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Mick in Bangkok

Ring way for two week hire cruise

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Just looking for advice on my next hire boat cruise, Myself and family did a two week cruise on the South Oxford last year starting at lower Heyford and traveling on to the Grand Union as far as Gayton Junction then back on the same route.

 This year I would like to try a ring route and looking at the canal maps and am considering starting around Rugby and traveling up the North Oxford and Coventry Canal to Birmingham and onto the Grand Union back to Rugby.

Can anyone give advice of traveling through Birmingham and Coventry, are moorings difficult to come by and is city cruising as bad as some have suggested.

 Also open to suggestions of other ring routs elseward for a two week cruising period.

 Cheers Mick

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We did the Warwickshire ring a couple of years back. It took 8 days...not pushing it too hard... so 14 days will give you loads of time to stop. Our plan was not to stop in the center of Birmingham but those plans got scuppered due to locks shut near the center so instead of the GU, went went into Brum via the North Stratford (we were going clockwise) and stopped in the center. No problems. Good to see the 'urban' canals. You can choose not to go down the leg to Coventry and spend a day in the Greyhound instead!

There are lots of threads on here on places and pubs to stop at with the Two Boats at Long Ichington one of them. That won my 'best pub in the world award' in 2016 & 2017. Warwick itself is a really nice place to have a day to look around so park in Saltisford or up by the Cape for a few nights.

I'm sure you'll get plenty of other suggestions.

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2 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

We did the Warwickshire ring a couple of years back. It took 8 days...not pushing it too hard... so 14 days will give you loads of time to stop. Our plan was not to stop in the center of Birmingham but those plans got scuppered due to locks shut near the center so instead of the GU, went went into Brum via the North Stratford (we were going clockwise) and stopped in the center. No problems. Good to see the 'urban' canals. You can choose not to go down the leg to Coventry and spend a day in the Greyhound instead!

There are lots of threads on here on places and pubs to stop at with the Two Boats at Long Ichington one of them. That won my 'best pub in the world award' in 2016 & 2017. Warwick itself is a really nice place to have a day to look around so park in Saltisford or up by the Cape for a few nights.

I'm sure you'll get plenty of other suggestions.

Very wise words.

  • Greenie 1

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The centre of Brum is a great place to stop. The moorings by the Arena are quiet (as quiet as you can get in a city centre) and there's a helluva lot to see and do for all ages - all within a good walking distance. It's even worth making a trip to the Black Country museum (moorings outside the 'side' entrance) - again interest for both young and old(er).

 

Coventry is more of a conundrum. The transport museum is good and wandering around the Cathedral(s) reminds you of the awful things people did to others in the past.

 

When you begin cruising the focus tends to be on 'getting there' and covering the ground -  less of what's there and what to do, which is a shame.  

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7 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

The centre of Brum is a great place to stop. The moorings by the Arena are quiet (as quiet as you can get in a city centre) and there's a helluva lot to see and do for all ages - all within a good walking distance. It's even worth making a trip to the Black Country museum (moorings outside the 'side' entrance) - again interest for both young and old(er).

 

Coventry is more of a conundrum. The transport museum is good and wandering around the Cathedral(s) reminds you of the awful things people did to others in the past.

 

When you begin cruising the focus tends to be on 'getting there' and covering the ground -  less of what's there and what to do, which is a shame.  

What I can't figure out about the museum is that canals aren't mentioned.

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21 minutes ago, Laurie.Booth said:

What I can't figure out about the museum is that canals aren't mentioned.

Now that you mention it - so do I !

Wasn't it first the Coventry MOTOR museum?  No mention of horse transport or carriages either.

I've always thought of the 'Coventry' as a stub, but that's because we always turn right at Sutton stop (as most folks do) and Coventry has always been a motor town. Even Birmingham, which 'one' would think as the most major focus on canal features pays scant homage to its water heritage  - even Dudley museum makes little of its basin and canal arm.

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I would re-echo what  OldGoat says above .... the centre of birmingham is great, I love the city canals and they make a great contrast to the rural one, so much history to see. You just need to make sure you have planned whwre to stop for the night ... and Gas Street area is an obvious choice.

 

Have a great trip!

 

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The ring that you are talking about is the Warwickshire Ring, if you search on here you will find lots of information about it, as it is a popular ring.  Lots of hire boats do it every week in the summer, but in a week you will have to do 8 hour days, with possibly the odd longer day as well.  For most hiring aboat for the week that is no issue as given the high cost of hire they want to do as much as possible. If you want to take it a bit easier, then a 10 or 14 day hire will allow that.

 

Strictly speaking the Warwickshire ring does not go through the centre of Birmingham, so don’t get confused when you see different variations of the route.  Particularly if you have more than a week it is good to go into the centre of Birmingham where there is good mooring; which means using the North Stratford and Birmingham & Fazeley canals in/out of the centre.

 

Starting from Napton you can get a lot of the locks done first (65 into the centre of Birmingham) by going clockwise, but if you hire from Rugby then to me I don’t think there is a preferred direction, as you are in the middle of the least locked section there.

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6 hours ago, john6767 said:

The ring that you are talking about is the Warwickshire Ring, if you search on here you will find lots of information about it, as it is a popular ring.  Lots of hire boats do it every week in the summer, but in a week you will have to do 8 hour days, with possibly the odd longer day as well.  For most hiring aboat for the week that is no issue as given the high cost of hire they want to do as much as possible. If you want to take it a bit easier, then a 10 or 14 day hire will allow that.

 

Strictly speaking the Warwickshire ring does not go through the centre of Birmingham, so don’t get confused when you see different variations of the route.  Particularly if you have more than a week it is good to go into the centre of Birmingham where there is good mooring; which means using the North Stratford and Birmingham & Fazeley canals in/out of the centre.

 

Starting from Napton you can get a lot of the locks done first (65 into the centre of Birmingham) by going clockwise, but if you hire from Rugby then to me I don’t think there is a preferred direction, as you are in the middle of the least locked section there.

Yes I just realised after reading Dr. Bobs first reply that it was called the Warwickshire ring. I plan to hire for 14 days so plenty of time to get around and a few days to spare that I will spend exploring some of the canals leading onto the ring.

I would like to see some urban canals as well as rural but also have read some posts in the past saying to head straight for the city centre and not to linger around the suburbs and was wondering how big an issue this was and if this concern is warranted. 

Also the starting point is optional depending on where the hire boat companies are, I just picked Rugby as I assumed there would be a couple there, I will start exploring hire boat options now as well so also open to advice on which companies are best.

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1 hour ago, Mick in Bangkok said:

Yes I just realised after reading Dr. Bobs first reply that it was called the Warwickshire ring. I plan to hire for 14 days so plenty of time to get around and a few days to spare that I will spend exploring some of the canals leading onto the ring.

I would like to see some urban canals as well as rural but also have read some posts in the past saying to head straight for the city centre and not to linger around the suburbs and was wondering how big an issue this was and if this concern is warranted. 

Also the starting point is optional depending on where the hire boat companies are, I just picked Rugby as I assumed there would be a couple there, I will start exploring hire boat options now as well so also open to advice on which companies are best.

I live in Birmingham (but keep my boat at Alvecote) so am perhaps too familiar with it.

 

I know you will hear scare stories about each of the various entries to the city - though I hope that the days when the city centre had a bad name are long gone - in fact you would be safe to moor overnight on any of the approaches. The issue is that there is really no where to go (without knowledge of the area) once moored. Certainly there are no attractive pubs or restaurants immediately available canal-side outside the city centre. So my advice is, moor in the suburbs without concern if you need to but don't leave the boat unattended. Ideally, don't and use the day 'saved' to spend in the city (which has an amazing amount to offer).

Edited by frahkn

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As has been said, you'll have plenty of time so a trip up the lock-free Ashby could be included. Personally, I would rather do that than motor down the arm to the centre of Coventry. Mooring near the Arena in Birmingham is great. 

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7 hours ago, Mick in Bangkok said:

Yes I just realised after reading Dr. Bobs first reply that it was called the Warwickshire ring. I plan to hire for 14 days so plenty of time to get around and a few days to spare that I will spend exploring some of the canals leading onto the ring.

I would like to see some urban canals as well as rural but also have read some posts in the past saying to head straight for the city centre and not to linger around the suburbs and was wondering how big an issue this was and if this concern is warranted. 

Also the starting point is optional depending on where the hire boat companies are, I just picked Rugby as I assumed there would be a couple there, I will start exploring hire boat options now as well so also open to advice on which companies are best.

There are a lot of hire companies based around Napton, which as long as you have a car works well and gives choice.  If you are going to be using the train then perhaps the Rugby would work better with a shorter taxi ride to the hire base.

 

On the Warwickshire ring the only parts that you need to think about where to moor are on the approach to/from the centre of Birmingham, assuming you want to go into the centre which I would highly recomend doing.  The centre is fine and there are lots of good moorings, the Main Line near Arena Birmingham (Used to be called NIA) is a good spot to aim for.

 

As to the aproaches there are a few places that I would avoid mooring, and the following would be my suggestion if you are cautious, but I am not saying it is dangerous to do otherwise, just this is a safe plan that most I think would do.  If you go clockwise you will approach on the North Stratford (going past where we live!) and it is fine to stop anywhere before Shirley lift bridge.  However that is only 4 hours from the centre of Birmingham, so you can go from further out in a day if that workis with your timing.  Good places to stop further out the have shops/pubs would be Dickens Heath, Warings Green (Blue Bell pub) or Hockley Heath.  You can get to the centre of Birmingham easily in a day from any.  Going out of Birmingham (assuming clockwise) you would go to the Curdworth area is one day.  The does mean doing 27 locks, but going that way you are going down and the lock are easy.

Edited by john6767

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To my mind the must see in Birmingham is the Staffordshire Hoard in the museum and art gallery. It is the most wonderful collection of Saxon gold artefacts ever found in the UK. https://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/

The moorings in the centre of Birmingham are good and safe. We also moored at Tividale when we were in the area in October and had no problems - we ran out of light to get to the Black Country Living Museum.

We like the Union Canal Carriers boats - they are built in Braunston and those we hired were good to handle. It is a family business

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On 15/12/2018 at 11:02, Laurie.Booth said:

What I can't figure out about the museum is that canals aren't mentioned.

We visited the museum a couple of years ago, and I think that its purpose is to portray the products of the car and bike makers of Coventry.

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I thought Ringway was Manchester airport. Is this for trip for plane spotting?, only I don't think a canal encircles it. :)

Edited by bizzard

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55 minutes ago, bizzard said:

I thought Ringway was Manchester airport. Is this for trip for plane spotting?, only I don't think a canal encircles it. :)

Well if you do the Cheshire Ring you will circumnavigate Manchester Airport.

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6 hours ago, Athy said:

We visited the museum a couple of years ago, and I think that its purpose is to portray the products of the car and bike makers of Coventry.

Then they should change the name of the museum :)

 

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On 17/12/2018 at 23:49, Laurie.Booth said:

Then they should change the name of the museum :)

 

Well, they did a few years ago. It used to be known as the Museum of British Road Transport.

  • Greenie 1

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50 minutes ago, audreycrist said:

I have discovered a website [removed spammy link] which can directly download your songs or the playlist from the SoundCloud without using any third party app.

And ???

 

While that's nice and all what's it got to do with the price of cheese?

Edited by Tumshie

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24 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

And ???

 

While that's nice and all what's it got to do with the price of cheese?

Or the price of Spam?

Reported.

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