Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide


You can do this route from :
Springwood Haven.

Springwood Haven



Most famous for its incomparable Castle, Warwick offers much, from its racecourse to the beautiful Priory Park. There is certainly enough here to fill a couple of days.

Warwick Castle is well worth a visit, and is possibly the finest medieval castle in the country. It is open all year, except Christmas. See the Kingmaker Exhibition, which uses wax sculpture to recreate the preparations for battle in 1471, as well as the dungeons, ghost tower, and sumptuous state rooms.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 7.00 to 11.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 46.00 hours

Total Distance : 94.00 miles

Number of Locks : 54

Number of Tunnels : 2

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

Cruise through Nuneaton until you reach Marston Junction, then continue south do not turn left along the Ashby canal, with the suburbs of Bedworth to your right.
Another junction is soon reached, Hawkesbury Junction, where the Coventry canal continues its journey to Coventry but you will be turning sharp left along the Oxford canal and the through stop lock where the water depth changes by about 4 inches!
It is a lovely place to moor for the night , and you have cruised for 8.5 hours.

At Hawkesbury Junction you will see many traditional boats, an fine engine house and useful facilities. To the east of the Junction you can see Hawkesbury Hall, now a private house.

There is a pub at the Junction, called The Greyhound, a traditional canalside pub, dating from the 1800's, which serves food and real ales. There is a garden and mooring here, and children are welcome.

From Hawkesbury Junction, you will now be heading towards, Bridge No. 84, which is 20 miles away.
Firstly when you leave the moorings, you will go under the M6 Motorway Bridge, then turn right onto the Oxford Canal.

On this stretch of canal, the Motorway runs alongside, to your right, until you reach bridges 7 and 9, where the canal veers off to the left. However, at M69 Motorway Bridge No. 13A, you will again go under the Motorway, on your way to Ansty.

Other than the distant noise of the Motorway, the landscape is pretty remote, with just the odd farm here and there.

Ansty is a small picturesque village that grew up next to the canal. Ansty Hall is a popular location for weddings and other events, and is dated 1678. There is a pub in the village, called The Rose and Castle, serving food and real ales. Children are welcome, and there is a large play area in the canalside garden. Moorings and water are also available there.

Moving on, through a couple of small aqueducts, rolling fields flanking the canal, you will again pass under the M6.

Soon you will reach Stretton Stop, with the Stretton Wharf to the left. Stretton Stop was formerly a place at which tolls were taken. The scene here today is invariably busy and colourful. Boaters should take care not to collide with the foot swing bridge which links the towpath side with the boatbuilding sheds on the opposite bank.

If you want to, you can moor up here and make your way into Brinklow, a pre-industrial village, with a motte and bailey mound alongside the C15th Church of St John. There are a good selection of pubs here – The White Lion, a traditional coaching inn, children and dogs welcome; The Bulls Head, a family pub; The Raven, also family-friendly – to name just three.
Cruising on through pretty farmland, you will soon pass All Oaks Wood to your right. There are moorings here if you want to go exploring.

A little further, and to your left, you will see a quiet little village called Harborough Magna.

Very shortly, you will approach Newbold Tunnel, which is 250 yards long, and as you emerge from it, you will be in Newbold-on-Avon, on the outskirts of Rugby. Moorings at Newbold Tunnel make a pleasant stop, the Barley Mow is by Bridge 50.

There is a shop, PO & fish & chip shop in Newbold, nearby is the Newbold Quarry Park, now a nature reserve. The Newbold Tunnel is 250 yds long and was built during the shortening of the Oxford Canal in the 1820's. Don't miss Newbold Quarry Park- a nature reserve beside the canal on the site of an old limestone quarry. There are 14 day moorings nearby.

If you want to moor up and take a look around Rugby, there is much to see, including The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum and The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum. You can moor thoughout the Rugby area, at Ansty, Brinklow, Newbold, Brownsover, and Hillmorton.

As you cruise on, you will notice that to the left is mostly open countryside, whilst to the left it becomes more built up again as you approach Hilmorton.

By Hilmorton Visitor Moorings alongside the canal is a pub called The Old Royal Oak (by Bridge No. 73, with its own moorings), serving food all day, real ale and has a children's room and play area. Also nearby, is Canalchef Cafe, a licensed cafe with a beer garden.

Between Rugby & Braunston the Oxford Canal hops from County to County, as it goes backwards & forwards between Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. it runs through wide open country, it is an ancient landscape and by Bridge 87 medieval ridge and furrow field patterns are in evidence.

The canal takes its time travelling between Rugby & Hillmorton, passing through fields and reed beds.

Cruising through a largely isolated and quiet stretch of canal, with fields flanking the canal, the peace will be temporarily shattered by the noise of the M45 at Barby, as it crosses the canal.

Then a wide curve to the right around Barby Hill, onto a straight stretch of tranquility as you approach Willoughby, a small village to the right of the canal.

A little further on, and you will reach Braunston, and Braunston Turn, the junction of the Grand Union, Oxford and Grand Junction Canals.

Braunston is set up on a hill to the north of the canal, and is a popular canal centre. The village has houses of all periods, and is predominantly one long main street.

Just beside Braunston Marina, is a cafe in a narrowboat, called *The Gongoozler's Rest, serving breakfasts, sandwiches and more. There are also a selection of pubs, including The Wheatsheaf, The Old Plough and The Boathouse.

Braunston itself is an important canalside village, set up on a hill to the north of the Canal, at the junction with the Grand Union canal.
There is a historic canal wharf here. The Old working boats have now gone, but you can wander around and see new boats being built, old ones restored and a regular stream of traffic up and down the locks beyond the marina.
By Bridge 91 is the Mill House pub .

At Braunston Turn, you need to bear right, onto the Grand Union Canal (Oxford Canal Section).

The canal meanders through quiet, rural countryside, as you make your way towards, Napton Junction. En route, you will pass Flecknoe, off to the left and then Lower Shuckborough, also on the left. This is a tiny village, worth mooring up for if you want to stretch your legs for a bit with its picturesque victorian church.

At Napton Junction, you need to bear right, onto the Grand Union Canal (Warwick and Napton Canal), passing Napton Reservoirs and the marina above, home to Calcutt Boats.
At Napton Junction the Oxford canal sets off on its long winding course to the Thames, whilst we follow The Grand Union which strikes off north towards Birmingham.

Napton is a hilltop village about 15 mins walk from the Canal, with 3 pubs and well stocked PO stores. There are useful bus links to Leamington Spa.

From the Junction, you can clearly see the windmill on top of Napton Hill.

The rolling countryside continues on through Stockton Locks you will notice the remains of the old narrow locks, besides the newer wide ones.

Around here there is a change in the landscape,with the hills coming much closer to the Canal, broken by old quarries and thick woods along the south bank. The quarries produced blue lias, a local stone, huge fossils have been found here dating from the Jurassic period.
A canalside pub is the Blue Lias Inn by bridge 23 at the top of the flight of locks.

Long Itchington is just to the left of the canal about half a mile, where there are plenty of pubs to choose from, including The Two Boats Inn, The Duck on the Pond and The Harvester. All serve food and real ales, and all welcome children.

Fields and distant hills flank the canal as you make your way to the Bascote Locks, which descend towards Warwick.
The two top locks at Bascote form a staircase, and are besides a pretty toll house.

Once through the locks, you will once again be in wooded countryside, then descending through Fosse Locks.

There is a pretty wooded cutting as you pass through Radford Semele, a suburb of Royal Leamington Spa.
Soon you will be cruising through Leamington, where halfway through the town, the canal enters a cutting, hiding it from the road and railway.

If you want to have a look around Leamington, there are numerous places to moor. The Fusilier, The Lock, Dock and Barrell and The Grand Union, are among several pubs within walking distance of the canal.

Leamington Spa is a prosperous Regency Spa town, with a great choice of individual shops and high street stores. Don't miss Jephson Gardens- formal town centre gardens with a new £3 million lakeside pavilion containing a temperate House explaining plant evolution from 500 million years ago to the present day. There are 48 hour moorings at Clements Street & Emscote Rd.,

Cruising onwards, out of Leamington, you will cross the River Avon via an aqueduct at Emscote, into the suburbs of Warwick.

The best place to moor if you want to go into Warwick, is by Bridge 49. It is then about a half hour walk. Another good place is from the Saltisford Canal Centre.
Warwick has plenty to offer. Don't miss Warwick Castle with its Kingmaker exhibition, which uses wax sculpture, sounds and smells to recreate the preparations for a battle in 1471, as well as the dungeons, ghost tower and sumptious state rooms.
Also Market Hall Museum; Lord Leycester Hospital – C14th timber framed buildings, incorporating the Chapel of St James, the Great Hall and a galleried courtyard, also housing The Museum of the Queen's Own Hussars.

After Cape Locks, the canal swings round to the left, towards Budbrooke Junction, with the Saltisford Arm branching to the left.

Near to Cape Locks is a canalside pub called The Cape of Good Hope, whose speciality is fish dishes. There is lockside seating, and children are welcome.

From Cape Locks you will soon be at Budbrooke Junction where you can turn for the journey home


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)
Great Dusky Swift Canal Boat
Class : Swift
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Hooded Grebe Canal Boat
Class : Grebe
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Musician Wren Canal Boat
Class : Wren
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Flutist Wren Canal Boat
Class : Wren
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Foxy Lark Canal Boat
Class : Lark
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Silver Gull Canal Boat
Class : Gull
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Tufted Duck Canal Boat
Class : Duck
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Wood Lark Canal Boat
Class : Lark
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Pintail Duck Canal Boat
Class : Duck
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Cape Warbler Canal Boat
Class : Warbler
(Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Yellow Wagtail Canal Boat
Class : Wagtail
(Sleeps a maximum of 10 People).

Forget Me Knot Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Lock N Roll Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Moor Than Enough Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).


Maps and Guides

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

Pub Guide

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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.