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laura hinks

Canal routes

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Im heading south onto he grand union from stoke on trent. Which is the best route to go? Ive been told to avoid coventry canal although that actually looks the best. Ive been told the staff and worcester through wolverhampton is better.looking at the map though im not sure if that is true

. Can anyone shed some light on what actualy is the easiest route? Thanks 

Edited by laura hinks

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6 minutes ago, laura hinks said:

Im heading south onto he grand union from stoke on trent. Which is the best route to go? Ive been told to avoid coventry canal although that actually looks the best. Ive been told the staff and worcester through wolverhampton is better.looking at the map though im not sure if that is true

. Can anyone shed some light on what actualy is the easiest route? Thanks 

I don't know what the stoppage situation is at the moment, but in normal circumstances, the Coventry is by far the easiest route.

George

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1 minute ago, furnessvale said:

I don't know what the stoppage situation is at the moment, but in normal circumstances, the Coventry is by far the easiest route.

George

Ditto to this. 

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That's a trip we have done many times. People may have meant you should avoid Coventry itself but there is absolutely no need to avoid the rest of the Coventry Canal. Without a doubt, winter stoppages permitting, the quickest easiest and best route is to take the Trent & Mersey to Fradley Junction, then the Coventry/Birmingham & Fazeley to Hawkesbury Junction, and the Oxford Canal to Braunston Turn where you join the Grand Union.

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14 minutes ago, laura hinks said:

Im heading south onto he grand union from stoke on trent. Which is the best route to go? Ive been told to avoid coventry canal although that actually looks the best. Ive been told the staff and worcester through wolverhampton is better.looking at the map though im not sure if that is true

. Can anyone shed some light on what actualy is the easiest route? Thanks 

Did they tell you why?

A agree with Allan above.

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15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

When do you plan to undertake this trip ?

 

In a weeks time weather permiting

8 minutes ago, Graham Davis said:

Did they tell you why?

A agree with Allan above.

They said there are more locks through the coventry route. But i had a breif look at the collins waterway map and it looks a lot less confusing the coventry way.

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As others have alluded - we are now in the peak time for stoppages (canal closures) and will be so for the next 2 or 3 months. Maintenance work is normally planned for completion by Easter.

There are however a couple of recent canal closures that are quite serious and these have been classed as being closed indefinitely, (eg: The Leicester section of the Grand Union which has been closed since September last year and is officially shown as 'closed indefinitely').

Carefully check your route and look on the C&RT website where they will list 'planned' closures.

Carry sufficient stores aboard to allow for getting caught up in any unplanned stoppages - you may get trapped between 2 closures and be unable to take an alternative route.

Good planning and preparation can turn a nightmare trip into a pleasure - its a great time of year for cruising as long as you do not have to be somewhere by a certain time/date.

Good luck.

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16 minutes ago, laura hinks said:

In a weeks time weather permiting.

You'll have some possible problems. Aston Lock is closed until 20th Jan and Weston Lock is closed until 22nd Jan. You have a week's window to make sure you are through Meaford (before Aston & Weston) before it closes on 29th Jan. You must then ensure that you complete your trip through to Braunston by 5th Feb before closures on the Oxford Canal. It's doable but needs careful planning.

Edited by Keeping Up

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Without doing a count, the Coventry canal route must be by a very large margin the least locks.  Any passage to the GU that involves passing through Birmingham in any way has a very large lock count, including the 21 wide locks at Hatton and a similar number again onwards to rejoin the far more obvious route at Braunston.

In normal circumstances, I can't imagine why anybody has given you that advice.  However in stoppage season any trip that far will need very careful planning.

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51 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

You'll have some possible problems. Aston Lock is closed until 20th Jan and Weston Lock is closed until 22nd Jan. You have a week's window to make sure you are through Meaford (before Aston & Weston) before it closes on 29th Jan. You must then ensure that you complete your trip through to Braunston by 5th Feb before closures on the Oxford Canal. It's doable but needs careful planning.

I just checked the stoppage notices and agree. This means you may as well wait two weeks before you start. Having got through Weston Lock once it reopens, the only stoppages between there and Braunston are the two near Rugby both starting 5th Feb, so you have plenty of time to get past those in time. You could be at Braunston about 27th January without going mad at it.

49 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

Where on the Grand Union Canal are you aiming for?

If there were no stoppages the number of locks involved mean that the only reasons for going from Stoke to the GU via Birmingham would be either that you want to see Birmingham (and it is interesting that way) or that your destination on the GU is somewhere before going down the Hatton flight. But if you choose that route at the moment, I think you'd have to take your time. This is how it would go due to various stoppages:

Wait until 26th Jan to get past two locks at Penkridge on the Staffs & Worcs.

Wait until 31st Jan to get past lock 3 on the Wolverhampton 21 (but get up there before lock 4 closes on 5th Feb)

Take the Old Main Line through Birmingham because the New Main Line has stoppages.

Wait until 14th February to get past another stoppage at Camp Hill and emerge onto the GU.

Either way, once on the GU by either route I don't see any stoppages likely to trouble you anywhere between Birmingham and Berkhamsted.

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1 hour ago, Keeping Up said:

You'll have some possible problems. Aston Lock is closed until 20th Jan and Weston Lock is closed until 22nd Jan. You have a week's window to make sure you are through Meaford (before Aston & Weston) before it closes on 29th Jan. You must then ensure that you complete your trip through to Braunston by 5th Feb before closures on the Oxford Canal. It's doable but needs careful planning.

9

Thankyou everyone im going to do some careful planning now and hopefully i shall get her down without too much trouble if i time it right

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13 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

Without doing a count, the Coventry canal route must be by a very large margin the least locks.  Any passage to the GU that involves passing through Birmingham in any way has a very large lock count, including the 21 wide locks at Hatton and a similar number again onwards to rejoin the far more obvious route at Braunston.

In normal circumstances, I can't imagine why anybody has given you that advice.  However in stoppage season any trip that far will need very careful planning.

I think the person who gave me that advise was given advice to avoid coventry but not the canal itself and maybe like chineese whispers the advise got twisted. 

The reason i asked you guys is because after listening to that advise and looking at the map i thought the coventry route looked easier. But i just needed someone who had actually done it to tell me my suspicions were right or wrong. So thanks guys. I shall now prepare my route

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20 minutes ago, laura hinks said:

I think the person who gave me that advise was given advice to avoid coventry but not the canal itself and maybe like chineese whispers the advise got twisted. 

The reason i asked you guys is because after listening to that advise and looking at the map i thought the coventry route looked easier. But i just needed someone who had actually done it to tell me my suspicions were right or wrong. So thanks guys. I shall now prepare my route

It's duff advice on many levels. Primarily because in this case you have no need to go to Coventry itself.

Personally though I think a trip to Coventry basin and back is an excellent way to kill some time between a lunchtime visit to the Greyhound and an evening visit to the Greyhound.

JP

  • Greenie 2

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I know you don't need to go there for this trip, but don't discount ever going to Coventry from the junction with the N Oxford. The basin is usually nice and a safe overnight stop almost right in the city centre. I've been there a couple of times. It is an urban canal and has the problems that all urban ones do. Rubbish in the water and occasionally bored kids causing problems. You can run in to the same in Birmingham, Leicester, Stoke and any other urban area. If you pick your moorings based on recent local experience you'll be fine. Depending on the area, then avoiding weekends and school holidays and timing your trip for early morning when people are still sleeping off their hangovers can also be good. I like urban canals. Have done most of the BCN now. Interesting places to see with lots of old industry and you meet all sorts of people with interesting mental health and substance abuse issues :). Attitude is everything. If you are fearful and antagonistic then you are more likely to get a bad response.

An area can get a bad reputation from just one incident. It gets exaggerated by the towpath telegraph and can be repeated for years despite the situation on the ground.

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies

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