Spotlight on the canals – the Worcester & Birmingham Canal

Canal boat holidays on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal

Cruise through the remains of the Forest of Arden, visit Birmingham and the beautiful Cathedral City of Worcester

The  29-mile long Worcester & Birmingham Canal starts in Worcester as an off-shoot of the River Severn.  It travels through the green hills of Worcestershire and the ancient Forest of Arden, before ending at Gas Street Basin in the heart of Birmingham.

The canal climbs 130 metres from Worcester to Birmingham, using 58 locks, including 30 at Tardebigge – one of the largest lock flights in Europe.

Construction of the canal began in 1792 from the Birmingham end, and the final section was completed in December 1815.  A major user of the canal in its freight-carrying heyday was the canalside Cadbury chocolate factories at Bournville and Blackpole.

There are a series of tunnels on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, including the 2,493-metre long Wast Hills Tunnel.  This is one of the longest in the country and it’s close to King’s Norton Junction, where the Worcester & Birmingham meets the Stratford Canal.

Popular destinations on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal include the canalside Weighbridge Inn and Crown Inn at Alvechurch, the Hopwood House at Hopwood.

Cadbury World in the historic village of Bournville is on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.  Richard and George Cadbury moved their expanding business here in 1879, with the canal a critical mode of transport for the chocolate factory’s products and raw materials.

The Worcester & Birmingham Canal forms part of the Stourport Ring.

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