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cornishdave

Stourport Ring in August

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Hi all.
Just booked for a week on the Stourport Ring in August starting from Autherley Junction, and as you've all been really helpful before it's time for my annual 'does this make sense' itinerary sanity check (please) 🙂
For various reasons our preference is to do this clockwise, but as I don't want to stop at the top of the Wolverhampton flight we're taking a small detour on the first evening and will start in earnest on the following morning.
The plan below was initially made up before the Covid situation so is based primarily around stopping near pubs where possible (obviously the pubs may or may not be open when we go đŸ˜±)


Currently looking like this:
Day 1 (start around 3pm) - Autherley to The Anchor at Cross Green (having gone past and winded maybe at Hatherton Junction)
Day 2 - Somewhere near the Black Country Museum (prob walk to a pub as I don't think the Bottle & Glass is open in evenings)
Day 3 - Alvechurch (Weighbridge or Crown)
Day 4 - Hanbury Junction (Eagle & Sun, or possible go a little further to the Fir Tree). Appreciate this a a long day!
Day 5 - Holt Lock (the Wharf or Holt Fleet hotel)
Day 6 - Kinver (seem to be a few choices here - happy for suggestions)
Day 7 - Compton Lock (either the excellent chippy or a couple of pubs)

Day 8 - quick 45 minutes back to boatyard

 

Does this all seem about right?

Cheers
Dave

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Seems OK timing wise.   We would stop at The Queens Head rather than The Eagle. The Boat and Railway has also been OK in the past.

The Anchor is a chain pub. The moorings Hatherton side are a bit gloomy.

 

Black Country Museum. Either The Fountain in Tipton , or Mad O Rourkes Pie Factory.  Moore by Tipton Health Centre or on the gardens just past the bridge.  Tipton town centre always feels like Beirut on a quiet night😊.

Alvechurch.  Booking a must for food in the Weighbridge.  Selection of beers vv good.

Beware of low water levels down from Offerton.

 

Kinver. Were  lots of pubs in the village if you walk up from the cut.  Good butcher's.

Good pub down the side street to Tesco in Stourport.  The Hollybush IIRC.

N

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Looks fine to me.

 

Substituting the Queens Head for the Eagle & Sun isn’t really an option on that route as there are 12 locks between them. There are valid - and quite different reasons - for avoiding both. Alternatively the Queens Head for lunch and Eagle & Sun for dinner seems to fit the itinerary.

 

The Fir Tree is a possible alternative but I haven’t eaten there in ages because it used to be a bit odd. Perhaps that was intentional and in keeping with it’s location. It’s under different ownership these days and it seemed promising when I last called in to grab a pint in passing.

 

Alvechurch to Hanbury Junction may not be as long a day as you’d think as the locks are quick. It depends on the crew.

 

Definitely Weighbridge at Alvechurch but I do wonder what impact the infection controls will have on their confined spaces.

 

Must admit I’m not planning pubs for my summer trips.
 

JP

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Thanks both, that's really helpful.

I'll take a look at your comments with my Nicholson's later...

As for crew, there's 6 of us and get into a pretty good rhythm on locks etc. (did the Four Counties Ring last year and Warwickshire Ring the previous year).

 

Thanks again

Edited by cornishdave

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4 hours ago, cornishdave said:

Thanks both, that's really helpful.

I'll take a look at your comments with my Nicholson's later...

As for crew, there's 6 of us and get into a pretty good rhythm on locks etc. (did the Four Counties Ring last year and Warwickshire Ring the previous year).

 

Thanks again

The Stourport Ring is shorter than both of those. You’ll fly down Tardebigge locks once you’ve cleared the top one and reached the main body of the flight. That’s unless there’s a queue or a slower boat that won’t yield. However it can be remarkably devoid of boats even in the summer. It helps that you’ll likely be well clear of the days on which the local hire base boats are there en masse. There will probably be volockies on hand too but they often seek out the boats that are in more need of assistance and given the nature of the flight you may hardly see them even if they are there since they do work the full length rather than hang around their cabin.

 

JP

 

PS - if there’s one thing the W&B lacks in my opinion it’s a really good canalside pub. However I don’t know your requirements so I don’t want to put you off any of them cos there’s no real reason to avoid any of them.

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2 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

 

 

PS - if there’s one thing the W&B lacks in my opinion it’s a really good canalside pub. However I don’t know your requirements so I don’t want to put you off any of them cos there’s no real reason to avoid any of them.

Basically simple good (preferably homemade rather than chain restaurant if you know what I mean) traditional pub grub, not looking for gastro really.

 

Cheers

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As a basic rule of thumb. Boat remains tightly moored up during school holidays or bank holiday weekends. Apart from that you will love it 😁

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In Tipton you can moor just along from the Fountain (nice proper pub), either same side opposite the flats or opposite side at John the Locks moorings -- as OP says, the Bottle & Glass closes at teatime.

 

It's a pity to pass both Ma Pardoe's and the Bull and Bladder without calling at either, but if the timings don't work... 😞

Edited by IanD

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Interested in this thread as I might be doing Stourport ring also this Summer.

I've seen many negative reviews of the Vine at Kinver on here in the past, but recent reviews on Google since the place has been 'under new management' are generally excellent.

It would be great if this was reinstated as a recommended canal-side stop.

Does anyone have any recent experience?

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5 minutes ago, zimzim said:

Interested in this thread as I might be doing Stourport ring also this Summer.

I've seen many negative reviews of the Vine at Kinver on here in the past, but recent reviews on Google since the place has been 'under new management' are generally excellent.

It would be great if this was reinstated as a recommended canal-side stop.

Does anyone have any recent experience?

Yes, It was crap until Lockdown.

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On 25/06/2020 at 17:35, Captain Pegg said:

Looks fine to me.

 

Substituting the Queens Head for the Eagle & Sun isn’t really an option on that route as there are 12 locks between them. There are valid - and quite different reasons - for avoiding both. Alternatively the Queens Head for lunch and Eagle & Sun for dinner seems to fit the itinerary.

 

The Fir Tree is a possible alternative but I haven’t eaten there in ages because it used to be a bit odd. Perhaps that was intentional and in keeping with it’s location. It’s under different ownership these days and it seemed promising when I last called in to grab a pint in passing.

 

Alvechurch to Hanbury Junction may not be as long a day as you’d think as the locks are quick. It depends on the crew.

 

Definitely Weighbridge at Alvechurch but I do wonder what impact the infection controls will have on their confined spaces.

 

Must admit I’m not planning pubs for my summer trips.
 

JP

I haven’t done either pub for quite a while but when we were moored at Alvechurch for a year, then Droitwich Spa Marina for a year, both were OK.

Would you care to share any information on what’s changed?

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32 minutes ago, Sbg said:

I haven’t done either pub for quite a while but when we were moored at Alvechurch for a year, then Droitwich Spa Marina for a year, both were OK.

Would you care to share any information on what’s changed?

I don’t think much has changed at the Queen’s Head in recent times. Well obviously up to March. It’s still really a big restaurant built on the back of a pub, the food is still ok but priced as though it’s something more and the customers still appear to be mostly on day release from Redditch. I agree it’s ok but I can never fathom why it’s so popular. My wife likes it.

 

The Eagle & Sun is kind of the opposite in style but it’s still mostly given over to its food operation. It has been through changes over the years but I think it’s back to how it was a decade and more ago now. Fine if carvery is your thing. My mum likes it.
 

To be fair both do often serve decent well kept beer, you just don’t really feel like you’re drinking it in a pub.

 

JP

 

 

Edited by Captain Pegg

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Queen's Head is part of Lovely Pub group - so closely related to the Boot at Lapworth, and the similarity shows. They are primarily 'gastro', rather than being for drinkers. The Boot barely counts as a canal pub these days, but was my local in a previous life.

We celebrated other half's birthday at the Queen's Head last year (coincidentally - just where we happened to be that night) having called there the year before to take on some calories before tackling Tardebigge flight. There's something about spending a Summer's evening in an English pub garden, on the rare occasions when you comfortably can, and food is excellent if you are not on a tight budget.

 

Eagle & Sun serves a useful purpose - rather more 'cheap and cheerful' and more of a holiday camp approach with it's carvery, but we've always found it to be decent.

 

BTW - Weighbridge at Alvechurch is a real gem - order food early as it's made in small batches and get's scrubbed off the blackboard over the bar as they run out!

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On 25/06/2020 at 15:55, cornishdave said:

Hi all.
Just booked for a week on the Stourport Ring in August starting from Autherley Junction, and as you've all been really helpful before it's time for my annual 'does this make sense' itinerary sanity check (please) 🙂
For various reasons our preference is to do this clockwise, but as I don't want to stop at the top of the Wolverhampton flight we're taking a small detour on the first evening and will start in earnest on the following morning.
The plan below was initially made up before the Covid situation so is based primarily around stopping near pubs where possible (obviously the pubs may or may not be open when we go đŸ˜±)


Currently looking like this:
Day 1 (start around 3pm) - Autherley to The Anchor at Cross Green (having gone past and winded maybe at Hatherton Junction)
Day 2 - Somewhere near the Black Country Museum (prob walk to a pub as I don't think the Bottle & Glass is open in evenings)
Day 3 - Alvechurch (Weighbridge or Crown)
Day 4 - Hanbury Junction (Eagle & Sun, or possible go a little further to the Fir Tree). Appreciate this a a long day!
Day 5 - Holt Lock (the Wharf or Holt Fleet hotel)
Day 6 - Kinver (seem to be a few choices here - happy for suggestions)
Day 7 - Compton Lock (either the excellent chippy or a couple of pubs)

Day 8 - quick 45 minutes back to boatyard

 

Does this all seem about right?

Cheers
Dave

Are you going via Droitwich or Worcester?

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8 hours ago, David Mack said:

Are you going via Droitwich or Worcester?

When I ran the original through canalplan I did it via Worcester, but looking now there doesn't seem a massive difference in time or no of locks between the two options. Would you consider one way much nicer than the other?

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3 hours ago, cornishdave said:

When I ran the original through canalplan I did it via Worcester, but looking now there doesn't seem a massive difference in time or no of locks between the two options. Would you consider one way much nicer than the other?

If you're stopping there overnight, Worcester has the fantastic Cardinal's Hat pub. If you were planning to spend a day at the Black Country Museum and then moor in Tipton, an alternative would be to leave late afternoon, run through Netherton Tunnel, moor up at Withymoor Island Trust and walk up to Ma Pardoe's for the evening. Then the following lunchtime you could moor at the bottom of the Delph flight and walk up to the Vine for a couple of hours. Job done, two iconic Black Country pubs visited 🙂

 

I did the Stourport ring in 2018, there's a report here (including pub comments) which you might find helpful...

 

 

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38 minutes ago, IanD said:

If you're stopping there overnight, Worcester has the fantastic Cardinal's Hat pub. If you were planning to spend a day at the Black Country Museum and then moor in Tipton, an alternative would be to leave late afternoon, run through Netherton Tunnel, moor up at Withymoor Island Trust and walk up to Ma Pardoe's for the evening. Then the following lunchtime you could moor at the bottom of the Delph flight and walk up to the Vine for a couple of hours. Job done, two iconic Black Country pubs visited 🙂

 

I did the Stourport ring in 2018, there's a report here (including pub comments) which you might find helpful...

 

 

It’s nice to see I am consistent and not alone in my thoughts on the Queen’s Head.

 

I will clarify that the W&B lacks a great pub below Tardebigge as the Weighbridge is a place for boaters to aim to stop in my view.
 

The Bridge at Tibberton ceased trading in late May. What it’s future holds I don’t know. It had been a very mixed bag for a number of years.

 

It is of course very subjective to the individuals or groups choices. If I were boating with friends I would absolutely be seeking to visit the Vine and/or the Swan but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest to a family group that they should do so.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

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3 hours ago, cornishdave said:

When I ran the original through canalplan I did it via Worcester, but looking now there doesn't seem a massive difference in time or no of locks between the two options. Would you consider one way much nicer than the other?

Really depends on how much you want to 'do Worcester' or maybe clip a couple of hours off your journey.

 

Droitwich route is more rural and is interesting (single locks, double locks, locks with side-ponds, a staircase lock and an extremely low bridge).

There is a handy canal-side Waitrose in the middle of Droitwich.

Bear in mind, though, that it is very difficult to stop on most of this route - not sure if that matters to you.

 

I quite like Worcester, but in anti-viral mode I'm thinking city pubs may be a struggle.

 

Edited by zimzim
typo

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1 hour ago, zimzim said:

Really depends on how much you want to 'do Worcester' or maybe clip a couple of hours off your journey.

 

Droitwich route is more rural and is interesting (single locks, double locks, locks with side-ponds, a staircase lock and an extremely low bridge).

There is a handy canal-side Waitrose in the middle of Droitwich.

Bear in mind, though, that it is very difficult to stop on most of this route - not sure if that matters to you.

 

I quite like Worcester, but in anti-viral mode I'm thinking city pubs may be a struggle.

 

I think the issue is that *most* pubs may be a struggle, depending when in August the trip is and how much lockdown has been relaxed by then. We've got a trip booked starting August 29th and I'm hoping pubs and restaurants will be working reasonably well by then, but you never know, there might have been a second wave by then... 😞

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