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Stourport ring from Napton


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We've booked out of Napton for 2 weeks in July and (Covid allowing) thinking about doing the Stourport ring anti-clockwise going up to Brum via Catherine-de-Barnes. We plan half a day (and overnight) at the Black Country Museum and would like at least a few hours around Stourport and Worcester and go back to Napton down Lapworth.  It's going to need a couple of long days, but we've got a good crew of 5, and don't mind a bit of work if there are some short days to counterbalance it. 

 

Has anybody done this trip? I'm looking for somebody to sanity check me that it'll work.

 

Also looking for suggestions of places to visit and good practical advice.  We've done plenty of canal work, but have always shied off rivers as I don't want the stress of worrying abut getting stranded by a flood half way around a holiday.

By practical advice, I mean - Where do you pick up the crew entering the river at Stourport?  What's the best advice for turning into the lock at Diglis? Are we going the right way around? Should I be terrified of the weirs? How do we deal with the river locks?

 

And, of course, recommendations where to moor on the way down to Stourport and up from Worcester. Assuming to leave the Black Country museum first thing in the morning, and moor at / near Stourport so to do the river first thing in the day as well. 

 

Thanks in advance for anything to help us plan. 

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That will be a busy couple of weeks, must be close on 200 locks.

 

Sounds like you are gong the best way round, that means you don’t do the Birmingham to Kings Norton bit, rather than doing it twice.

 

There is a pontoon on the river at Stourport, well there are actually two, but one is just visitor moorings.

 

The Severn locks are fine, they are manned so you just follow the traffic lights.  If you want you can phone the lock as you approach, there is a CRT guide to the Severn on the web site that has the lock phone numbers.  In the lock you will use a bow and stern rope round the risers.  If there is strong flow on the river at Diglis you should turn on the river in the slick water above the river lock, rather than turning opposite the weir, as you will need to come onto the pontoon for the lock off 5he river facing upstream.  Make certain the hire company gives you an anchor.

 

If you go into Birmingham via C-de-B then that would be the last place to stop overnight, you would go from there to the centre of Birmingham in one day.  Coming out on the North Stratford, once you get to Shirley lift bridge you can stop anywhere.

 

There are places to stop between Birmingham and BCLM, but I suspect you would not need to.  Assuming you are going via the Stourbridge flight rather than Wolverhampton, then you can stop at Merry Hill, and then the bottom end of the Stourbridge or on the S&W anywhere.  BCLM to Stourport sounds a long day!

 

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As long as you are going in the summer when river levels are low and the flow is calm, it is a good trip on the Severn. we are in Kinver on the Staffs and Worcs so do the Severn several times a year.

 

When you leave Stourport there is a floating pontoon just downstream of the lock. The easiest technique is to go well out onto the river, do a 180 degree turn and approach the pontoon coming upstream against the flow. Then allow the crew to board, set out into the central of the river and turn 180 degrees agin and head downstream.

 

You can do the same at Diglis, go past the lock entrance, and turn 180 degrees and put some crew off at the landing pontoon.

 

The river locks are easy as they are manned. The lock keepers will direct you against one side and they want you to hold the boat against the wall. There are vertical steel wire ropes for this. Use a loop of rope of a boathook t hold onto the wire.

 

At Worcester we either moor on the river upstream of the railway bridge, or on the canal at the Commandery (above  the first lock beyond the basin. here is seldom room in the basin in the summer.

 

In Stourport either moor above the lock before etc basins or on the river, here is a visitor pontoon. The limited visitor spaces in the basin are often occupied.

 

Be warned that the journey you propose has a lot of locks.

 

PS consider doing the Droitwich instead of going to Worcester, I like that canal and there are good visitor moorings near the central of the town.

 

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21 minutes ago, john6767 said:

That will be a busy couple of weeks, must be close on 200 locks.

 

Sounds like you are gong the best way round, that means you don’t do the Birmingham to Kings Norton bit, rather than doing it twice.

 

There is a pontoon on the river at Stourport, well there are actually two, but one is just visitor moorings.

 

The Severn locks are fine, they are manned so you just follow the traffic lights.  If you want you can phone the lock as you approach, there is a CRT guide to the Severn on the web site that has the lock phone numbers.  In the lock you will use a bow and stern rope round the risers.  If there is strong flow on the river at Diglis you should turn on the river in the slick water above the river lock, rather than turning opposite the weir, as you will need to come onto the pontoon for the lock off 5he river facing upstream.  Make certain the hire company gives you an anchor.

 

If you go into Birmingham via C-de-B then that would be the last place to stop overnight, you would go from there to the centre of Birmingham in one day.  Coming out on the North Stratford, once you get to Shirley lift bridge you can stop anywhere.

 

There are places to stop between Birmingham and BCLM, but I suspect you would not need to.  Assuming you are going via the Stourbridge flight rather than Wolverhampton, then you can stop at Merry Hill, and then the bottom end of the Stourbridge or on the S&W anywhere.  BCLM to Stourport sounds a long day!

 

Thanks. We're actually thinking if going down Wolverhampton and yes, it's 258 locks in total, hence the need for a sanity check. Any suggestions for moorings that way down to Stourport? 

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27 minutes ago, Lancshoppy said:

Thanks. We're actually thinking if going down Wolverhampton and yes, it's 258 locks in total, hence the need for a sanity check. Any suggestions for moorings that way down to Stourport? 

Personally I would avoid stopping overnight in Kidderminster, although it is good from a supermarket stop there.  Other than that I would say you can stop anywhere really, so just push on until you run out of day!

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21 hours ago, Lancshoppy said:

Thanks. We're actually thinking if going down Wolverhampton and yes, it's 258 locks in total, hence the need for a sanity check. Any suggestions for moorings that way down to Stourport? 

The Wolverhampton flight route is certainly OK but I would suggest you consider using the Stourbridge as a somewhat more interesting route, with the Netherton tunnel, Bumblehole and the Delph locks. Also the section below Stourbridge is very pleasant countryside.

 

If you go the Wolverhampton way the fish and chips at Compton or Swindon are both very good .

 

Also, I suggest using the old line out of Birmingham (or at least some of it; a more meandering route and a few locks. The water is exceptionally clear approaching Tipton and usually you see lots of fish (I always find this a surprise in the Birmingham Canals).

Edited by jonesthenuke
Typo!
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I would commend the Stourbridge - it's a more interesting route than via Wolverhampton. Glass museum just by the lock flight in Stourbridge. I found a good mooring at the foot of the Delph, half a mile from the locks.

 

You might get a bit wet at Stourport today. Here's the bottom lock onto the river. You can just see the tops of the paddle gear. (Not my photo).

stourport.jpeg.59b5e682372f6afa4f1ec6b3a682b6f7.jpeg

 

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