TRENT AND MERSEY CANAL STONE TO FRADLEY JUNCTION
You can do this route from :
The Trent & Mersey Canal, engineered by James Brindley, was the country’s first long-distance canal. It is full of interesting features, which reflect its history.
There is a nature reserve at picturesque Fradley 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
Some of the wildlife to be found here including kingfishers, herons and moorhens
Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holidayRead our cruising notes.
The canal drops into Stone from the north east with open fields and wooded areas to the right forming a green barrier to the urban development beyond, the bulk of Stone lies to the east bank. There is a profusion of services and shops in Stone with the High Street being pedestrianized and lying just a short walk from the canal it is very convenient.
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 .
At Salt there is a pub here- The Holly Bush inn, reached southwards over a stile then onto the lane from Bridge 82.
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
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.
The canal soon enters quiet countryside until it gets to the village of Armitage and adjoining Handascre 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.
It is 6.5 hours to here
Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
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.
It is 2 hours to here from Handascre.
Turn around and begin the journey home, it is 10-11 hours back to Stone, so cruise for another 3-4 hours today leaving a reasonable 7/8 hours left on your last full 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.
Maps and Guides
Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.