Anglo Welsh’s canal boat hire base at Great Haywood, on the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Staffordshire & Worcestershire canals near Stafford, offers narrowboat holiday-makers the chance to explore the Potteries, the Peak District and the Black Country by boat.
Kevin Yarwood, Anglo Welsh’s manager at Great Haywood, says, “Situated at the junction of two key arteries of the canal network, our canal boat rental base at Great Haywood offers boaters a huge variety of route options. From easy short breaks, passing through peaceful canalside villages with cosy historic pubs, to epic journeys around some of the most popular cruising rings on the waterways.
“Perhaps the most popular route for beginners from Great Haywood is to take a short break (three or four nights) and cruise north along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the historic market town of Stone and back – a journey that takes 10 hours (five each way) and passes through just eight locks (four each way). Stone is renowned as the food and drink capital of Staffordshire, with regular markets, a good choice of restaurants and the annual Food & Drink Festival in October.
“Another great short break route is to head south along the Trent & Mersey to Fradley Junction and back – which takes around 12 hours, travelling a total of 24 miles and passing through five locks each way. The Coventry Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley where visitors can enjoy refreshments at the Canalside Café or The Swan Inn and a wander around the Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, where a woodland trail and boardwalk take visitors on a tour of the reserve. Along the way to Fradley Junction, the route passes the magnificent Shugborough Estate with its stunning Georgian Mansion House and a number of family-friendly pubs, including the Wolseley Arms at Wolseley Bridge.
“The beautiful Caldon Canal, which takes boaters into the Peak District, is perhaps our most popular destination for those taking a week’s holiday afloat. It’s a 43-hour return journey to Froghall Basin and back, travelling a total of 72 miles (36 each way) through 70 locks (35 each way). To make this journey, boaters first head north along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Stoke-on-Trent, to connect onto the Caldon Canal at Etruria.
“As the Caldon Canal leaves Stoke, it begins to pass through gently rolling hills, wooded areas and past old mills and then alongside the beautiful River Churnet, where boaters can look out for kingfishers, herons, jays and woodpeckers, as well as otters which have recently returned to the area.
“For those looking for an active week’s break from Great Haywood we recommend travelling the Black Country Ring, which takes narrowboat holiday-makers on a 45-hour waterway odyssey, cruising a total of 75 miles and passing through 79 locks. Highlights of the route, which travels along sections of six different canals, include Cannock Chase, once a medieval royal hunting forest where deer still roam, and the Black Country Museum where visitors can step back in time and meet costumed characters, explore period shops and houses, take a 1912 school lesson and eat traditional fish & chips.
“On this route, boaters will also see the beautiful Tixal Wide – an amazing expanse of water home to many birds and animals, plus the historic market town of Penkridge with its striking church tower dominating the skyline, and Birmingham’s Gas Street Basin in the heart of the City, with easy access to Brindleyplace and a host of attractions.
“On a 10-day or two-week break from Great Haywood, we recommend tackling the Four Counties Ring – travelling through Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, covering 110 miles and 94 locks, and taking around 55 cruising hours. Highlights along this scenic, largely rural journey include the Wedgewood Museum at Etruria, the 2,670-metre long Harecastle Tunnel at Kidsgrove and historic Market Drayton, home of the Gingerbread Man.
“We are particularly proud of the Luxury canal boat hire options available here at Great Haywood, including our 65ft long boat for four people ‘Centaurus’ and the 67ft six-berth ‘Pegasus’. They are both Constellation Class boats with semi-traditional sterns, two shower rooms with toilets, and two cabins which can be configured as a double bed or two single beds. In its spacious saloon, ‘Pegasus’ also has a bench seat and table that can be converted into either a double or two singles in the evening.”
If you would like to book a short break or holiday from Great Haywood, or any of our bases, simply call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.
Anglo Welsh’s canal boat hire base at Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Bromsgrove offers narrowboat holiday-makers the chance to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the West Midlands – including the Forest of Arden, Shakespeare country, Tolkein country and the River Severn Valley. It also offers boaters the option to travel right into the heart of Birmingham – Britain’s vibrant second city with more canals than Venice.
Jonathan Nowell, Anglo Welsh’s manager at Tardebigge, says, “Our Tardebigge base enjoys an idyllic rural setting and is the perfect place to start a leisurely cruise around some of the gorgeous countryside to be found in the Heart of England.
“Perhaps the most popular route for beginners from Tardebigge is to take a short break and travel into Birmingham and back. There are no locks between here and the centre of Birmingham and it takes just five hours to potter along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to moorings in Gas Street Basin, close to Brindleyplace and a host of exciting City centre attractions.
“And along the way, boaters pass Cadbury World in the historic village of Bournville, where visitors can find out how chocolate is made and explore the World’s biggest Cadbury Shop!
“Narrowboating newcomers wanting a more rural experience can connect onto the Stratford Canal at Kings Norton Junction and travel to the pretty canal village of Lapworth and back – which takes around 14 hours in total, again with no locks.
“Another popular short break route is to travel into Birmingham to visit the Black Country Museum, often used as a film set for the BBC’s Peaky Blinders. Here visitors can step back in time where the world’s first industrial landscape emerged and meet costumed characters, explore period shops and houses, enjoy a fair ground ride, take a 1912 school lesson, eat traditional fish & chips and visit the Bottle & Glass Inn.
“From Tardebigge, more experienced boaters on longer breaks can enjoy there-and-back cruises to Stratford upon Avon, Warwick or Worcester. Shakespeare’s Stratford is probably our most popular destination for people on a week’s canal barge holiday from here. The journey takes boaters along the beautiful Stratford Canal with its distinctive barrel-roofed cottages, peaceful countryside and fantastic choice of canalside pubs – including the Fleur de Lys at Lowsonford, which is famous for its homemade pies.
“There’s also a choice of circuits to navigate from Tardebigge, including the popular Stourport Ring, which can be done in a week and involves travelling 74 miles, through 118 locks, passing through Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stourport and the lovely Cathedral City of Worcester.
“As part of this journey, boaters get to tackle the mighty Tardebigge flight of 30 locks – the longest in the country. The locks are spread out over two and a quarter miles and allow boats to ascend or descend 67 metres in height. To recognise this major waterway landmark, the Canal & River Trust offers a certificate to boaters who complete their passage through the flight.
“On this route, narrowboat holiday-makers also have the option of taking a short cut along the newly restored Droitwich canals and experience narrow locks, staircase locks, wide beam locks and swing bridges all in a single seven-mile stretch.
“Luxury canal boat hire options here at Tardebigge include the 65ft long four-berth Constellation Class ‘Hydra’, and the 67ft six-berth Bond Class ‘Braithwaite’ – both of which have semi-traditional sterns, two shower rooms with toilets, plus two cabins which can be configured as a double bed or two single beds. In its spacious saloon, ‘Braithwaite’ also has a bench seat and table which can be converted into either a double or two singles in the evening.”
To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.
Today’s canal boats are fully equipped with all the essential mod cons – central heating, hot water, TV, fully-equipped kitchens, showers and flushing toilets. To create ever higher standards of accommodation, the length of boat per berth is increasing and new canal boats for hire are arriving on the network with extras like baths, drinks fridges, larger showers, fuel stoves, King-sized beds and WiFi.
Here at Anglo Welsh we’ve been investing in the construction of top class narrowboats, all boasting exacting standards of craftsmanship, comfort and finish.
Our ‘Bond’, ‘Constellation’ and, new for 2018, ‘Heritage’ Class narrowboats are the stars of our fleet, with full-size showers; a range of flexible and private berths; fuel stoves on the four and six berth boats; a large TV and Wifi; spacious kitchens with modern fittings and lighting; and a stylish new livery.
We now offer luxury canal boat hire from eight of our bases, with boats providing top class narrowboat accommodation for either four, six or twelve people.
Here are our Top 9 luxury canal boats for hire in 2018:
Float across ‘The Stream in the Sky’ aboard ‘Lily’. The brand new luxury four-berth ‘Lily’ Heritage class boat is now available to hire from our canal boat rental base at Trevor, on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales. This 66ft long semi-traditional stern narrowboat offers ‘heritage’ features, including a Belfast sink, port holes and a fuel stove in the saloon, alongside modern home comforts, including two showers and two toilets, two double beds (one of which can be made into twin beds) in separate cabins, LED lighting, full radiator central heating and WiFi. On a short break from Trevor, canal boat holiday-makers can travel to Ellesmere and back, passing over the incredible World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along the way. On a week’s break, boaters can reach Whitchurch and Wrenbury. Prices for ‘Lily’ start at £740 for a short break, £1,060 for a week.
Travel to Stratford aboard ‘Aries’. The beautiful brand new four-berth Constellation Class ‘Aries’ is now available to hire from our Wootton Wawen narrowboat hire base on the Stratford Canal. This 65ft semi traditional stern narrowboat features two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in two cabins ranging from two doubles to four singles, full radiator central heating and WiFi. On a short break (three or four nights) from Wootton Wawen, narrowboat holiday-makers can travel to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and back. On a week’s holiday, boaters can reach historic Warwick or Birmingham’s City Centre. Prices for ‘Aries‘ start at £730 for short break (three or four nights), £1,045 for a week.
Charter ‘Cassiopeia’ to Chester. The super 67ft six-berth Constellation Class ‘Cassiopeia’ is based at Bunbury on the Shropshire Union Canal near Tarporley in Cheshire. ‘Cassiopeia’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation ranging from three doubles to six singles. It takes just seven hours by boat to reach the historic city of Chester, perfect for a short break. While on a week’s holiday, hirers can travel to the pretty Eisteddfod town of Llangollen and back. Cassiopeia’s 2018 hire prices start at £750 for short break, £1,070 for a week.
Cruise the Kennet & Avon Canal aboard ‘Phoenix’. The brand new 66ft four-berth Constellation Class ‘Phoenix’ is available to hire from our canal boat hire base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bath. ‘Phoenix’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in two cabins ranging from two doubles to four singles. From Bath, it takes around 10 hours to reach Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the Caen Hill Flight of locks, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel on to Pewsey. 2018 prices for ‘Phoenix’ start at £730 for a week, £1,045 for a week.
Travel the Trent & Mersey in style aboard ‘Centaurus’. The new Constellation Class ‘Centaurus’ will be available to hire for the 2018 boating season from our narrowboat hire base at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal from the beginning of July. This luxury 65ft four- berth boat has a spacious semi traditional stern, two showers, two toilets, full central heating, a traditional fuel stove, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in two cabins ranging from two doubles to four singles, full radiator central heating and WiFi. There are a variety of short break routes from Great Haywood, including the option to travel south along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the historic market town of Stone. On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel to Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man. Prices for ‘Centaurus‘ start at £730 for short break (three or four nights), £1,045 for a week.
Explore Warwickshire aboard ‘Lynx’. The 69ft 12-berth Constellation Class ‘Lynx’ is available to hire from our canal boat rental base at Stockton, on the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire. ‘Lynx’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two shower rooms with a toilet in each, two dinette doubles in the lounge, four single bunks and four singles in two cabins. On a short break from Stockton, boaters can reach the beautiful county town of Warwick and its stunning Castle on the banks of the River Avon. On a week’s holiday, canal boat holiday-makers can travel to Banbury on the Oxford Canal or Foxton on the Leicester Line. 2018 prices start at £825 for short breaks on ‘Lynx’, weekly hire from £1,175.
Hire ‘Hydra’ and head to Birmingham. The 65ft long four-berth Constellation Class ‘Hydra’ is available to hire from our narrowboat hire base on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge. ‘Hydra’ has a semi-traditional stern, two shower rooms with a toilet in each, plus two doubles or four singles in two cabins. From Tardebigge, it’s a five-hour, lock free journey to Birmingham City Centre, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday from Tardebigge, narrowboat holiday-makers can head to Stratford, Warwick or Worcester, or travel the Stourport Ring. 2018 hire prices for ‘Hydra’ start at £730 for short break (three or four nights), £1,045 for a week.
Enjoy a Thames boating holiday with ‘Delphinus’. The 69ft 12-berth Constellation Class narrowboat ‘Delphinus’ is available from our Oxford base, on the River Thames at Eynsham. ‘Delphinus’ has a spacious semi traditional stern, two shower rooms with a toilet in each, two dinette doubles in the lounge, four single bunks and four singles in two cabins. From our luxury canal boat hire base on the River Thames, it takes just over three hours to reach moorings at Hythe Bridge in Oxford City Centre, perfect for a short break. On a week’s holiday, boaters can continue along the Thames to Henley. 2018 short breaks on ‘Delphinus’ start at £825, weekly hire from £1,175.
To book a holiday or break on any of Anglo Welsh’s fleet, call our friendly booking team on 0117 304 1122.
We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations
So why choose Anglo Welsh?
More than 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays.
Modern & spacious narrowboat holiday fleet – from 2 to 12 berths.
Wide choice of narrowboat hire locations and canal.
Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
Family friendly holidays, pets also welcome.
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