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Alvechurch on the Worcester and Birmingham canal to start you Canal boat holidays.

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Alvechurch Cruise 5

7 days cruise to Stratford upon Avon from Alvechurch Marina Cruise through Shakespeare Country to the historic town of Stratford on Avon.

Cruise to Stratford upon Avon from Alvechurch
(1)Start & Finish : Alvechurch marina, Worcestershire.
Total Distance: 62 miles
Total Locks: 104 locks
Tunnels: 4
Aqueducts: 2
Cruising Hours: 43

Cruise from the medieval village of Alvechurch with its pretty half-timbered houses through idyllic stretches of countryside to Stratford on Avon


Once setting off from Alvechurch, you soon leave the traffic behind and cruise through lovely Worcestershire countryside to your 1st Tunnel at Wast Hills which at 2726 yards is one of the longest in the country!

For your 1st nights stop it is nice to cruise for an hour to Hopwood & then stop by Bridge 67 where there is a convenient pub- The Hopwood House, by the Canal.


Continuing on through the Tunnel, for those with children you might want to make a short detour to Cadbury World which is 1 mile north of the Kings Norton Junction (booking is advisable Tel. 0121 451 4159).

Before you turn off at the Kings Norton Junction, onto the Stratford on Avon canal, there is a an old Canal House on your left, and as you turn you will see the interesting guillotine mechanism of the now disused Stop Lock which was balanced by chains & counterweights.

The Canal briefly passes through a small tunnel & the quiet residential outskirts of Birmingham before leaving it behind and passing out into open country. There are very few villages along this stretch, but there is a steel lift bridge which is lowered & raised electrically, and you will need your British waterways key for this. One button does all!

The Canal continues through the countryside until you get to Hockley Heath where you can get refreshment at the nearby Wharf Inn, because soon you will encounter your first locks, the first 4 of the 20 or so Lapworth Locks, but you can do the rest tomorrow!

If you moor up for the 2nd night after Bridge 31 you can walk down to the Boot Inn by locks 13/14 at the bottom of this lovely flight of Locks. It is 7 hours & 20 minutes cruising from Hopwood to here.


You can then have a good breakfast next morning ready for the next locks. The locks are surrounded by very pretty countryside so it is worth having a brief look around.

For those cruising to Warwick please look at the notes at (2) below for Cruise 6.

For those cruising on to Stratford, ignore the left hand turn after Lock 19, and continue on to locks 21/22/23/24.

The Canal continues south pursuing a fairly direct and wholly peaceful course only interrupted by some locks now and again.

The Fleur-de-lys pub at Lowsonford is a lovely 15th century pub, where the famous Fleur-de-Lys pies were once cooked.

At Wootton Wawen there is a craft centre, coffee shop and farm shop just 2 minutes away from the canal to the west. The village has plenty of timbered houses, and the oldest church in Warwickshire, dating back over 900 years.

You can moor up in Wootten Wawen basin for your 3rd Night's stay, here the Navigation Inn overlooks the canal. It is 8 hours cruising from Lapworth Lock 6 to here. Those on a 4-6 night short break could turn around here, it is 33 hours total cruising time.


In the morning you will soon you will cross the small cast iron aqueduct which carries the canal over the A34.

After Bearley lock you will cross over the 200 yds long Bearley aqueduct, another cast iron construction carrying the canal over a shallow valley.

The next village you come to at Wilmcote. This small & attractive village is where you can find Mary Ardens House, now owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and open to the public.

There is a nice pub here- The Masons Arms, where you can get some refreshment before the start of the flight of 11 Wilmcote locks just south of here.

After dropping steeply through 4 more locks in Stratford upon Avon, you enter the splendid great basin in the middle of the riverside parkland beside the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

It is 5 hours cruising to here from Wootten Wawen, so you have plenty of time to moor up & have a wander around Stratford upon Avon.

Stratford has endless streets of low-timbered buildings. The whole town is full of Shakespeare relics and buildings, like Ann Hathaway's Cottage, Shakespeare's birthplace, and Halls' Croft where his daughter lived, and numerous bars and restaurants.

It is 24 hours cruising back to Alvechurch Marina

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