Canal Boat Holiday Base Information - Base 65 on the Four Counties Ring

Location

Base 65 is near Lichfield and is accessible by road or the nearest train station is just a short distance away. The closest airport is Birmingham International Airport which is approximately a 30-minute drive from the base. 

This base leads to some of the most scenic cruising areas and there are two routes available from this base. 

Short breaks, one week and longer routes are available from this base.

Routes from this base

Four Counties Ring - Market Drayton and Return

7-10 nights, 38 locks, approximately 57 hours cruising time

This route leads from the Coventry Canal and cruises north, to join the Four Counties Ring.

Head north from the base and follow the Coventry Canal to where it meets the Trent and Mersey Canal, before cruising west along the Trent and Mersey Canal. This area is perfect for wildlife spotting, with a nearby nature reserve. The canal winds its way through the countryside towards King’s Bromley, which is just a short walk from the canal. The canal then crosses over the River Trent, and continue past Cannock Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty. At Great Haywood Junction, the Trent and Mersey carries on north, but this route then follows the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal towards Tixall Lock near Milford. The canal climbs a series of locks to Penkridge and on towards Gailey Wharf. Turn on to the Shropshire Union Canal at Autherley Junction to continue cruising north towards Loynton Moss, a nature reserve which can be accessed from a footpath near bridge 39. Continue on towards High Offley and on to the five Tyrey Locks. Here you can either choose to make the return trip back to the base, or work through the locks to Market Drayton.

The Birmingham Ring

7 nights, 79 locks, approximately 47 hours cruising time

A route with a mix of rural and urban, taking in parts of the Coventry Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations and Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. This Ring includes three tunnels, several aqueducts, and 79 locks, and can be done in 7 nights or a more relaxing 14 nights.

Cruise from the marina along the Coventry Canal, north along the Coventry Canal to Fradley Junction where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal. Wind through the countryside as the canal passes through Handsacre and Armitage. Pass the chimneys of Rugeley’s Power Station and cross over the River Trent to the expanse of Cannock Chase. Navigate through Colwich Lock, located near Shugborough Hall, a National Trust property. Reach the Great Haywood Junction above Haywood Lock, and turn under the bridge to follow the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Take the series of locks to Penkridge and on towards Gailey Wharf before continuing southwards to the Autherley Junction where the Shropshire Union Canal heads right. Turn off onto the Birmingham Main Line, part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and climb the Wolverhampton Flight of 21 Locks.

Leave Wolverhampton and follow the canal south towards Coseley. If time allowed, you could detour to the Dudley Tunnel and moor near the Black Country Living Museum. The route then takes the Birmingham Level via Factory Locks for Telford’s straight route via Galton Bridge and Galton Tunnel  (122yds/112m long), into the heart of Birmingham. Leave the city along the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal via the 13 Farmer’s Bridge Locks followed quickly by the 11 Aston Locks, taking you down to Salford (or Spaghetti) Junction and a right turn past the city’s trailing outskirts. Back in the countryside and through the diminutive Curdworth Tunnel (57yds/52m long), the 11 Curdworth Locks take the canal down to Fazeley. At Bodymoor Heath, Kingsbury Water Park lies to the right of the canal. Turn left at Fazeley Junction to head northwards through open countryside. Although the Coventry Canal heads northeast at the junction, the Birmingham & Fazeley carries on for a couple of miles to the northwest, as the Coventry Canal Company ran out of money at Fazeley – though they later managed to buy the section from Whittington through to Fradley Junction. There is no mooring allowed by the wooded hillside at Hopwas as this is the Whittington Firing Ranges. A stone by bridge 78 at Whittington marks where the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal changes to the Coventry Canal, and just beyond Huddlesford Junction (the Lichfield Canal) you arrive back at the marina.