Marine Cruises canal boat holiday hire on the Four Counties Ring
Canal Boat Holiday Hire on the Four Counties Ring
You may already be aware that a short section of embankment containing the Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch, has collapsed.
At present we have no further information on how long this repair will take, however we recommend you keep an eye on the link below and consider some alternative routes if you had planned to use this particular route. This does not affect customers travelling the Llangollen, the Montgomery canal, to Chester or Audlem direction on the Shropshire Union, just the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. It’s always good to keep an eye on your routes prior to departure, especially in winter weather.
Middlewich Branch (Shrop Union Canal)
Starts At: Lock 2, Stanthorne Lock
Ends At: Lock 1, Wardle Lock
Up Stream Winding Hole: Between Brickyard Bridge B6 and Railway Bridge B5
Down Stream Winding Hole: Middlewich Junction
Stoppages Link: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices
Middlewich Link for updates: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notice/12554/standthorne-lock-to-wardle-lock
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The Four Counties Ring makes a great canal boat holiday hire route for more experienced or energetic boaters. You don’t need to retrace your steps, you see somewhere new each day, but you do have to be able to plan your time and keep to that deadline of getting the boat back on time! Some people prefer out and back routes because all you have to do is turn around when you are half way through the holiday! The Four Counties Ring, so called because it passes through Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands, is one of the most popular canal boat holiday hire routes.
The Four Counties Ring can be cruised from our Swanley base in a fairly busy week cruising for about eight hours each day, or in two weeks if you prefer to take your time and explore. You can travel in either direction around the ring, we describe the clockwise journey.
From our Swanley base you travel off the Llangollen Canal down Hurleston Locks and then up the Shropshire Union Canal for a short distance to Barbridge, where you turn right to Middlewich. On the Trent and Mersey Canal you have plenty of locks to climb from the Cheshire plain to reach the summit level and the iron red waters of Harecastle Tunnel. The canal falls southwards past the Pottery works and Wedgewood factory with its visitor centre down through the pretty canal town of Stone to the junction at Great Heywood where you meet the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal.
The Staffs and Worcester Canal meanders across picturesque and peaceful countryside over Cannock Chase and climbs 12 locks to the junction with the Shropshire Union at Autherley on the outskirts of Wolverhampton.
The “Shroppie “ with it’s impressive architecture, banks and cuttings, and very pretty flights of locks carries you northwards through villages and open country, to Hurleston Junction where you rejoin the Llangollen Canal.
Four Counties Ring facts…
Canals Shropshire Union Canal, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal
Length 110 miles
Time to cruise about 50 to 55 hours
Junctions Shropshire Union/Trent & Mersey at Middlewich, Staffs & Worcs at Great Haywood, Shropshire Union at Autherley, Middlewich Arm at Barbridge.