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Montgomery

Warwickshire Ring?

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We will soon be undertaking our 2nd canal holiday of the month after an "interesting" week on the Kennet and Avon.

We are aboard for a week and we're thinking of doing the Warwickshire Ring (with the North Stratford option).

Is this doable in a week? 8 hour days won't be a problem and have an experienced crew.

Is it better to do it clockwise or anticlockwise... Leaving from the Rugby area? where are the best places to moor (preferably near to a pub, town or village)?

Are there any other must do alternative routes (out and back) that aren't subject to too many restrictions, locks etc aren't an issue as the crew like to keep busy.

 

Thanks in anticipation.

Edited by Montgomery

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Definitely doable in a week. Either direction is fine; personally I like going up Hatton rather than down because the boat behaves well in those locks, but others may suggest the opposite. Definitely take the North Stratford option.

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6 minutes ago, Montgomery said:

We will soon be undertaking our 2nd canal holiday of the month after an "interesting" week on the Kennet and Avon.

We are aboard for a week and we're thinking of doing the Warwickshire Ring (with the North Stratford option).

Is this doable in a week? 8 hour days won't be a problem and have an experienced crew.

Is it better to do it clockwise or anticlockwise... Leaving from the Rugby area? where are the best places to moor (preferably near to a pub, town or village)?

Are there any other must do alternative routes (out and back) that aren't subject to too many restrictions, locks etc aren't an issue as the crew like to keep busy.

 

Thanks in anticipation.

Yes, it’s a routine one week hire albeit one that’s at the more challenging end of the scale. I don’t think there is any particular reason to go one way round or the other so work out your first and last night mooring options and also your likely mooring spots through Birmingham. You have the choice of by-passing central Birmingham via the Warwick & Birmingham Junction (Saltley) Canal or going through the centre using the north Stratford Canal rather than the GU to/from Kingswood Junction.

 

I would make a point of visiting the Greyhound at Sutton Stop and Cape of Good Hope at Warwick and also mooring in central Birmingham.

 

JP

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The Two Boats in Long  Itchington ( Bridge 25 on the GU) won my best pub in the world 2018 award and the pub with Indian on top in Polesworth a week ago was pretty good. I'd also suggest the Anchor, just south of Atherstone but they are not doing their pizzas any more.....so don't bother.

 

 

 

......and of course the Cape and the Grayhound. We'll be in the Grayhound tomorrow.

Edited by Dr Bob

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Thanks for the replies, Indian restaurant recommendations are equally well received. Had a corker in Devizes at 1 Spice last week, and previously at Shagorika (in Market Harborough) and Tagore (off the North Stratford at Hockley Heath). I will be providing reviews on places to eat around the Warwickshire Ring if you like? 

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I may have missed something here but the Warwickshire ring, as I understand it, using the North Stratford canal is more than a week's cruise on a hire boat and certainly can't be done based on eight hours a day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

I may have missed something here but the Warwickshire ring, as I understand it, using the North Stratford canal is more than a week's cruise on a hire boat and certainly can't be done based on eight hours a day.

 

 

Having done it in a week on a hire boat (albeit many years ago) I can assure you it is doable.  It's such a popular ring I'd have thought a few dozen hire boats do it every week.

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Depending on the time they get away on the first day and how efficient they are at locking it may require slightly over 8hrs a day but lots of hire boats do it in as week. We did from Kate Boats many years ago.

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Canalplan reckons its 60 hours at the default settings, which is doable in a week, but sounds rather ambitious for novice hirers, or those who want to spend some time visiting places along the route.

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37 minutes ago, adam1uk said:

 

Having done it in a week on a hire boat (albeit many years ago) I can assure you it is doable.  It's such a popular ring I'd have thought a few dozen hire boats do it every week.

 

24 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

Depending on the time they get away on the first day and how efficient they are at locking it may require slightly over 8hrs a day but lots of hire boats do it in as week. We did from Kate Boats many years ago.

I do apologise you are both correct I clean forgot that when we did it in a hire boat many years ago we started from stoke prior.  Of course it is a week's cruise if you start actually on the ring. 

 

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1 minute ago, David Mack said:

Canalplan reckons its 60 hours at the default settings, which is doable in a week, but sounds rather ambitious for novice hirers, or those who want to spend some time visiting places along the route.

Canal Plan default settings are pretty conservative. Making use of the first and last part days there are well over 50 cruising hours available without exceeding 8 hour days. I once did a weeks hire that Canal Plan defaults have as 78 hours. We moored back at the yard for the last night. I think 8 hour days won’t be far out if the crew are energetic as claimed.

 

JP

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We did it in 8 days two years ago which included many stops and sub 8 hour days. The benefit over the shorter way is you get a nice night in the center of Brum.

 

 

 

 

.......and miss Knowle locks.

Edited by Dr Bob

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For me I would go clockwise, but starting from Rugby I don’t think it makes too much difference which way you go.

 

You will need to do sone long days, and 30+ locks in a day, so as long as you are ok with that it is doable in a week.

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Thanks all for the replies and suggestions, I think we we have decided to do the Warwickshire Ring. Last summer we hired from Alvechurch and headed up into Birmingham, down farmers bridge, onto the Digbeth branch and picked up the GU through Knowle locks to Kingswood Jcn, down to Bancroft Basin (and a day in Stratford) on the South Stratford, up the entire Stratford and back to Alvechurch in a week without any problems.... I think around 115 locks? No daft long days.

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On 03/07/2019 at 22:54, Dr Bob said:

The Two Boats in Long  Itchington ( Bridge 25 on the GU) won my best pub in the world 2018 award and the pub with Indian on top in Polesworth a week ago was pretty good. I'd also suggest the Anchor, just south of Atherstone but they are not doing their pizzas any more.....so don't bother.

 

 

 

......and of course the Cape and the Greyhound. We'll be in the Greyhound tomorrow.

Missed you by a day, I was there on Wednesday. Actually I am there most Wednesday lunchtimes - part of my routine.

  • Greenie 1

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On 03/07/2019 at 20:23, Captain Pegg said:

Yes, it’s a routine one week hire albeit one that’s at the more challenging end of the scale. I don’t think there is any particular reason to go one way round or the other so work out your first and last night mooring options and also your likely mooring spots through Birmingham. You have the choice of by-passing central Birmingham via the Warwick & Birmingham Junction (Saltley) Canal or going through the centre using the north Stratford Canal rather than the GU to/from Kingswood Junction.

 

I would make a point of visiting the Greyhound at Sutton Stop and Cape of Good Hope at Warwick and also mooring in central Birmingham.

 

JP

Seconded.

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On 03/07/2019 at 20:11, Montgomery said:

We will soon be undertaking our 2nd canal holiday of the month after an "interesting" week on the Kennet and Avon.

We are aboard for a week and we're thinking of doing the Warwickshire Ring (with the North Stratford option).

Is this doable in a week? 8 hour days won't be a problem and have an experienced crew.

Is it better to do it clockwise or anticlockwise... Leaving from the Rugby area? where are the best places to moor (preferably near to a pub, town or village)?

Are there any other must do alternative routes (out and back) that aren't subject to too many restrictions, locks etc aren't an issue as the crew like to keep busy.

 

Thanks in anticipation.

Update.

We have just got home from our week cruising the Warwickshire Ring.

It certainly is doable in a week (some longer days are required though) probably not the best choice for novices (in a week).

We decided to navigate the ring clockwise (evening mooring locations worked better this way for us).

We flew up the Hatton Flight (just over 2hrs), a little slower up Lapworth (The vlockies held us for a while.....for water management purposes), and all other locks in good time.

 

Pubs Visited.

The Boat inn- By Stockton Top Lock Marina.

Good Food and Beer, friendly and comfortable. 7/10

The Cape of Good Hope- Cape Locks, Warwick.

Excellent Sunday Roast, great beer, staff very friendly, nice place. 8/10

Tom O' The Wood- Nr Kingswood Jcn.

Excellent food, great beer garden, friendly staff, good value. Nice place (Our Favourite of the week!) 9/10.

Gas Street Social- The Mailbox, Birmingham.

Food great, very comfortable and modern, good staff. 8/10

The Anchor, Hartshill nr Nuneaton.

Excellent value, great food, good beer. (Wasn't expecting much from this place, but it was great!) 8/10.

 

Issues

We lost 1/2 a day due to a toilet malfunction. Had a group of drunken youths climbing on the boat at 2am in Birmingham (Mailbox Visitor Moorings), North Stratford Canal very shallow (multiple foulings of the propeller), met several inconsiderate boaters (excessive speed, mooring on lock landings/water points etc) and got soaked to the skin in the heavy rain yesterday.

 

Overall.

Didn't really enjoy the North Stratford Canal, far too shallow and full of rubbish (Lapworth locks excluded), the upper part of the Birmingham and Fazeley isn't great, dirty and lots of drunks and druggies shouting abuse (Curdworth toward Fazeley is nice though), The Coventry Canal was surprisingly attractive and probably the best maintained canal on the ring (probably fave canal of the trip?) North Oxford canal nice enough but narrow and shallow in places. Grand Union Canal, Worcester and Birmingham no issues really.

Overall an energetic and enjoyable week with a little bit of rough but plenty of smooth! 

  • Greenie 4

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Good write up @Montgomery. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

 

I agree that the Coventry is an enjoyable canal to cruise. It seems relatively wide and deep - at least at the southern end - and is largely devoid of random moored boats.

 

Good feedback on pubs and concurs with what I know of the same places.

 

I think the Stratford is down on level. It’s a shame because it’s generally a lovely cruise from Shirley to Lapworth top. It’s usually an afternoon looking out for kingfishers for me.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

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Interesting what you said about b and f.

went up there last year for first time since 1983. Amazed at the change, yes glass and rubbish but most friendly locals. In 83 it was glue sniffers everywhere.

one intoxicated group at farmers bridge but they were harmless.

  • Happy 1

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