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Mandy Mc

Warwickshire ring

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We’re setting off from Napton to do the Warwickshire ring (clockwise) for 2 weeks. We have our kids and girl friends joining us for the weekend - 3 nights and then other friends the following weekend .

Question - will we have time to go down to Stratford upon Avon ?

which is the best way to go round / through Birmingham ?

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Canalplan makes it 12 days including Stratford at 6hrs 48mins per day.

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From Kingswood to Stratford it is approx 35 locks each way, so it will add 70 to you lock count.  You can do it in a day each way but if your plan allows it 2 days each way is more comfortable.  So as long as you don't mind hard work and a lot of locks it is certainly possible in 2 weeks.

 

If you can go the North Stratford into the centre of Birmingham.

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3 minutes ago, Mandy Mc said:

I’ve read a few posts that warns about Birmingham - is there any particular area NOT to stop at?

 

I’d be cautious of stopping around King’s Norton.  People seem to moor quite happily in the university area these days.  Anywhere in the centre is fine (my preference is the NIA side of Broad Street rather than the Gas Street Basin side). When you go down Farmer’s Bridge Locks and the Aston Locks, keep going until beyond Minworth before stopping for the night.  Although this sounds like a lot for a day, the Farmer’s Bridge and Aston Locks are really quick, and if you have crew to set ahead you can get through the, really quickly — in fact Farmer’s Bridge is probably my favourite set of urban locks.  Birmingham is actually a really nice city, and well worth an explore, even if you only go up to the garden and viewing area at the top of the new library.

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8 minutes ago, adam1uk said:

I’d be cautious of stopping around King’s Norton.  People seem to moor quite happily in the university area these days.  Anywhere in the centre is fine (my preference is the NIA side of Broad Street rather than the Gas Street Basin side). When you go down Farmer’s Bridge Locks and the Aston Locks, keep going until beyond Minworth before stopping for the night.  Although this sounds like a lot for a day, the Farmer’s Bridge and Aston Locks are really quick, and if you have crew to set ahead you can get through the, really quickly — in fact Farmer’s Bridge is probably my favourite set of urban locks.  Birmingham is actually a really nice city, and well worth an explore, even if you only go up to the garden and viewing area at the top of the new library.

Leaving on Saturday how long does it take to get to the Stratford-upon-Avon turn off?

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14 minutes ago, Mandy Mc said:

Leaving on Saturday how long does it take to get to the Stratford-upon-Avon turn off?

Have a look at canalplan.eu which will give you an idea of how long each stretch takes.

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Is this your first time?

Napton to Kingswood is 14.75 cruising hours. Kingswood Jct. to Stratford is 20.5 cruising hours round trip; the locks are quite slow, heavy and the paddles  are stiff [was down there last month].  No problem for a strong and healthy crew but you might want to just go round the ring with time to spare, especially as there are more boats about this time of the season. 

An average time through a lock of 10 minutes will extend if you're in a queue. [ 3 boats, 30 minutes plus waiting time for other coming the other way]

 

Oh and its Black Prince!!

 

 

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If you go into Birmingham on the North Stratford I would say stop anywhere up to Shirley lift bridge.  It’s an easy run from there to the centre of Birmingham, although you can go from Hockley Heath to the centre of Birmingham in one go, so just work where your stops will be.  When you go out of Birmingham you will want to go to at least Curdworth in one day.

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7 hours ago, NB Lola said:

C11B4317-001F-43B6-B68A-3157B651F928.jpeg

This is misleading since the quoted miles, locks and time are from Stoke Prior and you’d have to be a bit daft to hire from there to do the Warwickshire Ring.

 

I’ll second @john6767’s advice to @Mandy Mc. The trip is achievable and it sounds like you’ll have the type of crew required but it will be hard work, particularly if you are on your own in between the weekends. The first six days or so will be very lock heavy (assuming you go clockwise). After that it’s more leisurely. As stated the locks through Birmingham are not particularly difficult and rather than discourage mooring in Birmingham I would encourage a stop in the centre but also concur with the view that the most suitable stopping places either side are Shirley and Curdworth.

 

The Warwickshire Ring is a standard one week hire from any of the numerous hire bases along its route so an extension from Lapworth to Stratford and return - which is 3 to 4 days normal cruising in total - must be feasible in a two week hire.

 

JP

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Looks like a good trip to me!

(As pointed out, that map doesn't really work don't follow it! - there is a spur down from Kings Norton to Stourport that should be replaced by a spur down from Lapworth to Stratford).

I would certainly plan to stop in centre of Brum - it's an essential canal experience (in a good way) and centre is safe.

Likewise, a night in Bancroft Basin (Stratford) is a memorable stop.

 

Just a thought....You might want to consider going anti-clock. When doing a 'ring with a detour' like this, I tend to leave the detour part until later in the trip, because that's the section I can adjust if necessary to match circumstances and progress made at the time.

Another thought.... If you begin to feel this is a bit too demanding, you could replace your trip down the Stratford with an easier detour up the Ashby. You could even make this decision a couple of days into the trip if you wanted to.

 

The good news is there are around 8 million quite decent tourist attractions on your route.

Ones I would visit are:

Cape of Good Hope - Warwick

Two Boats - Long Itchington

Tom O'The Wood - Rowington (or alternatively Navigation Inn at Lapworth)

Fleurs De Leys - Lowsonford

Dirty Duck - Stratford

Blue Bell Cider House - Earlswood

Tap and Spile - Gas St Basin (but countless alternatives)

Dog and Doublet - Bodymoor Heath

 

Get busy on Canalplan and Google and get at least a rough idea of an itinerary.

If you have a plan (some people don't believe in them, I know) then you can relax properly knowing that you are on schedule, or get a bit of a wriggle on if necessary.

Enjoy.

  • Greenie 1

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9 minutes ago, Captain Fizz said:

Ah! It was you with the water skier!🤣

:)

no, not me!   just long days as not sure how long it would take. We took a week hire boat from Kate Boats from Warwick but they didn't really give us any assistance with timescales so not sure how long it would take. Got back early and Kate Boats were closed so we spent the day playing monopoly on the boat, in their yard looking at our locked car and gate!

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