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my wife and had a week on a canal boat last year and went from gailey to nantwich and back just the 2 of us mastered the locks quiet quickley so we have managed to persueaed 2 of our friends to come with us in on april 19th and do the four counties from gailey i think with 2 experenced and 2 non experinced, however intellegent people i think it is possible in 7 day hire priod if we can get 5 hours in on the first day i think there after 8 to 9 hours a day will do it, which we our all up for as we are not the sort of people who like sit around and do nothing, however my wife is still worried we will not make it, is there anyone who says it will take longer than 8 to 9 hours per day, or anybody with advice on doing four counties ring in 7 days?

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Total distance is 110 miles, 1½ furlongs and 94 locks. There are at least 35 small aqueducts or underbridges and 2 tunnels (Cowley Tunnel (81 yards long) and Harecastle Tunnel (2919 yards long) [see navigational note 1 below]).

 

This is made up of 107 miles of narrow canals; 3 miles, 1¾ furlongs of broad canals; 94 narrow locks.

This will take 60 hours, 13 minutes which is 6 days, 6 hours and 13 minutes at 9 hours per day. For calculation purposes this is taken as 7 days.

 

 

The key bit to factor in is getting a Harecastle Tunnel passage booked in to fit in with your itinerary. Otherwise you may lose half a day waiting for the direction of passage to be in your favour.

Otherwise, there are long stretches where you can cruise at slightly higher speeds than Canalplan defaults at, and the hours of light will be far longer so you can make an early start or late finish to reach a better overnight spot.

I have done it in just over 5 days, but I like long cruising days.

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The point of the canal holiday FOR ME is to meander and visit the villages and towns that you may never see. If you do not visit then you may not enjoy oatcakes, it is not FOR ME what is on the waterways but what is off or nearby which makes a memorable holiday.

edited to reflect personal opinion as opposed to fact

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The point of the canal holiday is to meander and visit the villages and towns that you may never see. If you do not visit then you may not enjoy oatcakes, it is not what is on the waterways but what is off or nearby which makes a memorable holiday.

The point of a canal holiday for you, maybe?

 

Please don't tell me what the point of my canal holidays are though! How could you know?

 

(Yes, easy to do in a week. But at peak times it is not just Harecastle you need to thing about. You can get delays of several hours at some of the locks on the Middlewich branch, and some of the lock flights on the Shroppie can have a great deal of queuing too...)

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(Yes, easy to do in a week. But at peak times it is not just Harecastle you need to thing about. You can get delays of several hours at some of the locks on the Middlewich branch, and some of the lock flights on the Shroppie can have a great deal of queuing too...)

The OP has suggested April 9th, which is after the Easter bunfight has finished, so should be fairly quiet.

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Another vote here for the OP doing what they want with their holiday. Hiring a boat is an expensive business, and certainly when we were hiring we used the boat as much as we could. Even now with our own boat I don't have unlimited holiday time, so I still like to put in the miles, that is the pleasure for me. If you like a village you can always come back the next week in the car for a look!

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Total distance is 110 miles, 1½ furlongs and 94 locks. There are at least 35 small aqueducts or underbridges and 2 tunnels (Cowley Tunnel (81 yards long) and Harecastle Tunnel (2919 yards long) [see navigational note 1 below]).

 

This is made up of 107 miles of narrow canals; 3 miles, 1¾ furlongs of broad canals; 94 narrow locks.

This will take 60 hours, 13 minutes which is 6 days, 6 hours and 13 minutes at 9 hours per day. For calculation purposes this is taken as 7 days.

 

 

The key bit to factor in is getting a Harecastle Tunnel passage booked in to fit in with your itinerary. Otherwise you may lose half a day waiting for the direction of passage to be in your favour.

Otherwise, there are long stretches where you can cruise at slightly higher speeds than Canalplan defaults at, and the hours of light will be far longer so you can make an early start or late finish to reach a better overnight spot.

I have done it in just over 5 days, but I like long cruising days.

 

Thanks for that we will be hitting hare castle tunnel on or about 24th of April would you recommend we book in I have an idea of what time we will be there from my plan.

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Thanks for that we will be hitting hare castle tunnel on or about 24th of April would you recommend we book in I have an idea of what time we will be there from my plan.

 

I didn't think that you can book a passage through Harecastle at that time of the year, =98&search_data_by[]=all&start_day=6&start_month=3&start_year=2013&end_period=all&end_day=6&end_month=3&end_year=2013&subtn= Find Stoppages"]Details

 

Tim

Edited by Tim Lewis
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We've had a trip on the Shroppie at Easter for the last 10 years and have never had to queue at locks AFAIK. The Middlewich Branch locks are probably the only ones that could present hold ups though still unlikely if it's midweek in term time. You should have hno problem doing Four Counties in a week.

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my wife and had a week on a canal boat last year and went from gailey to nantwich and back just the 2 of us mastered the locks quiet quickley so we have managed to persueaed 2 of our friends to come with us in on april 19th and do the four counties from gailey i think with 2 experenced and 2 non experinced, however intellegent people i think it is possible in 7 day hire priod if we can get 5 hours in on the first day i think there after 8 to 9 hours a day will do it, which we our all up for as we are not the sort of people who like sit around and do nothing, however my wife is still worried we will not make it, is there anyone who says it will take longer than 8 to 9 hours per day, or anybody with advice on doing four counties ring in 7 days?

 

Well judging by the hectic pace of your post, you should easily manage it! B) Sorry, couldn't resist. And welcome to the forum.

 

Going from a Caterham 7 to a narrowboat must be quite a challenge, though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my fellow owners did the 4 Counties Ring in a week SINGLE HANDED!

So 4 of you should have no problem since you do not want to spend days sight-seeing.

In peak season I recommend making an early start in the mornings (say 8am) to get some miles under your belt before many of the boats have woken up. It's the best time of day.

Then moor up early (12)for a leisurely lunch.

Try and time your arrival at Harecastle Tunnel or "Heartbreak Hill" (The 22 Cheshire Locks on the T&M)for early morning for the same reason.

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my wife and had a week on a canal boat last year and went from gailey to nantwich and back just the 2 of us mastered the locks quiet quickley so we have managed to persueaed 2 of our friends to come with us in on april 19th and do the four counties from gailey i think with 2 experenced and 2 non experinced, however intellegent people i think it is possible in 7 day hire priod if we can get 5 hours in on the first day i think there after 8 to 9 hours a day will do it, which we our all up for as we are not the sort of people who like sit around and do nothing, however my wife is still worried we will not make it, is there anyone who says it will take longer than 8 to 9 hours per day, or anybody with advice on doing four counties ring in 7 days?

Yep, you should be fine to do it in a week, we did the 4 counties ring in 5 days last October including selling a few tonnes of coal & some good evenings in the pub. If you like beer / old pubs, the the Anchor at High Offley is always worth stopping of at.

 

:cheers: Brian

Edited by NB Alton
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I once did in in a week hiring from Claymore at Preston Brook - don't remember it being particularly tight for time. We did have a big crew, made some early starts and managed to fit in some afternoon pub stops and short visits into Middlewich, Nantwich and even a taxi to Lymme.

 

Here's the log

Sat: Preston Brook to Middlewich

Sun: Middlewich to Nantwich (2 hour stay) to Audlem (about 3 locks up from the Shroppie Fly)

Mon: Audlem to Wheaton Aston (stopped for 2 hours at the Anchor High Offley)

Tue: Wheaton Aston to Great Hayward (stopped at Gailey for 2 hours)

Wed: Great Hayward to Longport (stopped at Stone for 2 hours)

Thu: Longport to Wheelock (stopped at Rode Heath for 2 hours)

Fri: Wheelock to Acton Bridge (taxi to visit Lymme)

Sat: Acton Bridge to Preston Brook

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We did it in 11 Months but lots of hireboats do it in a week

 

Yep, you should be fine to do it in a week, we did the 4 counties ring in 5 days last October including selling a few tonnes of coal & some good evenings in the pub. If you like beer / old pubs, the the Anchor at High Offley is always worth stopping of at.

 

:cheers: Brian

Stopping at the Anchor would make it very hard to do it in a week as most people who stop at the Anchor stay for a couple of days. :cheers:

  • Greenie 1
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Maybe a false assumption but are you hiring ?

 

Just check out the 'collection' time for your boat.

 

Many hire companies are 2.00pm collection and by the time youve had the 'talk' and got loaded up you are unlikely to be underway before 3.00pm so your first day is quite short.

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