Base 26 is near Stafford and is run by one of the largest boat operators in the UK. It is easily accessible by road or rail and near Birmingham Airport.
At the junction of the Trent and Mersey and Staffs and Worcester Canals, and on the doorstep of Lord Lichfield's Shugborough Hall, this base offers a wide choice of cruising routes and canalside attractions. The area abounds with stately homes, castles, gardens and pretty villages to take time-out and explore.
Short breaks, one week and longer routes are available from this base.
Routes from this base
Short Break routes
Stone and Return: 18 locks 12 hours - follow Four Counties Ring south west
Fradley and Return: 10 locks 14 hours - continue south on the Trent and Mersey Canal
One Week routes
Four Counties Ring: 94 locks 54 hours
The inland waterways most popular Ring, giving a lively mix of locks and level cruising. The world famous 2670 metre Harecastle Tunnel is on this route and the Wedgwood Visitor Centre is well worth a visit.
The Black Country Ring: 103 locks 42 hours
Take in the splendour of Cannock Chase and cruise all the way to the heart of Birmingham City Centre. Visit Penkridge, Fradley and Old Turn Junction. This is a great one-week Ring.
Market Drayton and Return: 38 locks 38 hours
This follows the Four Counties Ring to the home of Gingerbread!
Caldon Canal and Return: 35 locks 40 hours
Alton Towers Theme Park is a short distance from the end of the very rural Caldon Canal.
Drayton Manor and Return: 10 locks 25 hours
Drayton Manor Park and Waterworld are both within two days cruising and you can moor up outside the gates!!
The Four Counties or Black Country Rings at a more leisurely pace
The Four Counties Ring and Caldon Canal: 128 locks 73 hours
Please note that we have been advised that there is damage to the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, so it is not possible to do the full Four Counties Ring at present.