, The Wharf Inn, which is canalside. Children are welcome and there is an outdoor adventure playground.
If you have time, and want to explore a bit, there is a cycle hire shop in Hockley Heath, called Dynamic Rides (www.dymamicrides.co.uk; 01564 783332).
Moor here for the night it is 6 hours cruising
North of Hockley Heath, you will pass under the M42 bridge, then on through some quiet countryside, cruising through Warrings Green and Earlswood.
You will see boats moored near Earlswood as it is the base for the Motor Yacht Club. To the left of the canal are Earlswood Lakes.
Following a wooded and twisting course, you will shortly reach the suburbs of King's Norton. As you cruise further into the suburbs, you will soon reach Brandwood Tunnel (352 yds). Once through it, you will soon be at King's Norton Junction. You need to bear left here onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
Moor near Bridge 71 and there is a nice pub- The Navigation Inn about 100 yards west of Bridge 71 on your right
Looming in front of you now is Wast Hills Tunnel (2,726 yds). It is one of the longest tunnels in the country. It is often difficult to see right through, and there are lots of drips, so perhaps put on a waterproof jacket for the duration!
At the end of the tunnel, you will soon be in Hopwood. If you want to stop here, there is a pub called Hopwood House, canalside. Real ale and bar meals are served all day. Children are welcome until 9pm.
To your right you will be able to see the Bittell reservoirs, and again you will go under the M42 Bridge. Just beyond here is Alvechurch, a pretty little town with a marina.
Again, there is a pub here called The Weighbridge, right beside the marina, food is served, but not every day, so do check first. There is a larger pub in the village.
And at Bridge 61, also canalside, is The Crown Inn, serving bar food.
It is 6.75 hours to here.
Leaving the marina, head towards Shortwood Tunnel (614 yards long), which seems longer due to the 3mph speed limit! Watch out for the drips, as tunnels are very wet.
Once through, you will cruise through some very tranquil and pretty countryside, with the sound of birdsong just audible above the gentle chug of the boat, before reaching the 580 yard Tardebigge Tunnel.
Just the other side of the tunnel, you will soon spot Tardebigge Top Lock No. 58 – the first one in the mammoth flight!
You won't have much chance to stop once you start on the locks. The flight consists of 30 narrow locks over 2¼ miles, and is the longest in the United Kingdom, just take your time and you will soon feel like you've been doing it all your life!
Before you know it, you will reach Tardebigge Bottom Lock No. 29.
If you have time and want to moor up, there is a really nice pub across canal (accessible by bridge), called The Queens Head. The food here is really good, and children and dogs are allowed in the restaurant if they are well-behaved. If you're lucky, you will get a table by the window, or outside on the decking, overlooking the canal.
It is 6 hours to here from Alvechurch.
Moving on from here, you will soon reach Stoke Locks at Stoke Prior, and once through, you might like to moor and have a look around this pretty village as there is a nice pub called The Navigation. It has a pretty, sunny beer garden, and the food is very good value for money.
Stoke Wharf is another hours cruising from The Queens head.
Moving on from Stoke Wharf, you will approach Astwood Locks, a flight of six, but by now you should find it much easier.
Past Hanbury Junction, you will soon be at Dunhampstead Tunnel, a mere 230 yards long, after which, you will eventually see Tibberton Top Lock No. 16. Not too far from Bridge 25 is a pub called Speed the Plough, with real ale and bar meals. Children welcome until 9pm.
You then navigate the Tibberton (or Offerton) Locks, then, after a pleasant and peaceful cruise, you will encounter Tolladine Lock No. 10 and Blackpole Lock No. 9.
More locks follow at intervals, and soon you get to the last ones before reaching Lowesmoor Wharf – Gregory's Mill Locks.
You might like to moor up before the Gregory's Mill Locks, as about a miles walk away are shops including Lidl and MacDonalds, at Blackpole Road Trading Estate.
The cruise from here to Lowesmoor is lovely, with country scenery. In the distance you can see Worcester Cathedral. If you are lucky, you may spot a heron or two.
As you approach Lowesmoor, there is an enormous bridge, then a sharp turn to the right, where you will soon see the sign for Worcester Marina.
It is 7.5 hours to here from Stoke Wharf.
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
Pubs available on this canal route:-
|Pub Name||Pub Address||Distance from Worcester||More Info|
|Crown Inn Italy||Henley Road, Claverton CV35 8LJ||Full Details|
|Drawbridge Inn||5 Drawbridge Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 1DD||Full Details|
|Eagle Vaults||Frair Street, Worcester WR1 2LZ||Full Details|
|Ewe And Lamb||Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove B60 4DN||Full Details|
|Fleur-de-lys||Lapworth Street, Lowsonford B95 5HJ||Full Details|
|Gupshill Manor||Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury GL20 5SY||Full Details|
|Mercure Stratford Upon Avon Shakespeare Hotel||Chapel Street, Stratford Upon Avon CV37 6ER||Full Details|
|Pen And Parchment||Bridgefoot Quay, Stratford Upon Avon CV37 6YY||Full Details|
|The Anchor Inn||54 Diglis Road, Worcester WR5 3BW||Full Details|
|The Anchor Inn||54 Diglis Road, Worcester WR5 3BW||Full Details|
|The Anchor Inn||Anchor Lane, Fladbury WR10 2PY||Full Details|
|The Barn||Stratford Road, Hockley Heath B94 6NX||Full Details|
|The Beckford Inn||Cheltenham Road, Tewkesbury GL20 7AN||Full Details|
|The Blue Bell Cider House||Warings Green Road, Hockley Heath, Solihull B94 6BP||Full Details|
|The Canterbury||Ashchurch Road, Tewkesbury GL20 8BT||Full Details|
|The Chequers Inn||Chequers Lane, Fladbury WR10 2PZ||Full Details|
|The Country Girl||Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B30 3DZ||Full Details|
|The Crown Inn||Withybed Lane, Alvechurch B48 7SQ||Full Details|
|The Dirty Duck||Waterside, Stratford Upon Avon CV37 6BA||Full Details|
|The Eagle Vaults||Friar Street, Worcester WR1 2LZ||Full Details|
|The Encore||Bridge Street, Stratford-upon-avon CV37 6AB||Full Details|
|The Fir Tree Inn||Trench Lane, Droitwich WR9 7JX||Full Details|
|The Firefly||54 Lowesmoor, Worcester WR1 2SE||Full Details|
|The Fleet Inn||Twyning, Tewkesbury GL20 6FL||Full Details|
|The Frog||High Street, Bidford On Avon B50 4BG||Full Details|
|The Golden Bee||41-42 Sheep Street, Stratford Upon Avon CV37 6EE||Full Details|
|The Hanbury Turn||Hanbury Road, Stoke Heath B60 4LU||Full Details|
|The Hopwood House||Redditch Road, Alvechurch B48 7AB||Full Details|
|The Kings Head Inn||67 Sidbury, Worcester WR1 2HU||Full Details|
|The Kings Head||Riverside, Upton Upon Severn WR8 0HF||Full Details|
|The Mary Arden||The Green, Wilcote CV37 9XJ||Full Details|
|The Masons Arms||Aston Cantlow, Wilmcote CV37 9XX||Full Details|
|The Navigation Inn||Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen B95 6BZ||Full Details|
|The Navigation||Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior B60 4LB||Full Details|
|The Navigation||Wharf Road, Kings Norton Birmingham B30 3LS||Full Details|
|The New Inn||Main Road, Cropthorne WR10 3NE||Full Details|
|The Nottingham Arms||High Street, Tewkesbury GL20 5JU||Full Details|
|The Old Swanne Inne||66 High Street, Evesham WR11 4HG||Full Details|
|The Peacock Inn||Icknleld Street, Kings Norton B38 0EH||Full Details|
|The Punchbowl||Lapworth B94 6HR||Full Details|
|The Red Lion||Station Road, Claverdon CV35 8PE||Full Details|
|The Royal Hop Pole||94 Church Street, Tewkesbury GL20 5RS||Full Details|
|The Royal Oak||5 Vine Street, Evesham WR11 4RE||Full Details|
|The Star Inn||23 Bridge Street, Pershore WR10 1AJ||Full Details|
|The Swan Hotel||Waterside, Upton Upon Severn WR8 0HG||Full Details|
|The Wharf Inn||2390 Strattford Road, Hockley Heath B94 6QT||Full Details|
|The White Lion Hotel||High Street, Upton Upon Severn WR8 0HJ||Full Details|
|The Windmill||Church Street, Stratford-upon-avon CV37 6HB||Full Details|
|Wheatpieces||2 Clifford Avenue, Tewkesbury GL20 7RW||Full Details|
|The Weighbridge||Scarfield Wharf, Alvechurch B48 7SQ||Full Details|
|The Bulls Head||77 The Green, Kings Norton B38 8RU||Full Details|
|Berkeley Arms||Church Street, Tewkesbury GL20 5PA||Full Details|
|Boat And Railway Inn||Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove B60 4EQ||Full Details|
|Bridge Inn||Lowesmoor Terrace, Worcester WR1 2RX||Full Details|
|The Garrick||25 High Street, Stratford Upon Avon CV37 6AU||Full Details|
|The Boot Inn||Old Warwick Road, Lapworth B94 6JU||Full Details|
|Anderson s At The Bulls Head||Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen B95 6BD||Full Details|
|The Oak||Stratford Road, Hockley Heath B94 5NW||Full Details|
NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.