BIRMINGHAM AND THE WONDERFUL TARDEBIGGE LOCKS FROM DUNHAMPSTEAD WHARF
You can do this route from :
Cruise the longest flight of locks in Britain to the Gas Street Basin in Birmingham, surrounded by old Wharves and boats, but just a short walk from many shops and restaurants
Cadbury World is signposted from the canal. Here, you will find an exhibition detailing the history of chocolate, audio-visual displays, Victorian Birmingham, and even a jungle to explore.
The 30 locks of the Tardebigge Flight makes it the largest flight in Britain, and raise the Worcester & Birmingham canal up 220 feet through some delightful rolling countryside just southeast of Bromsgrove.
Experience Britain's second city, a thriving cosmopolitan centre, with some of the finest shopping, culture and visitor attractions in Europe, with it's waterside pubs and colourful boating community.
Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holidayRead our cruising notes.
As you approach busy Hanbury Wharf, you will see the small lighthouse rising up in front of you. On leaving the Wharf, you will be met with beautiful parkland surrounding Hanbury Hall, before approaching the six locks which make up the Astwood flight, which are situated in beautiful pastureland.
You will now be approaching Stoke Wharf, from where you can travel to Stoke Pound Bridge to moor for the night, before tackling the 30 Tardebigge Locks tomorrow.
There are pubs near Bridges 42/44/48.
Set off from Stoke Pound Bridge, through the 30 Tardebigge Locks. As you climb the locks, the countryside opens up, with beautiful scenery and pretty cottages overlooking the canal. Between locks 50 and 54, the Tardebigge feeder reservoir can be seen on the east bank, and is a popular place for keen fishermen. The reservoir is 50 feet below the summit level and a steam engine used to be in use to pump water up the hill. The old engine house, which stands near the canal, is now a luxury apartment block.
Above Tardebigge Top Lock you will approach Tardebigge Wharf, which is overlooked by the 18th C church of St Bartholemew, on the hill towards the east. There is a mooring site conveniently placed at the Wharf, from where you can stroll into the village, perhaps for refreshments before continuing your journey.
Leaving this pretty village, you will now pass through Tardebigge Tunnel, which is 580 yards long. From here, the canal winds through the beautiful, hilly Worcestershire countryside, and before long you will reach the 613 yard Shortwood Tunnel, cruise onto Bridge 60 where there is the Weighbridge Pub.
Alvechurch is a pleasant town with some fine half timbered houses.
You will travel to the Gas Street Basin & Brindley place in Birmingham, which is where you will start your return journey.
In the distance, you will see Wast Hills Tunnel, which is said to be one of the longest in the country, at 2726 yards long.
Leaving Alvechurch, you will soon reach Hopwood, where you will find Hopwood House, a canalside pub, serving good food all day. Children are welcome and there is a large beer garden with play equipment.
Once you leave here, you will approach Wast Hills Tunnel, with its grandiose bridges spanning the cuttings at either end.
On leaving the tunnel, you may like to stop at the visitor moorings at Cadbury World, although prior booking is advisable. This is one mile north of the Kings Norton Junction, and is signposted from the canal. Here, you will find an exhibition detailing the history of chocolate, audio-visual displays, Victorian Birmingham, and even a jungle to explore.
Moving on about three miles, you will reach the Gas Street Basin, which is at the heart of Birmingham's canal network. This has been redeveloped into a unique experience, where traditional narrow boats can moor up alongside cosmopolitan cafe's and bars and you can enjoy a variety of entertainment, arts and shopping opportunities, all within a short walk.
If you choose to moor up next to the Sea Life Centre, you will be spoilt for choice with the variety of cuisine on offer, with over 500 restaurants to choose from offering Caribbean to Nepalese, Thai to Italian, and many more. You will also find clubs and bars, cinema's, theatre's and comedy clubs.
Among other attractions are the National Sea Life Centre, Fine Art Galleries, and the Jewellery Quarter, which dates back over 250 years and is still home to over 400 jewellery businesses.
It is a designated conservation area, with only 200 listed buildings, and has been described by English Heritage as 'a unique historic environment in England'.
For those who like a little retail therapy, a visit to the Bull Ring is a must. It covers an area the size of 26 football pitches, and has an enormous range of shops.
Also nearby, is the National Indoor Arena, one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe.
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.