Jump to content

Is the Warwickshire ring doable in a week


Colinclement
 Share

Featured Posts

Hi we are a group of 4 all approaching our 60’s (from both ends) who have never been on a canal boat before but love an adventure (last year we were trekking in Peru). And we are all physically fit. We have found advice to not do this route in a week and other advice that suggests it is not only doable in a week but actually very rewarding! 

 

We have booked a 7 day hire of an 8 berth boat and plan to have the 4 of us all week and the 4 kids (24 to 30) join us for a long weekend.  We completely feel that if you go on a boating holiday then that’s really what we want to do and not park up for walks and picnics.   The kids need to join us somewhere and leave a car that they can get back to.  We pick the boat up at 2:30 on Tuesday 22nd September at Napton and return it 9:30 on Tuesday 29th September.  Any advice you could give us would be much appreciated especially the route and where we may be on any particular evening so the kids can find us.  We plan to go clockwise. 

Thank you. Colin. 

BF441D0B-3042-44AD-8E50-B1EA94EDC3F1.jpeg

Edited by Colinclement
Typos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, and with that size of crew it shouldn’t be a problem. Every week there are numerous crews doing exactly that trip including novices but it will mean a full days boating every day as it’s over 50 hours cruising in total.
 

In my opinion it’s the best mix of canals you can get in a one week hire. Have a look at the choice of routes, you either skirt the edge of Birmingham city centre or go right through it, in which case it’s generally recommended to moor up there for a night. It takes slightly longer to do that though.

 

JP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it's doable with some long days. We've done it, with stops approx as below. Other folk will no doubt offer different options and opinions.

 

Tuesday - can you pay a bit more and get the boat early? A tought start. I reckon it's about 8 hours from Napton to the Cape pub in Warwick. 7 hours to Radford bottom lock.

Wednesday - 8 hours from the Cape to Lapworth (longer if you don't make it as far as the Cape). Gastropub in Lapworth.

Thursday - 7 hours to Gas St basin in central Birmingham. Start early so you get a mooring.

Friday - 9 hours to Bodymoor Heath.

Saturday - 7 hours to Atherstone.

Sunday - 9 hours to Hawkesbury (pub).

Monday - 6 hours to Braunston, 7 to rural mooring between there and Napton.

Tuesday - 1 or 2 hours back to Napton.

 

Good luck. It's a great trip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Not sure if I'd use the word holiday. It is one of the routes I've done, and did it in a week. A tad short of relaxation, in a week; maybe with plenty of people helping, it may not seem so. Anyway, it's all the journey. 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Proper Charlie said:

I reckon it's about 8 hours from Napton to the Cape pub in Warwick. 7 hours to Radford bottom lock.

That hour for Raford to Cape pub looks a bit optimistic given it is five miles and two locks - probably more like two.  Also bear in mind that Napton have a lot of boats, so not all get away at once, and there will be time taken up to familiarise you with the boat, so wise not to depend on raching the Cape that night.

 

Many (most?) hirers do the route in a week though, just keep track of progress against your overall plan each day and be prepared to have some early starts if you need to make up time due to queues at locks, following slow boats etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree the first day in the above schedule looks optimistic for beginners.  Better to take your time over getting used to boat handling and lock operation on the first day, and just stop when you have had enough, rather than have a specific target.

 

As peter n says it is a good idea to have a daily schedule that you can monitor your progress against:  https://canalplan.uk/  is a useful resource for this.  Allow some contingency for hold ups, as you have to be back by your scheduled time.  If you find you are behind the schedule by say Thursday night, then plan to turn round somewhere and come back before you are commited to the ring.

 

You won't have much spare time for sightseeing, or shopping, so plan on either eating in pubs or take most of your supplies with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive done it in a week on two separate occasions - One the first we went from Hatton Top to Napton in one day, last of the holiday, we'd had disruption due to a gate failure at Aston (And Garrison were closed too)

 

From memory

 

Saturday start - Calcutt to Hilmorton

Sunday - Hillmorton to Coventry Basin

Monday - Coventry to Polesworth

Tuesday - Polesworth to Aston Bottom lock 

Wednesday - Aston Bottom Lock to Farmers Bridge/Cambrian Wharf - didn't start til 3pm because of gate failure

Thurdsay - Farmers Bridge to Hatton Top

Friday - Hatton Top to Calcutt and thence to the Bridge in at Napton for the last night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two of us did Fazeley Junction to Hawkesbury Junction yesterday and are doing Hawkesbury to Braunston today. This includes stopping for lunch and shopping. Birmingham to Fazeley Junction is a long day but something I've done on a few occasions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Rob-M said:

Two of us did Fazeley Junction to Hawkesbury Junction yesterday and are doing Hawkesbury to Braunston today. This includes stopping for lunch and shopping. Birmingham to Fazeley Junction is a long day but something I've done on a few occasions.

I bet you’ll need more than 6 hours to do Hawkesbury to Braunston though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Captain Pegg said:

I bet you’ll need more than 6 hours to do Hawkesbury to Braunston though.

Yes, currently in Tesco at Rugby having done 4hrs so far. Depending on Hillmorton should be another 4hrs this afternoon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said it is quite possible in a hire week, which is more like 6.5 days than 7.  Of course as we are starting to loose the light already they days will be a bit shorter, but as long as you are off early and put in the hours you will be fine.

 

From Napton you should go clockwise, ie down Calcutt locks, not to Braunston.  That way you do the bulk of the locks early, and it will be easier to catch up on your last couple of days if you need to.


Going via the centre of Birmingham it would look something like this

 

Tuesday - Long Itchington

Wednesday - Kingswood junction (Lapworth), this is a tough day

Thursday - Centre of Birmingham 

Friday - Curdworth, another tough day

Saturday -Atherstone 

Sunday - Rugby

Monday - between Braunston and Napton

 

To go via the centre of Birmingham go the North Stratford route not the GU via Knowle, although we meta Kate Boats hire boat on Farmers Beidge a few weeks ago, who had gone Knowle, Camp Hill, Ashsted, FB to the centre, then were going FB and Aston out.  Apparently they missed the turn at Kingswood and got confused about where they were.  Morel of the story, when you are spending £1500 to hire a boat don’t skimp on the £10 to buy a Nicholson’s from Amazon!

  • Greenie 1
  • Happy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not plan to go further than Long Itchington on the first night. You need time to familiarise yourselves with the boat and the locks, and you might not have the boat till late. And remember you're not supposed to cruise after sunset (or before sunrise) - most hire companies don't allow it. We have done Long Itchington to the top of Hatton in one day, and there's only two of us. Had great help from the lockies at Hatton, though! My preference then would be for Lapworth locks into Birmingham. And on the way back - Polesworth, Hawkesbury, Braunston.

 

There is a great route planner at www.canalplan.eu which might help you.

Edited by Sally Grim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, peter n said:

image.png.a86512345c423067e4fdcd38ea5664d6.png

No need for everyone to get up, boat would be congested, have three three hour shifts per day,  two folks run the boat and two laze about/walk/shop/read/research/ etc.

Edited by LadyG
  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An hour or so ago I chatted to a hire boat steerer as he set off up Tardebigge in heavy rain and high winds in order to stay on schedule. I expect he'll have a difficult day ahead and a wet, miserable crew at the end. Just something to factor in when planning a ring, but I've done your route in the same timescale in my hiring days and very much enjoyed it. Today though, I'll be staying put and I may even light the stove!  :)

 

Your motley crew look capable enough to me... ;)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been in a hurry in the past and met heavy use at every lock and then a broken lock! No enjoyment what so ever on that trip. Easy going trips all the time in the world is what boating is about, instead of ruining other boaters days 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Colin,

We did that ring but anticlockwise - including a side diversion to Coventry it was 58 hours of cruising time - Coventry was about 4.5 hours of that so you're up for 50+ hours which is doable but much prefer having done it over 10 days than trying to do it in 7.

 

In reverse we went Napton > Rugby > Hawkesbury Engine House > Tolson's Mill > Cambrian Wharf > Wharf Tavern > Cape Moorings > Blue Lias Pub > Napton - from my vague recollection, Cape Moorings on your first night would be a challenge?

 

We always buy the Nicholson's and the Pearson's guide - given what you spend on a hireboat, no point skimping on the guidebooks.  We used both.  As many said, Canalplan is also great and download OpenCanalMap to your phone too.

 

Enjoy it - might be years until we can boat again...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Melbourne_Boaters said:

Cape Moorings on your first night would be a challenge?

 

They're set to pick up the boat at 2.30, sunset is about 7 pm. That's 4,5 hours, and you might also have to deduct time for the handover.

So getting to Cape might be a bit ambitious. I would expect that would cause a a trail of "speeding hire boaters" shouts?!  ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.