Week long canal boat holidays from Great Haywood

Canal boat holidays on the Trent & Mersey Canal
Etruria and back (38 miles, 36 locks, 21.5 hours)

Cruise north from Great Haywood up the Trent & Mersey Canal through the Staffordshire countryside and wooded Trent Valley.  You’ll pass through Hoo Mill Lock and Weston Lock.  You can stop at Bridge 80 to visit Weston, where there’s a choice of pubs – the Saracen’s Head and The Woolpack. Next continue north through the quiet meadows of the Trent Valley. At Aston Bridge you reach the outskirts of the historic market town of Stone. Famous for its annual food and drink festival, Stone has a great choice of shops, pubs and restaurants. Continue north from Stone towards the village of Barlaston, home to the canalside Plume of Feathers pub, part owned by the ‘Men Behaving Badly’ actor Neil Morrissey.  At Trentham Lock, you can moor up to visit the Wedgwood Pottery Factory. Cruising on north you’ll soon reach the Festival Park Marina at Etruria, where there’s a choice of places to eat and shop, and the Etruria Industrial Museum and Waterworld indoor tropical amusement park to visit.

Drayton Manor Theme Park and back (48 Miles, 10 locks, 22 hours)

Head south along the Trent & Mersey Canal and pass through Haywood Lock.  The National Trust’s Shugborough Hall is close by, with riverside gardens dotted with fascinating monuments and follies, one rumoured to offer a clue to finding the Holy Grail. Cruise past Little Haywood, with Red Lion and Lamb & Flag pubs.  Cruise on past the Wolseley Bridge, with canalside Wolseley Arms pub and access to the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wolseley Centre.  Continue on, now passing through Cannock Chase, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cross Brindley Bank Aqueduct and continue towards the historic town of Rugeley. You can walk into the town centre and there’s the canalside Colliers pub.  You’ll go through the villages of Armitage and King’s Bromley, before reaching Fradley Junction.  Here the Trent & Mersey Canal meets the Coventry Canal.  There’s a Canalside Café and The Swan Inn (also known as ‘The Mucky Duck’) to visit, and you can enjoy spotting wildlife along the woodland trail and boardwalk at Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. Transfer onto the Coventry Canal.  Pass through the villages of Huddlesford (home of The Plough pub), Whittington (home of The Swan pub) and Hopwas (home of the Tame Otter country pub run by Vintage Inn) before reaching Fazeley Junction.  Turn right a moor up between Tolson’s Footbridge and Coleshill Road Bridge.  From there you can walk to Drayton Manor Park.

Brewood and back (52 miles, 26 locks, 26 hours)

At Great Haywood Junction, join the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal and head west.  You’ll pass over a small aqueduct before reaching Tixall Wide, a beautiful stretch of water where the canal widens. Cruise on through the Staffordshire countryside, passing the canalside Radford pub at bridge 98. Next you’ll reach the market town of Penkridge, where there are several shops and pubs, including The Boat and The Cross Keys. You’ll travel past Gailey Wharf and cruise on to Autherley Junction, head northwest, passing through the lock and join onto the Shropshire Union Canal. Enjoy a peaceful two hour lock-free cruise through the countryside to the historic village of Brewood. Walk into the village to visit Speedwell Castle in the market square and a choice of pubs, including The Oakley Arms and the Staffordshire Grill & Lion Hotel.

Leek and back (62 miles, 54 locks, 36 hours)

Follow the route to Etruria (see above) and transfer onto the Caldon Canal.  Go through the Etruria Staircase Locks. You’ll cruise through Stoke-on-Trent.  You can moor up at Bridge 8 to walk into Stoke-on-Trent and visit the Potteries Shopping Centre, Bridgewater Factory shop or the Repertory Theatre.  Continuing on, the route becomes increasingly rural and you’ll pass the canalside Sportsman pub at Stockton Brook.  At Hazelhurst Junction, take the Leek Branch.  Travel across Hazelhurst Aqueduct and go through the 130yd Leek Tunnel to the winding hole at the canal terminus.  Turn your boat and then moor up to walk into Leek.  There are supermarkets and a choice of places to eat, including The Lazy Trout and The Reform Inn.

Market Drayton and back (95 miles, 38 locks, 42 hours)

Follow the route to Brewood (see above) and then continue heading north along the scenic Shropshire Union Canal.  This lock-free stretch of canal takes you through Cowley Tunnel and past the Shropshire village of Gnosall with its Boat Inn and Navigation pubs.  Next you cruise high along the Shelmore Embankment on to Norbury, with its canalside Junction Inn.  Soon after Norbury you’ll enter the Woodeaves Cutting, the longest cutting on the canal network at just under three kilometres long. The sides are 21 metres deep and it’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its geological interest.  The trees and vegetation in the cutting will give you the feeling of ‘forest bathing’. There are five locks at Tyrley and then you’ll arrive at the historic market town of Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man.  Turn at Bridge 62 and then moor up to walk into the town and see the Tudor-framed buildings, historic market square and ‘Buttercross’.

To check availability and book click here or call us on 0117 463 3419.

Comments are closed.

Be Inspired

We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations

City Breaks
Rural retreats
Popular places

So why choose Anglo Welsh?

Over 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays in England and Wales.
Modern and spacious narrowboat and wide beam barge hire – from 2 to 12 berths.
Wide choice of narrowboat hire locations and canal boat holiday destinations.
Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
Family friendly and pet friendly holidays.
Great days out on the water.
Luxury canal boat hire and Thames boating holidays.

Anglo Welsh. So much more than narrowboats

...but don't just take our word for it