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Canal Holidays Guide to the Warwickshire Ring

A popular route for the enthusiast, the Warwickshire Ring contrasts very scenic rural areas with some urban sections. It passes near famous landmarks such as Warwick Castle and Coventry Cathedral, with an option to visit the redeveloped Birmingham city centre canalside area.

An energetic week's cruise, the Ring has upwards of 94 locks depending on your route through Birmingham. Take two weeks and visit the many sights, or for a more leisurely week try out-and-back cruises from bases in the Rugby area towards Oxford or Stoke Bruerne. Short breaks are available from all bases.

Cruising the Ring

Starting in the Rugby area it is a short trip through farmland to the Grand Union Canal at Braunston. Cruise to scenic Napton past elegant Royal Leamington Spa to Warwick with England's finest medieval Castle and many historic buildings.

Royal Shakespeare TheatreThe spectacular Hatton flight of locks lead on to the route via Cadbury World at Bournville to central Birmingham. Moor right in the centre at the redeveloped Gas Street basin, with the Sea Life Centre and the Symphony Hall close by, plus many city centre attractions.

Take the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal out of the city under 'Spaghetti Junction' past Drayton Manor Theme Park and Tamworth with its Snowdome onto the Coventry Canal. If you have time, you could detour into Coventry to see the Cathedral.

Routes in a Google Map
Warwickshire Ring

Distance, Time, and Locks

about 60
  • Can be covered in an energetic week.
  • Out-and-back routes offer a leisurely week.
  • Short breaks available from all bases.

Braunston Marina

Places of Interest

Canal village at Braunston
Warwick Castle: historic buildings, and shops
Cadbury World at Bournville
Birmingham: superb city centre moorings, many attractions
Kingsbury Water Park
Drayton Manor: large family theme park and zoo
Tamworth Castle and Snowdome indoor ski slope
Coventry Cathedral

Possible Holidays on the Warwickshire Ring

One Week
There are a number of superb one week out-and-back routes in the Warwickshire Ring area.
Towards Oxford: at Napton take the beautiful meandering historic South Oxford Canal to Cropredy village and Banbury. (See Grand Ring Guide)
Towards Stoke Bruerne: at Braunston head down the Grand Union Canal to Stoke Bruerne and its Waterways Museum. A rural route with two tunnels including Blisworth Tunnel (3056 yards, the longest in England).(See Grand Ring Guide).
Towards Market Harborough: from Braunston turn at Norton Junction onto the Leicester Ring through tunnels, staircase locks, and open countryside. (See Leicester Ring Guide).
Ashby and North Oxford Canals: A very leisurely route with only four locks up the Ashby Canal to Snarestone. Famous for the death of King Richard III, the Bosworth Battlefield with Visitor Centre and Country Park is less than a mile from the canal.

Short Breaks
Mid-week and weekend breaks are available from all Canal Holidays bases on the Warwickshire Ring. These can be adapted from the one-week routes above.

Longer Holidays
A two week trip on the Warwickshire Ring gives ample time for seeing the many interesting sights. In three weeks it will be possible to cover the Thames Ring.

Our Customers' Comments

Read what some of our previous clients say about the Warwick Ring.

"This was the first time for my family travelling on the canal. It was hard physical work (though not too hard for the 10 year old to operate the locks!) and we found that after a couple of days the 4 of us worked as an efficient team - not bad for a family."

"We went from Rugby Wharf to Crick and back via Braunston Junction and Foxton Junction. The Watford Locks was defitintely the highlight of the trip for me. We've got a great picture of two of the lads getting soaked by spray from the lock gates on the return trip!"

"We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are currently discussing which canal holiday to choose next. We all came back completely refreshed and relaxed which was the main objective anyway. Boat, hire staff other holiday makers could not have been bettered."

"A great thing was that everybody had a go. There one or two who were reluctant to begin with, but by the end of the week they were enjoying it the most."

"It was a superb opportunity to relax and do very little. Even though only a couple of us had done this before, everyone enjoyed themselves and most are talking about when I'm going to organise another trip next year. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Many thanks."