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Naughty Cal

Boat Hire for 2020

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We have decided that for next year (all of our holidays are booked for this year!) we are going to try a different type of boating and have a go at a narrowboat holiday!

 

Well we figured we should see what all of the fuss was about :rolleyes:

 

Our initial thought had been to try one of the hire boats at West Stockwith and do the Chesterfield Canal as it is our only local waterway that we can't do with Naughty-Cal.

 

But we are open to suggestions as to which routes might suit us best and also which hire companies you would recommend and which you would avoid.

 

Thank you in advance.

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I think you should take the opportunity to explore some of the narrow canals which you will not be able to do on naughty Cal.  You really should experience Harecastle tunnel and some big flights of narrow locks like the Cheshire locks (heartbreak Hill) Audlem, Tardebigge etc. 

make the most of the opportunity and go exploring!

haggis

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1 hour ago, Naughty Cal said:

We have decided that for next year (all of our holidays are booked for this year!) we are going to try a different type of boating and have a go at a narrowboat holiday!

 

 

Blimey! Saul....road to Damascus....

 

Unfortunately the Damascus branch is closed for long-term repairs, so you'll need to look elsewhere. All of us, of course, have our own favourite routes, for our own favourite reasons, so prepare to become really confused. For my two penn'orth, I suggest starting at or near Braunston, as it not only offers s choice of routes but is a long-standing waterways hub which is steeped in history. If history don't float yer boat, of course, then disregard this suggestion!

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23 minutes ago, Athy said:

Blimey! Saul....road to Damascus....

 

Unfortunately the Damascus branch is closed for long-term repairs, so you'll need to look elsewhere. All of us, of course, have our own favourite routes, for our own favourite reasons, so prepare to become really confused. For my two penn'orth, I suggest starting at or near Braunston, as it not only offers s choice of routes but is a long-standing waterways hub which is steeped in history. If history don't float yer boat, of course, then disregard this suggestion!

and it would also enable you to try the black country system, which is rather special IMHO. Alvechurch  another possibility.

 

On the subject of rings, I would say that on an out-and-back trip the canal often looks completely different on the way back. The disadvantage of a ring is that once you are committed you have to get all the way around in a week. With out and back you can turn round when you have gone far enough (provided there is a winding hole ....)

  • Greenie 1

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The 4 Counties Ring offers a wide variety of scenery, from rural to urban, plus a tunnel (Harecastle) and several picturesque flights of locks.

 

Best done over 10-14 days rather than a week, unless you like long days. 14 days allows diversion onto the very pretty Caldon Canal or the busy, but ultimately spectacular Llangollen Canal.

Edited by cuthound
To unmangle the effects of autocorrect.

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I would recommend Chas Hardern at Beeston, and the four counties ring, but you should take more than a week over it.

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4 minutes ago, dor said:

I would recommend Chas Hardern at Beeston, and the four counties ring, but you should take more than a week over it.

Have you seen how fast she drives?

:P

 

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3 minutes ago, Athy said:

Have you seen how fast she drives?

:P

 

But only with a wheel.

 

I am somewhat useless with a tiller :lol:

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5 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

But only with a wheel.

 

I am somewhat useless with a tiller :lol:

So far.

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You could do a lot worse than the Chesterfield - Up to Norwood tunnel and back from Stockwith, 31 miles, 46 locks each way - nice long flight at Turnerwood. You could even arrive at the hire base in your own boat!

 

I'd also consider the Caldon, start from Canal Cruising Co at Stone - not that far to the hire base from home (I assume you still live in Sheffield) - I've done most of the narrow canal system, but this is one bit I'd do again without question 31 miles 26 locks each way. Beautiful scenery, good pubs

 

 

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Book 2 weeks.  Do the Avon Ring + Gloucester or Birmingham centre.

 

You get everything.  The best flight in the country - Lapworth.  The longest flight in the country - Tardebigge.  Canal and 2 very different rivers to those near you.  Beautiful towns - Stratford, Evesham, Pershore, Tewkesbury.  Beautiful cities - Worcester, Gloucester, Birmingham.  Loads of history.  Lovely countryside.  Excellent pubs.  Shakespeare.  A very long tunnel (Wast Hills).  The nicest tunnel in the country (Tardebigge).  Birmingham centre is a must see and you'd take the best route in.  Gloucester Docks is fab.  And a couple of lift bridges.

 

There are loads of hire places on the ring too.

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39 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Book 2 weeks.  Do the Avon Ring + Gloucester or Birmingham centre.

 

You get everything.  The best flight in the country - Lapworth.  The longest flight in the country - Tardebigge.  Canal and 2 very different rivers to those near you.  Beautiful towns - Stratford, Evesham, Pershore, Tewkesbury.  Beautiful cities - Worcester, Gloucester, Birmingham.  Loads of history.  Lovely countryside.  Excellent pubs.  Shakespeare.  A very long tunnel (Wast Hills).  The nicest tunnel in the country (Tardebigge).  Birmingham centre is a must see and you'd take the best route in.  Gloucester Docks is fab.  And a couple of lift bridges.

 

There are loads of hire places on the ring too.

 

But NC could do the Avon and Severn in her existing boat, albeit involving a trip by road from home waters. So if hiring a narrow boat, surely better to stick (almost) entirely to narrow waterways.

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4 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

But NC could do the Avon and Severn in her existing boat, albeit involving a trip by road from home waters. So if hiring a narrow boat, surely better to stick (almost) entirely to narrow waterways.

Pershore Bridge in that boat?  Are you sure?  What's the air draft?

 

Back up choice would be 4 Counties with Chester extension then.

 

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I would say experience Birmingham and some of the BCN. I think Birmingham at night is a must see by canal, and the BCN as a whole offers a huge variety, from city centre, semi derelict industrial areas, to the surprisingly rural feeling around the northern BCN. Cruising under the elevated section of the M5 or under spaghetti junction is quite interesting. 

 

Personally I could easily spend a week just on the BCN! But you could include Birmingham as a part of a ring, say the Stourport ring which includes the river Severn, and gives choice of Droitwich or Worcester. Alternatively the black country ring or Warwickshire ring include quite a variety including central Birmingham.

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Try the Lancaster Canal, with a trip down to Glasson Dock.

The whole trip can be done within the week.

 

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3 hours ago, cuthound said:

The 4 Counties Ring offers a wide variety of scenery, from rural to urban, plus a tunnel (Harecastle) and several picturesque flights of locks.

 

Best done over 10-14 days rather than a week, unless you like long days. 14 days allows diversion onto the very pretty Caldon Canal or the busy, but ultimately spectacular Llangollen Canal.

Agree with the 4 Counties Ring and 14 days, especially as that gives more time in the pubs!

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6 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

and it would also enable you to try the black country system, which is rather special IMHO. Alvechurch  another possibility.

 

On the subject of rings, I would say that on an out-and-back trip the canal often looks completely different on the way back. The disadvantage of a ring is that once you are committed you have to get all the way around in a week. With out and back you can turn round when you have gone far enough (provided there is a winding hole ....)

You are never committed to do a ring. You can turn back at any point before the half way distance if you aren't keeping pace when half way through the hire period. And once you pass half way the quickest way home is to keep going so it's just the same as turning half way through the hire period on an out and back.

 

It's only a problem if you are a bit daft.

 

JP

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1 minute ago, Captain Pegg said:

You are never committed to do a ring. You can turn back at any point before the half way distance if you aren't keeping pace when half way through the hire period. And once you pass half way the quickest way home is to keep going so it's just the same as turning half way through the hire period on an out and back.

 

It's only a problem if you are a bit daft.

 

JP

Daftness is epidemic.

 

It's a psychological thing - you feel a sense of failure if you don't get all the way round.

  • Greenie 1

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20 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Daftness is epidemic.

 

It's a psychological thing - you feel a sense of failure if you don't get all the way round.

Nicely put, I think that's the point I was trying to make.  I am certainly at risk of this syndrome in 2019, as my planned ring is Ely-Peterborough-Northampton-Braunston-Leicester-Nottingham-Lincoln-Boston-Peterbrough-Ely....

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

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1 hour ago, doratheexplorer said:

Pershore Bridge in that boat?  Are you sure?  What's the air draft?

 

Back up choice would be 4 Counties with Chester extension then.

 

Our air draft with everything folded down is 6'6".

1 hour ago, David Mack said:

 

But NC could do the Avon and Severn in her existing boat, albeit involving a trip by road from home waters. So if hiring a narrow boat, surely better to stick (almost) entirely to narrow waterways.

Yes. I do think you are right in that we will stick to the narrow canals for this trip. Waters that we certainly can't do in Naughty-cal. 

21 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Nicely put, I think that's the point I was trying to make.  I am certainly at risk of this syndrome in 2019, as my planned ring is Ely-Peterborough-Northampton-Braunston-Leicester-Nottingham-Lincoln-Boston-Peterbrough-Ely....

Our paths should cross at some point this year then.

  • Greenie 1

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3 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

You could do a lot worse than the Chesterfield - Up to Norwood tunnel and back from Stockwith, 31 miles, 46 locks each way - nice long flight at Turnerwood. You could even arrive at the hire base in your own boat!

 

I'd also consider the Caldon, start from Canal Cruising Co at Stone - not that far to the hire base from home (I assume you still live in Sheffield) - I've done most of the narrow canal system, but this is one bit I'd do again without question 31 miles 26 locks each way. Beautiful scenery, good pubs

 

 

As it stands at the moment I do think that the Chesterfield is our favourite option. Purely because it is local to us but we can't do it on our own boat. 

 

Our only slight doubt is that the boats are older boats and are both semi trad whereas we would have by choice opted for a cruiser stern. 

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34 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Nicely put, I think that's the point I was trying to make.  I am certainly at risk of this syndrome in 2019, as my planned ring is Ely-Peterborough-Northampton-Braunston-Leicester-Nottingham-Lincoln-Boston-Peterbrough-Ely....

We did Peterborough- Llangollen-Chester- Sharpness-Boston-Peterborough one year. Knackered,including the Ashby. Dunno if that counts as a ring though.

Edited by rusty69

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23 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

We did Peterborough- Llangollen-Chester- Sharpness-Boston-Peterborough one year. Knackered,including the Ashby. Dunno if that counts as a ring though.

figure of 8, I think, with appendages to Llangollen and Chester?

 

  • Haha 1

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