Places to See

The Droitwich Canals Restoration – Now Fully Open!

The project has restored 12km of waterway linking the Droitwich Canals to the River Severn at Hawford and the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Droitwich. This included the restoration of

12 locks and the construction of 4 new locks
1km of new cut & 500m is canalised river
1 major bridge construction under the A449
Creation of offline reedbed to replace those removed from the channel

The project has re-linked the Junction Canal and the Barge Canal, a navigation that was officially abandoned in 1939. This has created a 21 mile cruising ring that will also take in the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and River Severn.

We hope you find the following links provide useful information about what is going on….

Cruising Routes

The ring routes require you to travel everyday a certain distance in order that you get back to the start point in the allotted time.

But, if you want a more casual break without the constraints of target destinations each day and the option of staying over in certain places of interest you can do what we call an Out and Back route where you head somewhere for half your holiday then turn round and come back.

Stourport Ring

Stourport Ring.

Route description:

Duration:  7 Nights

Hours: 47 hours following our recommendations below, and cruising for 7 hours each day.

Miles: 77

Locks: 105

The Stourport Ring takes you through a mix of rural, urban and industrial landscapes, cruising on canals and River that were once part the main arterial routes that fuelled the industrial revolution.

Starting on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Dunhampstead we suggest novices head south, (this is so we can show you how to operate the locks safely) and toward Worcester where you will find The Cardinals Hat, a fourteenth century Inn , Worcester Porcelain museum and Worcester Cathedral.

From Worcester you will travel upstream on the River Severn, the longest river in Britain, through three river locks to Stourport, then passing through Stourport Basin you will head up onto the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal.

This passes through Kidderminster where there is a carpet museum, Wolverley, Kinver and Stourton where there is a junction for the Stourbridge Canal.

We suggest you turn right at Stourton Junction and make your way up the Stourbridge Canal, turning right at Leys Junction onto the Dudley No 1 Canal, now part of the BCN. (Birmingham Canal Navigations).

The Dudley No. 1 Canal leads up Delph locks this area once being called Black Delph because of the number of collieries, above the top lock you are then looking down onto Merry Hill shopping centre and at the Waterfront there are pubs and restaurants and after turning right again at Park Head Junction you will arrive at the 3027 yard long Netherton tunnel. Netherton, where amongst many other items, the anchor chain for the Titanic was made. Not far from here is the Black Country Living Museum which involves a slight detour and an extra 6 locks should you wish to visit.

Turning right at Dudley Port Junction after leaving Netherton Tunnel you will be on The New Main Line, part of the BCN and heading towards Gas Street Basin, this place is a favourite and has a real “buzz” about it and well worth an overnight stay so you can indulge in your favourite food in Brindley Place where an abundance of eateries and bars are located. There is also the Sea Life Centre to visit during the day.

Following the canal which turns right again will lead you back onto the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, heading out of the city centre and passing through the Suburbs the air will begin to taste sweet on the lips, the reason for this soon becomes apparent as in the near distance on the right is Cadburys at Bournville, another place worth a visit should you wish.

On from Bournville and past Kings Norton Junction is Wast Hill Tunnel, 2726 yards, and on exiting the tunnel, all the scenery has changed back to a rural landscape.

Cruising on through Hopwood you will arrive at Alvechurch, then under Shortwood tunnel 613 yards and closely followed by Tardebigge tunnel, 580 yards.

Next on route is the thirty lock Tardebigge flight followed by another six on the Stoke flight, descending the canal over two hundred feet in four miles.

Fortunately at the bottom of the Tardebigge flight there is a pub and another pub after the Stoke flight, which could be a welcome sight for some.

Continue on to the Astwood flight of six locks, past the junction for the Droitwich canals and spending the last night moored at Hanbury Wharf outside the Eagle & Sun public house. A cruise of about fifty minutes with no locks and passing through Dunhampstead tunnel of 236 yards will see you back at Dunhampstead where your adventure began.

Mid Worcestershire Ring

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Route description:

Duration:  3 or 4 Nights

Hours: 16

Miles: 21

Locks: 33

The Mid Worcestershire Ring, more commonly referred to as the Droitwich Ring is ideal for a short break holiday. It comprises of the Droitwich Junction Canal, a canalised section of the River Salwarpe, the Droitwich Barge Canal, the River Severn and the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

It is a very relaxing route set in beautiful open countryside of Worcestershire whilst also taking in the City of Worcester, and the town of Droitwich Spa.

Setting out from the boatyard and heading north on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, under Dunhampstead tunnel and through the small hamlets of Shernal Green and Hadzor you will arrive at Hanbury Wharf where a large number of boats are moored.

Just after Bridge 35 by the Eagle and Sun pub is a left turn onto the Droitwich Junction canal.

After turning you are confronted by a narrow bridge closely followed by the first of a three lock flight. Volunteers from the Droitwich Canals Trust are there to help you through as the locks have a unique water saving feature, side Ponds.

Passing the recently built 238 berth Droitwich Spa Marina on the right, you will next come to a staircase lock, where the bottom gate of the top lock forms the top gate of the next lock. Following instructions on how to operate will soon see you on the way to the next lock and then under the very low motorway bridge. Through one more lock and you are on the short River Salwarpe section to the first Barge lock and swingbridge, followed by another swingbridge.

Passing through Vines Park you will come to Netherwich basin where you can moor overnight.

In the town you might want to visit the Heritage centre and learn more on the history of Droitwich and its Salt works.

Leaving Droitwich on the Droitwich Barge Canal, which is a wide beam canal meaning that two narrowboats can fit into each lock side by side, it makes it a much easier cruise if you meet up with another boat travelling in the same direction, and you will both join the River Severn at Hawford.

Turning left and heading downstream on the River Severn you will come to Bevere river lock just after which is the Camp House Inn, and then heading into Worcester, under Worcester bridge and past the Norman era Worcester Cathedral.

Continuing down to the turning on the left for the Worcester & Birmingham Canal where you will leave the river through locks one & two you find yourself in Diglis Basin where there are ample mooring for those wishing to visit.

Visitors to Worcester may wish to visit the Cathedral, the Commandary, and a Civil War Museum next to lock three and the Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum.

There are also many places to eat and drink including the Cardinals Hat, a fourteenth century Inn and hotel on Friar Street.

From lock three to lock sixteen is the climb up out of Worcester passing Sixways stadium at lock eleven, the home of the Worcester Warriors Rugby club and onto the village of Tibberton, a popular last night to stay having two pubs to choose from and a fifty minute cruise without locks back to the boatyard where you started.

Avon Ring

Avon Ring

Route description:

Duration:  10 - 14 days

Hours: 65

Miles: 109

Locks: 131

The Avon Ring is a mix of towns, cities and countryside and will require at least ten days to complete.

It comprises, Worcester & Birmingham Canal, River Severn, River Avon*, and the Stratford Canals.

*Please note that the River Avon is an independent navigation and therefore you will be required to purchase an additional license.

Starting on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Dunhampstead heading south toward Worcester where you will find The Cardinals Hat, a fourteenth century Inn, Worcester Porcelain museum and the amazing Norman era Worcester Cathedral.

From here heading downstream on the River Severn passing through Diglis river lock, Upton upon Severn where there is a Tudor House Museum you will eventually come to the left turn for the River Avon at Tewkesbury with its beautiful Abbey.

The River Avon is a beautiful scenic river route and will take you through many towns including Bidford, Evesham and Pershore and finally at the end of the navigation into Stratford upon Avon the birth place of William Shakespeare.

You may wish to stop off, time permitting to visit the theatre or the many other attractions in the vicinity.

From Stratford is the long haul up the lower and upper Stratford Canals until reaching Kings Norton Junction.

Here you will be back on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and will turn left and head south through Wast Hill Tunnel, 2726 yards.

Cruising on through Hopwood you will arrive at Alvechurch, then under Shortwood tunnel 613 yards and closely followed by Tardebigge tunnel, 580 yards.

Next on route is the thirty lock Tardebigge flight followed by another six on the Stoke flight, descending the canal over two hundred feet in four miles.

Fortunately at the bottom of the Tardebigge flight there is a pub and another pub after the Stoke flight, which could be a welcome sight for some.

Continue on to the Astwood flight of six locks, past the junction for the Droitwich canals and spending the last night moored at Hanbury Wharf outside the Eagle & Sun public house. A cruise of about fifty minutes with no locks and passing through Dunhampstead tunnel of 236 yards will see you back at Dunhampstead where your adventure began.

North Warwickshire Ring

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Route description:

Duration:  14 days (minimum)

Miles: 145

Locks: 179

Cruise north on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal via the breathtaking flight of 36 locks at Tardebigge to the vibrant city of Birmingham, with its Sea Life Centre, waterfront museums, galleries, theatres and restaurants. Then it’s on to Dudley and the Black Country Museum.

Don’t miss Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, just ten minutes from Fazeley Junction, and Tamworth, with its Snowdome indoor ski centre, before you reach the quaint canalside village of Braunston and the flight of 21 locks at Hatton Locks. Continue via Rugby to Warwick with its famous castle, before returning to Droitwich.

Out and Back Routes

Dunhampstead to Upton on Severn

Dunhampstead to Upton on Severn

Route description:

Duration:  3 or 4 Nights

Hours: 18

Miles: 35

Locks: 34

Starting on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Dunhampstead and heading south you will pass through the villages of Oddingley, and Tibberton, then on to the first of 14 locks to take you to Diglis Basin in Worcester where you can spend your first night on board with a choice of many of the restaurants in the City should you wish to eat out.

On the second day you pass through two wide locks and onto the River Severn, and turn left heading downstream, where in front of you, you will see Diglis River Lock, operated by a Lock Keeper so no need to get off the boat, it’s all done for you.

After passing through the lock you have about a three hour cruise before reaching Upton upon Severn. Mooring is on a floating pontoon just before the bridge or in Upton Marina, south of the bridge.

In Upton you could visit the Tudor House Museum, or just spend time looking around the shops on the High Street. There are a number of places where you can eat out and a local supermarket to stock up on provisions.

Heading back upstream the next day and back into Diglis Basin where you can moor again, and with plenty of time to visit one of the museums or the Cathedral, and again stopping overnight to try another restaurant or bar.

The next day is spent heading back toward Dunhampstead and stopping the final night in the village of Tibberton having completed the last lock and with only an hour’s cruise back to Dunhampstead on the final morning.

Dunhampstead to Stourport-on-Severn

Dunhampstead to Stourport-on-Severn

Route description:

Duration:  3 or 4 Nights

Hours: 22

Miles: 37

Locks: 41

The route below is via the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and on to the River Severn at Worcester but an alternative is to head to the River using the Droitwich Canals.

Starting on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Dunhampstead and heading south you will pass through the villages of Oddingley, and Tibberton, then on to the first of 14 locks to take you to Diglis Basin in Worcester where you can spend your first night on board with a choice of many of the restaurants in the City should you wish to eat out.

In Upton you could visit the Tudor House Museum, or just spend time looking around the shops on the High Street. There are a number of places where you can eat out and a local supermarket to stock up on provisions.

Heading back upstream the next day and back into Diglis Basin where you can moor again, and with plenty of time to visit one of the museums or the Cathedral, and again stopping overnight to try another restaurant or bar.

The next day is spent heading back toward Dunhampstead and stopping the final night in the village of Tibberton having completed the last lock and with only an hour’s cruise back to Dunhampstead on the final morning.

Dunhampstead to Gas Street Basin

Dunhampstead to Gas Street Basin

Route description:

Duration:  4 Nights

Hours: 30

Miles: 45

Locks: 84

This is a physically demanding route and is best undertaken with a larger crew with energy to burn due to the quantity and frequency of the locks.

Leaving Dunhampstead and heading north passing through Hanbury, you will arrive at Astwood bottom lock, the first in a flight of six. After this is a short cruise and into Stoke bottom lock, another flight of six after which is a short stretch where you can spend the first night outside the Queens Head public house.

An early start will be required the next morning when you will work your way up the Tardebigge flight of 30 locks, one after the other raising the canal some 200 feet onto the summit level at Tardebigge.

Now on the summit level you cruise all the way into Gas Street Basin passing through four tunnels before you get there the longest being Wast Hill Tunnel at 2726 yards and about 40 minutes to get through.

Arriving in Gas Street Basin, this place is a favourite and has a real “buzz” about it, an overnight stay here where you can top up your energy levels in Brindley Place where an abundance of eateries and bars are located.

The next day you can stop at Alvechurch overnight leaving 42 locks for the next day or continue on down the Tardebigge flight and stop again at the Queens Head again or continue on and stop at the Navigation Inn.

On the final day for the evening you will need to be moored at the Eagle & Sun at Hanbury Wharf leaving a cruise of about an hour back to Dunhampstead the following morning.

Dunhampstead to Worcester

Dunhampstead to Worcestershire

Route description:

Duration:  1 day

Hours: 5 hours

Miles: 7

Locks: 14 locks (16 on to the river)

Cruise the Worcester & Birmingham canal to Diglis Locks in Worcester, staying the first night in Tibberton village, where you have a choice of two pubs.

The city of Worcester boasts a number of attractions including a Grand Cathedral, Royal Worcester Porcelain, Commandery Civil War Museum (right on the canal) and Worcester racecourse which can be seen from the river.

There are many, many excellent places to eat to suit all ages and taste.

Your Own Route

These routes are just a suggestion, and there are a number of other places you may want to visit on your cruise, it’s your holiday and it’s entirely up to you as to what you would like to do.

We are here to help and offer advice and we are only a phone call away, so please don’t hesitate to call us if you would like to discuss your plans.

Please ask to speak to Tony or Andy who will be able to help and answer any questions you may have.