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You can do this route from :
Kings Orchard Marina.

Kings Orchard Marina



Despite the almost constant proximity of conurbation and industry, the Warwickshire Ring manages to carve a surprisingly rural route through manicured fields and ancient meadows for much of its length.
It gives visitors a glimpse into the heart of England , with villages, towns, tunnels, and plenty of locks including the Stairway to Heaven

It passes interesting towns like Warwick and its Medieval castle and Britains 2nd biggest city at Birmingham, along with tiny canal settlements and rural landscapes.

It is such a varied cruise that visitors will enjoy each day which brings a different experience.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 10 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 10.00 to 14.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 66.00 hours

Total Distance : 119.00 miles

Number of Locks : 120

Number of Tunnels : 6

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

Cruise south from Kings Orchard marina to Tamworth- about 4 hours cruise and a good place to stop for the night.

At Huddlesford is the junction with the Wyrley & Essington Canal, now only used for private moorings. There is an award winning friendly canalside pub here, - The Plough serving real ale & good food.

The next village you will reach is Whittington. There is a PO stores, garage, chemist, Chinese takeaway & off licence. The village centre is to the west of Whittington Bridge, the shops are best approached from Bridge 78. There are 3 pubs here, The Swan Inn on the Canalside, and the Bell Inn & Dog Inn in the main street.

From here you can catch a bus into Lichfield, which is well worth the detour. You can also catch a train into the centre of Birmingham from Litchfield.
The three spires of the 13th century Cathedral in Lichfield, the 'Ladies of the Vale' are a visible landmark for miles around. The modern shopping centre contrasts sharply with the graceful Georgian buildings of the city centre. There are excellent pubs & restaurants and night clubs, with a Farmers market on Sundays.

Between Whittington & Bridge 78, the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal changes to the Coventry Canal.

Just beyond here there is a delightful wooded stretch that covers the side of the hill. Landing is forbidden because these are the Whittington Firing Ranges.

After the wood the canal continues in a side cut embankment with a view of Tamworth to the west.

This all gives way to lightly wooded open fields towards Hopwas Hill as the Canal follows the course of the River Tame very closely, passing below Hopwas village. Hopwas is a pretty & tidy village with a green, built on the side of a hill. It has a PO, and a convenience store. It is a nice stop for an overnight stay, as on the Canal is the Tame Otter Pub, where real ale & food are served all day, there are moorings available, also here is the Red Lion, food at lunch and in the evenings, steaks are a speciality.

At Fazeley junction , the Coventry Canal meets the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, continue on to Tamworth, do not turn right into Birmingham.

Step back through 900 years of history with a visit to Tamworth Castle. Uncover the secrets held within the chambers and hallways of this unique building and get a real sense of how the Saxons, Normans, Tudors and Victorians lived.

If you wish to start your holiday off with an adventure, how about walking to the Snow Dome which is only about 10 minutes from the marina. All weather skiing and snowboarding centre with kit rental, an ice rink, swimming pool and gym. It is open until late every night.

There is a pub called the Gate Inn canalside by bridge 69 serving real ale and food daily which is a good place to stop for the night.

Day 2

You pass through Tamworth and then you are out in the country passing the ruins of Alvecote Priory through the trees, with Pooley Field Nature reserve on your left.
Polesworth is the first village of note, having stores, takeaways, fish and chip shop, off licence and pubs, etc, and spans the canal.

Cruising through more predominantly open countryside, you will soon reach Atherstone Bottom Lock No. 11. Atherstone is a small town with plenty of pubs, for instance, Market Tavern, The Black Swan and The Kings Head. This flight of 11 locks is interspersed at first and once you are into the town the locks become closer together , but the flight is in very pleasant surroundings. To the south of bridge 41 is a useful stores.
Mancetter, another small village, is to the left of the canal about .5 mile east of bridge 36.

Continue south, through the quarry belt towards Nuneaton. En route is a pub at Hartshill called The Anchor Inn.

It is a good place to stop here for the night as it is 6.5 hours cruising to here.

Day 3

Cruise through Nuneaton until you reach Marston Junction, then continue south do not turn left aong 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!

At Hawkesbury Junction you will see many traditional boats, also a 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 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 and the Boat Inn with moorings.

It is 8.25 hours to here, so a good place to stop for the night.

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.

Day 4

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 throughout 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).
Moor here for the night, it is 5 hours to here.

Day 5

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.

Before Stockton Locks at Birdingbury Wharf bridge where you will find the Boat Inn.

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.

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

Day 6

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. It is 7.5 hours cruising to here, so a good place to moor for the night.
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.

It is 5 hours to here

Day 7

Just an afternoons cruising today to give you time to explore Warwick, but it does involve doing the Hatton Locks, a total of 23 locks including the Cape Locks.
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.

Bear right (left is the Saltisford Arm, which is a dead end), and continue towards Hatton Locks also called The Stairway to Heaven'.
You will see the paddle gear and gates stretching up the hill in the distance. As these are double locks it is easier if you have another boat to go up the flight with, so you have 2 crews.

As you climb the flight, a total rise of 142 feet, look back and you will see the spires of Warwick in the distance. Hatton Locks Cafe is between locks 45 and 46, a welcome break. At the top of the flight the canal passes through wooden hills, concealing the village and Hatton Park.
Moor for the night here as it is 4.75 hours to here.
South of Bridge 55 is Hatton Country World, a family-friendly craft and antique centre with farm village, 25 individual shops and a choice of places to eat. (www.hattonworld.com)
There are 48 hour moorings at Hatton Top Lock.

Day 8

Another 19 locks today!

A wooded cutting then takes you to Shrewley Tunnel. Shrewley Tunnel is 433 yards long. Two 7ft boats can pass each other, please keep right.
Shrewley itself has a local shop and is best approached from the north western end of the Tunnel.

Hills surround the canal once you're through the Tunnel. To the left, you may hear the roar of traffic on the M40. The canal winds its way along to Turner's Green, where a beautiful old beamed house stands alongside the canal.

From Bridge 62 you can reach Rowington and The Cock Horse pub, or the Tom O'The Wood.

When you get to the Kingswood Junction with the Stratford on Avon Canal, you will be turning left then right.
You are now in the Lapworth Flight of Locks.

Continue north (right) along the Stratford on Avon canal, bridges 26 and 28 operate hydraulically, so use a lock windlass. You soon past Hockley Heath on your right. The Wharf Tavern is canalside by bridge 25, there are several shops conveniently close to the canal.

There is also a good bakery north of Bridge 20.

Moor by the pub for the night at Shirley Draw Bridge.
Moor for the night here it is 8 hours cruising to here.

Day 9

You can moor up near Bridge 18 as it is a short walk into Earlswood, which is great for walks as there are 3 lakes here – there is also fishing available
Today you will pass Cadbury World and cruise into the heart of the Gas Street basin & Cambrian Wharf area of Birmingham, which today it is a pleasurable and relaxing tourist attraction far removed from the hustle and bustle of canal life of the past, with its waterside pubs and pretty canal boats moored along the banks it is well worth a visit.

Cruise to Kings Norton Junction & turn right. Soon you will reach Bournville, & there are visitor moorings here. Cadbury World is signposted from the canal. There is an exhibition dedicated to the history of chocolate, audio visual displays, Victorian Birmingham & a Jungle to explore! Cadbury World has 14 amazing zones to explore,you can learn how chocolate is made, uncover the fascinating story of chocolate, and plain in chocolate rain!!

The average visit is about 3 hours and you get free chocolate samples to take away, plus there is the worlds biggest Cadbury Shop, and places to eat & drink.
Continue north up the Worcester & Birmingham canal, until you arrive at the Gas Street Basin which is in the heart of Birmingham's canal network, and has been redeveloped into a unique experience where traditional narrow boats moor up next to cosmopolitan cafes and bars. The surrounding area is a vibrant arts & entertainment area and there are many shopping options within a short walk. You can moor up by Cambrian Wharf by the Sea Life centre, (turn right at Deep Cutings Junction).

Amongst some of the attractions are the National Sea Life Centre , & the Jewellery Quarter Discovery centre, also many fine Art galleries and over 500 restaurants offering every choice of food!

For shopping a visit to the new Bullring is a must, which covers an area the size of 26 football pitches and a has a huge range of shops.
Close by is the national Indoor Arena, one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting & entertainment venues in Europe.
the Farmers Bridge and Aston Flight.

Aston Junction marks the start of the Aston flight, so keep straight on here, do not turn right down to Typhoo Basin. The canal falls through 11 locks here to Salford Junction. All shops are readily available alongside the Birmingham & fazeley Canal beyond Salford.

Turn right here onto the Birmingham & Fazeley canal.

Moor at Tyburn Bridge with Tyburn House pub closeby. It is 9.5 hours to here.

Day 10

Past Minworth the canal loses Birmingham and the industry that has accompanied it.

The Hare& Hounds is by Minworth Heath bridge, and the Boat has moorings.

At Curdworth there is a stores and a couple of pubs in the village.
There are 6 locks at Curdworth and the M6 motorway looms close to the canal.

You can moor up at Cheatles' farm Bridge near Bodymoor Heath. The Dog & Doublet is a lovely pub just by the bridge.

Flooded gravel pits and the bird life they attract, constitute Kingsbury Water Park- the visitor centre is east of Bodymoor Heath Bridge, across the motorway. A 600 acre landscaped park.

Continuing north the canal continues through quiet and attractive open farmland, by Drayton Bassett there is a folly footbridge which is very curious in its Gothic style with twin battlemented towers.

If you fancy a family day out, then moor up just past Drayton Swivel bridge as this is the entrance to Drayton Manor Theme park.

Drayton Manor Park is home to some of the biggest wettest and scariest rides around with Shockwave, Europes first stand up roller coaster, Stormforce 10, with a backwards water drop and Apocalypse voted the scariest ride in the Uk by Channel 4's The Gadget Show.There is also Thomas land for the smaller children, and a Zoo. It is definitely the place to spend a whole day.

After the intensity of Fradley Junction, Fazeley is remarkably serene, it is the location of British Waterways central shires office and offers limited facilities such as cruising information but regrettably no shops or eateries.
From Fazeley we turn left up the Coventry Canal.

Retrace your steps back to Kings Orchard marina, which should take you 9 hours today.


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

Piping Plover Canal Boat
Class : Plover
(Sleeps a maximum of 5 People).

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

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

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

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

Lock And Load Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Lazy Daisy Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Serenity Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Knot Locked Down Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Spirit Of Adventure Canal Boat
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Savoy Hill VII Canal Boat
Class : SavoyV
(Sleeps a maximum of 7 People).

Emerald Lorikeet Canal Boat
Class : CBC4
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Fig Parrot Canal Boat
Class : CBC6
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Festive Amazon Canal Boat
Class : CBC6
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Emerald Lorikeet Canal Boat
Class : CBC4
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Fig Parrot Canal Boat
Class : CBC6
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Festive Amazon Canal Boat
Class : CBC6
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).


Maps and Guides

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

Pub Guide

Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.


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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.