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Leisureley cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal, passing lovely canalside pubs and villages, including Burton on Trent, the home of brewing.

Visit Burton on trent, internationally known as the brewing capital of Great Britain .
Marstons Brewery Visitor Centre give tours of the brewery, including the unique and world famous Burton Union System.

The back lanes of Alrewas hide pretty half-timbered thatched cottages.

The Swan public house is situated at Fradley Junction, where the Trent & Mersey meets the Coventry Canal and is one of the most picturesque waterside locations in the Midlands.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 34.00 hours

Total Distance : 64.00 miles

Number of Locks : 42

Number of Tunnels : 0

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.






Cruising Notes

Day 1

As you are on the outskirts of Stone, you may like to stay moored up and visit the town before leaving.
Stone is a busy, pleasant town, with excellent shopping facilities. At the canalside there are dry docks, wharves and old brewery buildings, as well as the old priory church which in 1751 was rebuilt by the parishioners. There are also plenty of pubs and restaurants to choose from if you want a meal before setting off, for example: The Star (canalside); The Three Crowns; The Crown Hotel.

South of Stone the trees surrounding the canal thin out somewhat opening up views of land that is flatter than a lot that came before it giving far reaching views across endless farmland. It is slightly unfortunate that the canal just can’t seem to shake the busy A51 road and the railway line but noise aside the cruise at this point is picturesque. If the road and rail to the east is too much the River Trent makes a fine constant companion on the opposite side.

The open countryside is punctuated by the occasional coppice of trees or sleepy village, most offering a welcoming local pub to drop into including Burston, Sandon, Salt but shopping opportunities are a bit thin on the ground .

You can moor at Sandon by Flute Meadow bridge 84 as it is 2 hours to here and the Dog & Doublet awaits you to the north in the village, (left along the lane).

It is 2 hours to here

Day 2

At Salt there is a pub here- The Holly Bush inn, reached southwards over a stile then onto the lane from Bridge 82.

Soon the canal arrives at the Great Haywood Junction.
Great Haywood is where the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal meets the Trent and Mersey, Shugborough Hall lies just to the south west of the junction -
Shugborough Estate -Journey through the historic estate of Shugborough and experience the nation's best 'upstairs downstairs' experience. Set in 900 acres of stunning parkland and riverside gardens with elegant mansion House, working Victorian Servants' Quarters, Georgian farm, dairy & mill and restored walled garden, which are brought to life by costumed living history characters who share their lives and powerful stories from the past with visitors. Explore Lord Lichfield's private rooms and hear the stories of one of the nation's grandest families, with NEW Shugborough Revisited.

Beyond the Great Haywood Junction the Trent Valley is broader and more open.
You pass Little Haywood on your left , a small village accessed over the railway by bridge 72, with its 2 pubs.

Cannock chase to the south covers an area of 26 miles and has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty. Near the Sherlock valley are German war graves from the 1st and 2nd World wars. The museum of Cannock Chase illustrate the life of the Chase, from medieval times to a 19th century colliery.

To the south of Wolseley bridge is a pub, indian restaurant, and antique, craft & garden centre.

You will pass Spode House, to the west, a former home of the pottery family.

The huge power station at Rugely now makes an appearance , and the canal crosses the River Trent via an aqueduct.

The town of Rugely is very pleasant , there are moorings by Bridge 66, and the town centre and shops are only a short walk away.

Moor here for the night it is 5.5 hours to here.

Day 3

The canal soon enters quiet countryside until it gets to the village of Armitage and there is a very popular restaurant called Tom Cobleighs Spode Cottage, also the Plum Pudding Pub is canalside, and the Ash tree at bridge 62, There is useful store 500 yards south of Bridge 59, and a fish and chip shop and a cafe near Bridge 58 and the Crown pub is canalside.

You begin a 5 lock flight which is your arrival at Fradley Junction, where you meet the Coventry Canal.
There is a boatyard here, a British Waterways information centre and cafe, and a very popular pub, The Swan – reputedly one of the most photographed pubs in the country. It is in a 200 yr old listed building, with cosy fires, real ales, and good bar meals with a carvery on Sundays.
You may spot some of the wildlife to be found here including kingfishers, herons and moorhens
Visit the Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, and perhaps have a go at pond dipping, or view the abundance of birdlife from the bird hide. For the more energetic, pick up a map and guide and try one of the wonderful walks - listen out enroute for the green woodpeckers.

The canal continues quietly until it reaches Alrewas,
The canal meanders through the village, passing well tended gardens and a bowling green. With the C13th church, a friendly and tranquil felling is created. The back lanes hide pretty half-timbered thatched cottages. There is a fine butchers shop, and also well worth a visit, is a wonderful wine & whisky store – Barkers of Alrewas - which has hundreds of bottles of Scotch whiskey among its stock.

Good pubs here are The Crown Inn, near Bridge No.46 and The George & Dragon in the village.

Moor here for the night , it is 5.5 hours to here

Day 4

From Alrewas the canal soon follows Ryknild Street an old Roman Road, from Wychnor Bridges up to bridge 36.
Flooded gravel pits are west of the canal after Bridge 36 and Branston Water Park is based here.
Branston Water Park was originally an open cast gravel pit and is now home to many species of plants and animals, both common and nationally rare. The reed bed is particularly important to wildlife as it is one of the largest in Staffordshire.
The site is a Local Natural Reserve and has also received the prestigious Green Flag award again this year and has successfully held the award since 2005 in recognition of the quality, cleanliness, safety and wildlife value of the site.
In recent years the site has been improved with better signage, a small visitors centre and ample parking. There is a level path running around the entire site giving excellent disabled access, a children's play area, toilets and information on the types of birds and habitats that are found at Branston Water Park.

Branston is soon reached, home of the famous pickle, and the outskirts of Burton on Trent. The lovely aroma of brewing- malt and hops, often pervades the town, Burton-on-Trent has traditionally been associated with the brewing industry, it is internationally known as the brewing capital of Great Britain.

At the Horninglow Basin you might like to moor up and get some fish and chips. The Grange Inn is located a 4 minute walk from Shobnall Fields bridge 32b

You can visit the Heritage Brewery Museum if you moor up here, or you can use the visitor moorings at Shobnall.

Coors Visitor Centre is 3-4 miles from Horninglow Basin. Here, you can see all aspects of brewing during the late C19th, and also a preserved steam engine, cafe & shops. Conducted tours round the Brewery are also available.

Marstons Brewery Visitor Centre Tours of the brewery, including the unique and world famous Burton Union System, are generally available Monday to Friday. At the end of the tour, sample some of the real ale in the Visitor Centre. Please telephone in advance to book if you want to visit.

You can turn at either Shobnall or Horninglow.
If you prefer you can moor for the night at Branston after you have turned .

It will take 4-5 hours to Burton upon Trent.

Day 5 6 7

Cruise the 17 hours journey back to Stone, about 6 hours per day


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.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)
Maria Canal Boat
Class : Ginger2
(Sleeps a maximum of 2 People).

Angela Canal Boat
Class : Classic3
(Sleeps a maximum of 3 People).

Ginette Canal Boat
Class : Ginger3
(Sleeps a maximum of 3 People).

Patricia Canal Boat
Class : Ginger3a
(Sleeps a maximum of 3 People).

Mino Canal Boat
Class : Mino
(Sleeps a maximum of 3 People).

Agnes Canal Boat
Class : Classic4
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Frances Canal Boat
Class : Classic4
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Alice Canal Boat
Class : Ginger4
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Lucy Canal Boat
Class : Ginger4a
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Carey Canal Boat
Class : Ginger4a
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Martha Canal Boat
Class : Ginger6
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Olivia Canal Boat
Class : Ginger6a
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Elinor Canal Boat
Class : Ginger8
(Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Lilian Canal Boat
Class : Ginger8
(Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).


Maps and Guides

Sorry, we don't have any maps for this route currently

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Stone More Info
The Grange Inn The Grange Inn Casey Lane, Burton On Trent DE14 2JQ Full Details

NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.


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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.