Please select a location below to view the routes.
Aldermaston Wharf Day Routes
Theale & Return
Time: 4 – 6 Hours total locks: 8 (There and back ) Map Key: Click here
The perfect route if you want to stop half way for by lock 99 at the The Spring Inn for lunch. The journey time to this point and back is just over 4 hours (with 6 locks and 8 moveable bridges). If you would prefer not to stop for very long (no more than about an hour and a half) then you could even continue on to Sulhamstead Lock and turn after there instead. This journey would take about 5 and a half hours in total with 8 locks and 10 bridges.
Thatcham & Return
Time: ~6 Hours total locks: 10 (There and back) Map Key: Click here
If you are not wanting to stop anywhere for lunch, then travelling West, may be a better option for you. Heading out towards Thatcham, you will carry on the Monkey Marsh Lock no 90, which is possible in 6 hours and 34 minutes, with 10 locks and 6 moveable bridges.
Alvechurch Marina Day Routes
Hopwood & Return
Time: 4 – 5 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
Heading north out of Alvechurch Marina, an hour’s cruise will take you to Hopwood, travelling over an aqueduct and past the Bittell Resevoirs. These two reservoirs were built by the canal company and completed in 1837 to feed the canal and compensate local mill owners for water loss during the construction of the canals. They are now popular attractions for anglers, walkers and bird watching. Just after Bridge 67, you will reach the Hopwood House Inn which is a great place to moor up for a break, and a good place to turn around after a leisurely lunch or a walk around the reservoirs
Tardebigge & Return
Time: ~2 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
Heading south will take you to Top Lock of the Tardebigge flight, through the Shortwood and Tardebigge tunnels, where local tales talk of how the trees were used to make the handles of the famous Harris Brushes at Stoke Prior and the local horses gave up some of their tails for the bristles. You will also pass Hewell Grange Prison, a lime kiln dig out and see views of St Bartholomew’s Church on the hill.
There is a turning point at Top Lock which is a good place to moor up and take a walk, following signs to the church and turning right along the road to find the New Tardebigge pub for some lunch or to just turn around and head back to the marina.
Please note: We do not advise you attempt the Tardebigge Flight as this cannot be accomplished in a days cruise.
Anderton Marina Day Routes
Dutton Stop Lock & Return
First of all you will see the famous Anderton Boat Lift which provides passage to the River Weaver. After cruising past the lift, you will encounter the first of two tunnels, the first is 572 yards long and the second is 424 yards long. The second tunnel is timed and it is important the timings are obeyed so as not to meet a boat coming in the opposite direction. There then follows a gentle 1 hour cruise through beautiful countryside to bridge 209 where you could moor up and visit one of two local inns for lunch. The Leigh Arms is down the hill and the Holly Bush is up the hill. Both serve excellent food from lunch to late afternoon.
Alternatively you could picnic at Dutton Hollows which offers spectacular views across the Cheshire plain. We suggest you turn round at Dutton Stop lock and weave your way back to Anderton.
Middlewich & Return
If travelling East, immediately after leaving the marina you will enter Marbury Country Park where the canal meanders through the picturesque woodland and then on to Marston flash, anywhere along this stretch is ideal for picnicking. Approximately two hours from Anderton is the Broken Cross public house where good food is served all day and is ideally placed for a lunchtime stop.
The canal then winds its way through to Bramble cuttings and then over the aqueduct to Middlewich Big Lock where a public house of the same name sits next to the lock. We suggest you turn before the lock in order to head back to Anderton. The Salt Barge public house is within 40 minutes of the marina should you wish to stop for refreshments on your return journey.
Blackwater Meadow Day Routes
Prees & Return
A short distance from leaving the Marina you will pass lush parkland lined with old oak trees. A legacy from a once thriving canal industry where raw materials were planted to replace their carrying fleet. The canal then enters the Ellesmere Tunnel and emerges into open parkland beyond. The navigation then runs alongside Blake Mere, a charming lake and a lovely place to have a picnic, possibly on your return trip as you will only have been cruising for around 30 minutes. Hidden from the canal by tall trees on your right you will pass Cole Mere Lake, another beautiful picnic spot with a circular walk. You will need to moor on the opposite side of the canal and cross bridge 54 into Yell Wood to reach the lake. The Meres were carved out during the Ice Age and have famously been called the mini lake district. Continuing ahead through the hilly, wooded landscape you will reach open countryside and after around 1.5 hrs cruising arrive at Hampton Bank. Hampton Bank is one of the Llangollen Canal’s lesser sung engineering achievements, carrying the canal perhaps 30ft above a headwater of the River Roden.
Although you will not find any facilities to speak of, this is a great spot to stop, stretch your legs and take in the breathtaking views. Spot the hillside church at Bettisfield on your left as the canal now takes you towards Whixall Moss. A raised bog, rich in flora and insect fauna and an important site for rare plant life. As you approach Prees Branch you will have been cruising for roughly 3 hours (without stopping) and as the arm is wide it is a good place to turn and head back to the Marina.
Oswestry & Return
Time: 5 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
As you leave the Marina you will see a fine old warehouse and a small canalside crane, testament to the canal trading that used to take place on the Llangollen Canal. The canal rapidly escapes into empty countryside, skirting the playing fields of Ellesmere College. The main line of the canal to Llangollen bears round sharply to the south west as you pass farms and small villages such as Tetchill on your left. Val Hill is a tree-topped glacial mound picturesquely forcing the canal into an extra bend or two on its way to Welsh Frankton. South-east from the canal you can see Grinshill and in clear conditions the outlines of the Wrekin, Clee Hills and Wenlock Edge.
Following the canal and continuing through Frankton Junction (you will not be able to cruise down the Montgomery Canal with our dayhire boats) you will cruise through quiet, beautiful green countryside. Passing under several bridges you will eventually reach Maestermyn bridge (5) where you will be able to moor for a break, should you wish. You will now have been cruising for around 2 hours and will need to think about turning around, a suitable place for this is just after Pollets Bridge (6) where the canal widens.
Shopping for your picnic? You will find a Tesco in Ellesmere but rumour has it Vermeulen’s Deli on Cross Street by the Town Square can’t be beaten. They open around seven in the morning by which time the aroma of baking bread has drifted down to the canal!
Falkirk Marina Day Routes – Coming Soon
Goytre Day Routes
Mamhilad & Return
Time: 4 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
If travelling South from Goytre, you’ll head towards Mamhilad about 2 hours cruising from Goytre and there are no locks along the route. At bridge no 62, there is a charming pub called The Star Inn where you could stop for your lunch before returning to the base. If you would prefer to travel a little further, then you can continue on to the turning point at bridge 57 and perhaps still call at the Star on the way back.
Llanfoist & Return
If travelling north, you’ll travel up towards Llanfoist, which is about 3 hours cruising from the marina, and no locks, a route with numerous bridges and charming scenery along the way. If you want to get away from it all, this route is for you, away from all civilization, with as much peace and tranquility as you could ask for. Although there are no canalside pubs in this direction, there is a picnic area with a table between bridges 93 and 94 if you want to bring your packed lunch.
The last turning point is at Llanfoist Wharf, just before bridge 96.
Hilperton Marina Day Routes
Avoncliffe & Return
Time: 6 – 8 Hours total locks: 1 Map Key: Click here
If travelling West, you’ll head towards Bradford on Avon about 1 hour cruising from Hilperton. You’ll pass through Bradford on Avon Lock and then cruise on towards Avoncliff Aqueduct.
Depending on your lunch arrangements we suggest you turn somewhere between Avoncliff and Limpley Stoke. A popular stop for lunch is at the Cross Guns pub set between the canal and the River Avon.
Semington & Return
Time: 6 – 8 Hours total locks: 5 Map Key: Click here
If travelling East, you’ll pass through a swing bridge on the way to the village of Semington. You will pass the historic entrance to the Wilts and Berks Canal followed immediately by two locks.
Between here and the flight of locks at Seend Cleeve are three further swing bridges. You should turn around at this point and not go up the five lock flight.
We suggest that you stop for lunch at either The Barge Inn at Seend Cleeve which is idyllically located canalside at bridge 154 or if you prefer a more leisurely return trip then head back to The Somerset Arms at Semington
March Day Routes
Cambridge & Return
Time: 6.5 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
Meander through the Middle Level Navigations from our March base Eastwards towards the village of Upwell. Pass through the Marmont Priory lock and the village unfolds before you.
Upwell is one of the most picturesque villages in Fenland. Stop at The Five Bells 01945 772222 for a pint or travel on to Outwell basin for a picnic at the former junction of the Wisbech Canal before winding (turning) your boat and heading back to our base at March.
Whittlesey & Return
Time: ~5 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
Alternatively head west passing Floods Ferry Marina Park and crossing the Greenwich Meridian before arriving at Ashline Lock and the town of Whittlesey. Wind your boat above the lock, picnic in Manor Fields before commencing the return journey to March
Reedley Marina Day Routes
Time: 6 – 8 Hours total locks: 0 – 2 Map Key: Click here
All trips from Reedley are skippered, meaning the marina staff crew the boat and do all the driving for you.
You’ll leave at 8am cruise to Barrowford Locks, learn and navigate the locks before entering the mile long Foulridge Tunnel. Stop of at Café Cargo grab a bite to eat and a beer then return to Reedley Marina for 6pm.
Union Wharf Day Routes – Coming Soon
Whitchurch Marina Day Routes
Bettisfield & Return
Time: 6 – 8 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
A day trip from Whitchurch will take you in the Llangollen Direction, on a beautiful lock-free stretch of the Llangollen canal. After approximately 2 – 2.5 hours cruising, you can reach Whixall Mosses Nature Reserve where there are plenty of enjoyable walks, and an ideal lunch stop. There is also a turning point at the junction with the Prees Arm, just after bridge 46 for those who wanted to head back after a stroll around the reserve.
The furthest point you could reach on a day route would be a further hour’s cruising, at Bettisfield where there is a final turning point just after bridge 50.
Unfortunately there are no canalside pubs or shops in this direction, so it is important to ensure that all guests have provisions on board, although there are plenty of supermarkets in Whitchurch itself to stock up at before you leave!
We advise guests not to travel in the opposite direction towards Hurleston as they would be unable to reach a turning point in time to return to the marina within a day.
Farncombe Day Routes
Guildford & Return
Time: 6.5 Hours total locks: 6 Map Key: Click here
Your cruising ground will be from Catteshall Lock, Godalming to the Rowbarge Public House, north of Guildford. No experience is necessary as a “show-round” and boat handling tuition are given, including the operation of Catteshall lock.
If you’d like to make things really easy, you can even order breakfast for your group in “Hectors On The Wey” Bistro, situated right by the side of your boat! Hectors can also provide a picnic or lunch for you to take on board. Please Click Here for further details.
There is nothing to compare with a day on the river. You w ill cruise through woodland and meadows, passing through locks, beneath the ruins of St Catherine’s chapel, Guildford Castle and historic Dapdune Wharf before turning back.
Gayton Day Routes
Weedon & Return
Time: 5 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
Turn right at the junction and head towards Bugbrooke, this will take approx. 1.5 hrs, there is a nice little pub on the wharf or you can take a small walk into the village to either the Five Bells or the Bakers Arms. There is also a turning point by the wharf if you do not want to go any further. If you decide to venture on, the next village is Nether Heyford , which again is a very nice village to have a wander around you will spot the high silos of Heyford Mills and by Bridge 32 it recalls the existence of iron furnaces and the brickfields that surrounded the area . Just past Nether Heyford and bridge 29 High House is another turning point. Your next point is Weedon which is full of quaint antique shops and plenty of restaurants and cafes. This in total would take approx. 2.5 hours. You have a turning point just past bridge 25, to return and head back towards Gayton marina.
Blisworth & Return
Time: 4 Hours total locks: 0 Map Key: Click here
Turn left at the junction heading towards Blisworth and the Tunnel which is the 3rd longest tunnel on the canal system, it takes approx. 30 minutes to go through the tunnel. This in total would take you approx. 1.5 hours from Gayton. We would advise then to moor up just outside the tunnel and take a stroll along the towpath into Stoke Bruene which has some lovely pubs, a museum and various shops to peruse. Or just sit canal side and enjoy the lovely views around the village. Turn at the turning point just after the mouth of the tunnel, nearby is a very nice Blacksmiths and a very nice custom maker of glass stained products to tempt you before you head back to Gayton marina.