NOTTINGHAM AND RETURN FROM KINGS ORCHARD MARINA
You can do this route from :
Kings Orchard Marina.
Nottingham is a City of culture and home to some of the best shopping in the UK, an exciting cultural calendar and recognised nationally for the quality of its restaurants and bars, this city has it all.
Nottingham’s compact city centre with new free Wi-fi hotspots, pedestrianised streets and tram system make it easy to get around.
Check in at the Galleries of Justice Museum, City of Caves and Nottingham Castle and the National Ice Centre before sitting down to eat at one of the award winning eateries . As the evening takes over, why not enjoy an evening of music and entertainment at historic Malt Cross and Nottingham Playhouse?
Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holidayRead our cruising notes.
When you leave the marina, head northwards and follow the Coventry Canal through open countryside to Fradley Junction where the canal ends just beyond a swing bridge as it meets the Trent & Mersey Canal. Steer carefully as this junction is very popular with gongoozlers who will watch as you negotiate the sharp right bend from the Coventry straight into Junction Lock. This is a hotspot with an award-winning nature reserve, and a pub and teashop to tempt you too.
Continue east through the locks along the Trent & Mersey Canal towards Alrewas. This pretty village sits close to the River Trent and was once famous for basket weaving from the trees which grew in the river’s floodplain. It is now known as the location of the National Memorial Arboretum, just under two miles from the canal. Below Alrewas Lock, the canal actually joins the river for a short way, so keep well away from the signposted weir.
From Wychnor Lock, the canal runs straight and parallel to the A38, formerly the old Roman road of Ryknield Street. At Barton-under-Needwood, the large marina makes an interesting stop-off as it is a mini shopping village with plenty of places to eat – there’s even an estate agency based on a boat! After descending Barton Turn Lock, the A38 parts company with the canal near bridge 36, so peace resumes. Branston Water Park, a Local Nature Reserve in a former gravel pit, offers walk trails and a café. It has one of the largest reed beds in Staffordshire so is home to varied species of plants and animals. Just beyond the park, the village of Branston is home of the famous pickle, first created here by Crosse & Blackwell in 1922.
The canal now reaches Burton-on-Trent where a visit to a pub is mandatory to soak up the town's famous brewing heritage. And if you have time, visit the National Brewery Centre. Brewing in Burton dates back to the Middle Ages when monks used to brew beer for their own consumption as well as for visitors. The town’s water created excellent beer, and the advent of the Trent & Mersey Canal enabled hops and barley to be easily transported in, and Burton’s beer to be transported out to much of the country. At its height, Burton had over 30 breweries producing hundreds of thousands of barrels of ale each year.
The canal doesn't actually go through the centre of the town, but along one side of it, so you might like to moor up and have a stroll into the town.
The canal now meanders through open countryside as you cruise towards Burton-upon-Trent
Stenson is a popular place to moor and has a large marina. A bend takes you towards Willington, with the railway running alongside the canal, then bisecting the village. There are two pubs in close proximity to each other – The Rising Sun and The Dragon, again both serving food and children welcome.
Near to Bridge No. 18 is Alreston House, then Stenson Lock, the fall is 12' 4”, so again, do take great care. Next to the lock is a pub called The Bubble Inn, with a canalside garden where children are welcome.
If you want to stop, there are pubs in Swarkestone and Barrow-upon-Trent – The Crew & Harpur Arms and The Brookfield. Both welcome children and serve food.
Between the canal and the river is a little sleepy village called Barrow-upon-Trent. The countryside is peaceful and green, with perhaps only the odd one or two trains breaking the silence.
Continuing through the Trent Valley, you will soon reach Swarkestone, where at the lock there is a short arm used for mooring. Away to the left of the canal you may be able to see Swarkestone Bridge, an C18th five arch stone bridge spanning the River Trent. Swarkestone Lock is very deep – 10' 11” - so do take care when descending it.
The next point of interest is Weston-on-Trent, a small village scattered away from the the canal.
Shardlow is a traditional canal village, and not to be missed. Trent Mill is a fine example of canal architecture, and is now known as the Clock Warehouse (pub), after being restored in 1979.
There are traditional canalside pubs here, for example, the Clock Warehouse (see above), The Old Marina Bar and Restaurant, The Navigation Inn, The Malt Shovel and The New Inn, all serving real ale and food at lunchtimes and evenings. Children are welcome at all of them, as are dogs.
Nottingham centre is about four hours cruising from Sawley marina.
It takes less than an hour to get to Trent Lock, where the River Trent meets the River Soar and the Erewash canal.
The Navigation Inn and Steamboat Inn are located canalside, as are the Lockhouse tearooms.
Once through the Cranfleet Lock, you will pass Attenborough Nature Reserve on your left, which is 145 hectares of flooded gravel pits and islands, and is the ideal habitat for a range of birdlife, plants and other wildlife.
An hour and a half's cruising on the wide River Trent from Cranfleet Lock brings you to Beeston Lock and the entrance to the Trent & Mersey canal section of Beeston Cut.
Watch out for the large arrow signs to keep you away from unnavigable sections of the river.
Take care to keep left of the entrance to the Canal, giving the weir to to your right a wide berth.
Once through the lock, there are moorings to your left. You can walk across the bridge to view the weir and river which sweeps away to the south of the Canal.
There is a bar in the nearby Marina Club, overlooking the river, or a short walk into Beeston will bring you to the Boat and Horses in Trent Road (2nd road on the left walking back from the lock, then 1st right).
Another hour and a half will bring you into Nottingham. It is recommended that you moor near Castle Marina for any overnight stays.
You can only go as far as Nottingham, as the river is tidal beyond this point and our boats are not equipped for this, nor are we covered by insurance.
A short walk canalside brings you to the Castle Lock, where you can leave the canal & walk up the hill to the town centre.
Nottingham Centre has many attractions, such as the Castle and museum, the City of Caves, and Galleries of Justice, all within 10 minutes walking distance of each other.
On Saturdays, there is a ghost walk from 'Ye Old salutation Inn'.
Nottingham has been voted fifth best shopping destination in the country. The compact city centre is perfect for shopaholics. And the myriad of cafes and bars scattered across the City are the perfect place to rest your legs after a tiring day exploring the city.
Nottingham Castle sits high atop Castle Rock, one of Nottingham's defining sights. Enjoy the stunning views across the city from the Sheriff of Nottingham's legendary home. This 17th century ducal mansion has over 1000 years of history waiting to be explored. The Castle's museum of fine art charts 15 centuries of Nottingham history through the eyes of regional, national & international artists. Open daily 10am -4pm (summer 5pm)
Robin Hood Statue- Join celebrities and millions of visitors who have had their photo taken at the famous Robin Hood statue at Nottingham Castle.
Join Robin Hood for a guided tour through the Castle’s caves. Listen to the fascinating stories that Robin has to tell as you descend into the dungeon. This is a not to be missed tour and a great photo opportunity for all.
The Robin Hood Cave Tours at Nottingham Castle happen every Saturday & Sunday (Sundays only until end of May)
NCCl Galleries of Justice- situated in the Lace Market in Nottingham, An award winning tour of Crime & Punishment brought vividly to life. You now have the chance to experience some of Britain's most gruesome, yet often touching reminders of what prison life would have been like for inmates & prison staff over the last 3 centuries.
Nottingham is also home to a £43 million National Ice Centre, with 2 Olympic sized Ice rinks.
One of the Ice pads transforms into a 10,000 capacity arena, & hosts some concerts from some of the best bands around.
The City of Caves is beneath Nottingham city and is well worth a visit. These man made caves date from Anglo Saxon times, you can see how these caves have been used and adapted over the Centuries by local people to escape & take refuge from the world above.
Nottingham has a fast & efficient state of the art tram system that has made getting around Nottingham even easier. Central Trains Robin Hood line links you to some of those attractions further north.
To the North of Nottingham at Edwinstowe is the 450 acre Sherwood Forest Country Park, once part of a Royal hunting forest. There is also the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre with the Robin Hood Exhibition, 2 shops and a restaurant.
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 don't have any maps for this route currently
Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.