Monday, 9 October 2017

Trip Summary

I thought I would write a summary of our 5 week trip, as much for our own use as anything else, to add some context I think it's fair to state our preferences. We prefer rural, isolated mooring spots or small villages where there are other boaters around, we tend to avoid large urban areas, we are not influenced by pubs or restaurants when we choose our mooring location. The moorings mentioned are generally spots where you stand a very good chance of getting a place, there may be better moorings which are very popular that I've not mentioned.

In total we covered 262 miles through 327 locks and 16 tunnels, we were running for 153 hours, that's less than 2 miles per hour, but this is the total time from mooring to mooring and includes stops for water and all the delays that are part of daily life on the canals, we never stop for lunch.

Llangollen Canal - entire canal travelled

General Excellent canal, ample moorings, very rural with little transport noise.
Best Stop Ellesmere
Avoid / Transit Quickly Entire section from Chirk to Llangollen
Navigational Very slow west of Chirk, shallow, narrow dangerous sections if you don't have a lookout.

Middlewich Branch - entire canal travelled

General Excellent canal, ample moorings, very rural with little transport noise.
Best Stop Church Minshull west of Bridge 14
Avoid / Transit Quickly Nowhere really

Trent & Mersey Canal - Middlewich to Great Haywood

General Excellent canal, mix of rural and urban landscapes.
Best Stop Great Haywood
Avoid / Transit Quickly Entire section from Middlewich to Wheelock no feasible moorings before Wheelock. Moor at Church Lawton before tunnel going south and Westport lakes going North
Navigational The section through Stoke is best done in one day, preferably not at the weekend.

Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal - Great Haywood to Autherley Junction

General  Good canal but a lot of transport noise, ample moorings, mix of rural and urban landscapes.
Best Stop Penkridge
Avoid / Transit Quickly Nowhere
Navigational A few locks don't have landings, must be very difficult for single handers. Very narrow cutting between bridges 67/68, you'll need to send someone ahead.

Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal - Autherley Junction to Stourport on Severn

General  Magnificent canal north of Kidderminster, ample moorings, mainly rural
Best Stop Kinver and Stourport (Bird in Hand Pub) and just north of Bratch Locks
Avoid / Transit Quickly Kidderminster
Navigational Dangerous narrow section with overhanging rocks going North between bridge 19 /21. No water points between Kinver and Stourport Basin

River Severn - Stourport on Severn to Worcester

General  Not much to see, few moorings.
Best Stop Worcester on the pontoons just before Diglis Lock. Racecourse moorings very noisy during our stay.
Avoid / Transit Quickly Entire section
Navigational Lock landings can be a bit short, locks operated by lock keeper, very gentle but you'll need to rope to cables. If turning onto Worcester and Birmingham Canal  from Stourport you must go past the lock entrance and turn just before Diglis River Lock, don't turn opposite the weir.

Worcester and Birmingham Canal - Worcester to King's Norton

General  Gets better after Offerton locks, quite a bit of transport noise
Best Stop Hanbury, Stoke Pound, Alvechurch
Avoid / Transit Quickly Kings Norton
Navigational There is nowhere to stop once you have entered the Tardebigge Locks so either stop at stoke pound going north or between bridge 55/56 heading south.

Stratford Upon Avon Canal - entire canal travelled

General  The most peerless piece of earth, I think, that e' er the sun shone bright on.
Best Stop Stratford Basin - superb, Wootton Wowen
Avoid / Transit Quickly King's Norton to Hockley Heath
Navigational Can be shallow in places, very narrow bridges.

Grand Union Canal - Kingswood to Crick

General  A bit of everything, nice lock mechanisms
Best Stop Saltisford arm, wonderful rural section between bridges 103/100, Braunstone, Crick
Avoid / Transit Quickly Warwick and Leamington don't have very attractive moorings
Navigational A slow slog between Braunstone and Crick, allow at least a full day.

In summary of the summary all I can say is that everyone should take the time to travel the Stratford Upon Avon Canal, we've not found anywhere better.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, lack of phone data meant I missed your offer of a drink. We must have passed you at Crick in the drizzle. Now up by bridge 28. Good the read your recommendations on Stratford Upon Avon, as we are planning to visit next year.