Cruises 2022

Cruise 1 - Llangollen to Northwich

Date - 14 - 21 Apr

Route Details:

68 Miles

30 Locks.

12 Movable Bridges

3 Aqueducts

3 Tunnels

Anderton Boat Lift.

 

Canals/Rivers:

Llangollen Canal

Shropshire Union Canal (Inc Middlewich Branch)

Trent and Mersey Canal

River Weaver.

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details -We begin this cruise in Llangollen Basin which is the furthest point of navigable canals. Llangollen is worth exploring so arrive early and leave your bags.  We cruise through the narrows before reaching Trevor. Here we will cross the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which impresses more on each crossing. Continuing we head to Chirk where we cross another equally spectacular aqueduct running adjacent to the viaduct; if you come by train from the South you will cross this, keeps your eyes open. Not forgetting Chirk Tunnel first at 450 yds which also has a towpath so feel free to walk though. We now leave Wales behind and continue to meander East along the Llangollen canal surrounded by beautiful countryside. Our first locks await and not long before we come to the junction of the Montgomoery Canal.  Passing the junction we reach Ellesmere, one of the largest towns we pass, which is named after the Meres that surround it. We continue and reach approx 4 mile stretch of straight canal, all raised on an embankment. Whitchurch next before arriving at Grindley Brook. The infamous Grindley Brook Staircase Lock awaits. Leaving Grindley Brook and continuing past Wrenbury and Swanley before reaching Hurleston Junction where we join the Shroppshire Union Canal, although on a short time before turning onto the Middlewich Branch at barbridge Junction.  10 miles and 4 locks later we reach the Wardle Canal (the shortest canal in the country) and then we joine the Trent and Mersey Canal.  This section upto the Anderton Boat Lift we begin seeing some of the industrial uses of the canal network, particularly chemicals and salt. We reach the Anderton Boat lift where we will have time to explore the visitor center. Soon afer we will descend the Anderton Boat lift to join the River Weaver. Our cruise finishes with a steady cruise upstream to Northwich.

Cruise 2 - Northwich - Llangollen

Date - 22 - 29 Apr

Route Details:

68 Miles

30 Locks.

12 Movable Bridges

3 Aqueducts

3 Tunnels

Anderton Boat Lift.

 

Canals/Rivers:

River Weaver

Trent and Mersey Canal

Shropshire and Union (inc Middlewich branch)

Llangollen Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - As cruise one but reversed.

Cruise 3 - Llangollen - Stoke-on-Trent

Date - 30 Apr - 7 May

Route Details:

74 Miles

56 Locks.

10 Movable Bridges

14 Aqueducts

4 Tunnels

 

Canals/Rivers:

Llangollen Canal

Shropshire and Union (inc Middlewich branch)

Trent and Mersey Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details -We begin this cruise in Llangollen Basin which is the furthest point of navigable canal on the Llangollen. Llangollen is worth exploring so arrive early and leave your bags.  We cruise through the narrows before reaching Trevor. Here we will cross the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which continues to impress on each crossing. Continuing we head to Chirk where we cross another equally spectacular aqueduct running adjacent to the viaduct; if you come by train from the South you will cross this, keeps your eyes open. Not forgetting Chirk Tunnel first at 450 yds which also has a towpath so feel free to walk though. We now leave Wales behind and continue to meander East along the Llangollen canal surrounded by beautiful countryside. Our first locks await and not long before we come to the junction of the Montgomery Canal.  Passing the junction we reach Ellesmere, one of the largest towns we pass, which is named after the Meres that surround it. We continue and reach approx 4 mile stretch of straight canal, all raised on an embankment. Whitchurch next before arriving at Grindley Brook. The infamous Grindley Brook Staircase Lock awaits. Leaving Grindley Brook and continuing past Wrenbury and Swanley before reaching Hurleston Junction where we join the Shropshire Union Canal, although on a short time before turning onto the Middlewich Branch at Barbridge Junction.  10 miles and 4 locks later we reach the Wardle Canal (the shortest canal in the country) and then we join the Trent and Mersey Canal. Turning right we begin our climb of 31 locks over 13 miles, this is called Heartbreak Hill - You'll see why.  You will also note how unique the locks are, starting off as single locks but due to traffic an additional lock was built adjacent, sadly some have now been decommissioned, however the chambers are still here. Reaching the top of Heartbreak we pass under the Macclesfield Canal and then arriving at Harecastle Tunnel. At 2926yds this is one of the longest and, if you believe, the most haunted.  Leaving the tunnel you can see the remains of the once flourishing pottery industry and if we have time we will stop at the Middleport Pottery for a visit. A mile or so later we arrive at Eturia where our cruise ends.

Cruise 4 - Stoke-on-Trent - Chester (Via Ellesmere Port and the National Waterways Museum)

Date - 9 - 16 May

Route Details:

61 Miles

49 Locks.

14 Aqueducts

1 Tunnel

1 Museum

 

Canals/Rivers:

Trent and Mersey Canal

Shropshire and Union (inc Middlewich branch)

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - Leaving Eturia we being by cruising past evidence of the once flourishing pottery industry. We may even have time for a quck stop at Middleport Pottery. Leaving Stoke we reach Harecastle Tunnel and at 2926yds this is one of the longest and, if you believe, the most haunted. We leave the tunnel and now start our decent to Chester. Beginning with Heartbreak Hill - 31 locks over 13 miles staring by locking down and passing under the Macclesfield Canal. You will also note how unique the locks are, starting off as single locks but due to traffic an additional lock was built adjacent, sadly some have now been decommissioned, however the chambers are still here.  We reach Middlewich where we turn left onto the Wardle Canal, the shortest canal in the country, which joins the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. 10 miles and 4 locks before reaching Barbridge Junction, this section is also the site of the breach in 2017 and we will see the magnificent repair that was carried out. Turning right onto the Shropshire Union Canal we head North towards Bunbury where we continue our descent through our first of two staircase locks. We continue past Beeston where the remains in the distance of Beeston Castle can be seen for miles and not to forget passing through Iron Lock.  The rest of the journey to Chester is through some amazing countryside. Other boaters must agree too as one section we pass what seems likes miles of moored boats on the off tow-path side. We arrive in Chester where our surroundings become a little more urban. Impressively we follow the canal around the city walls before reaching Chester Basin. We continue to Ellesmere Port and return to Chester once we've visited the National Waterways museum.

Cruise 5 - Chester - Northwich (Via Ellesmere Port and the National Waterways Museum)

Date - 18 - 25 May

Route Details:

54 Miles

22 Locks

1 Moveable Bridge

11 Aqueducts

1 Museum

 

Canals/Rivers:

Shropshire and Union (inc Middlewich branch)

Trent and Mersey Canal

River Weaver

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - We leave Chester and head towards Ellesmere Port where we will take time and visit the National Waterways museum. Turning back towards Chester we arrive back at the basin before departing Chester following the city walls which starts by ascending our first staircase lock. Heading south on the Shropshire Union Canal into the county side leaving the City behind. As we continue we will see Beeston Castle in the hills above, we actually keep the castle in our vision for some time as we skirt around and past. We pass Iron which was a Telford Idea as the previous lock kept caving in, a simple iron trough similar to Pontcysyllte aqueduct.  Our second staircase at Bunbury awaits which is also our final broad lock before we turn onto the narrow canal of the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union canal at Barbridge Junction. This 10 mile stretch towards Middlwich is beautiful  and also the location of a major breach in 2018, we will see the fantastic repair that was undertaken. Before turing onto the Trent and Mersey we pass the shortest canal in England, Wardle Canal at only 47 meters long. At the junction we turn left passing Middlewich. This stretch towards Anderton we we pass sections of working industry including the salt works; which the area is best know for. Arriving at Anderton Boat lift we take a ride down onto the River Weaver and time to visit the visitor center. Our final few miles take us upstream on the River Weaver until we reach Northwich Quay.   

Cruise 6 - Northwich - Liverpool

Date - 27 May - 3 Jun

Route Details:

83 Miles

15 Locks

21 Moveable Bridge

40 Aqueducts

6 Tunnels

 

Canals/Rivers:

River Weaver

Trent and Mersey Canal

Bridgewater Canal

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Liverpool Canal Link

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - On leaving Northwich, we rise up in the magnificent Anderton Boat Lift and turn left. We will have time for a quick look into the visitor center first. With only 6 miles before we reach the Bridgewater Canal we pass through two of our largest tunnels; Barnton and Preston Brook. The Bridgewater canal is amazing and passes through some of the prettiest villages including Lymm. The Bridgewater has no locks and is really wide in places but stunning. We pass Manchester and soon we cross over the Manchester Ship Canal over the Barton Swing Aqueduct Bridge, the only swing aqueduct in the world. Worsley next which is why the Lord Bridgewater commissioned the canal in order to take coal from Worsley to Manchester. Continuing we soon join the Leeds and Liverpool canal. We pass lots of flashes and then arrive at Cable Bridge Junction at Wigan. This section at Wigan we pas the infamous Wigan Pier. The canal continues West some time also passing the junction to Tarleton and if you took this you would eventually join the Lancaster Canal.  Continuing to Liverpool for a while we eventually reach Aintree and if we are lucky we may pass on race day.   This is also where we reach the outskirts of Liverpool and the country side becomes a little more urban. Our final stretch on the Leeds and Liverpool is very urban but this soon changes as we enter the Liverpool Canal Link. This stretch is stunning. Approx 2 miles taking in all the historic docklands until we reach the Albert Dock. You will see some of Liverpool's famous building from a different prospective including the Liver Building.  We arrive in Albert Dock where you are free to explore this stunning city.

Cruise 7 - Liverpool - Nantwich

Date - 10 - 18 Jun

Route Details:

106 Miles

23 Locks

20 Moveable Bridge

47 Aqueducts

6 Tunnels

 

Canals/Rivers:

Liverpool Canal Link

Leeds and Liverpoool Canal

Trent and Mersey Canal

Shropshire Union Canal (inc Middlewich Branch)

Duration - 8 Nights

Cruise Details - We leave the Albert Dock via the Liverpool Canal Link which is an experience not to be missed, simply amazing. Leaving the link we join the Leeds and Liverpool canal initially surrounded by a very urban setting until we reach Aintree, home of the Grand National horse race. Here the canal becomes rural with views for miles. There and no locks on this section, however there are plenty of lift/swing bridges to keep us busy. We pass the junction with the Tarleton and if we took this we would end up on the Lancaster Canal. Continuing to meander to Wigan passing the infamous Wigan Pier. Turning onto the Leigh branch passing the flashes till we reach Leigh.  Soon we join the Bridgewater Canal which was built for Lord Bridgewater to transport coal from Worsley to Manchester. We pass Worsley and join the route to Manchester that the original barges would have taken. Before Manchester we cross the Manchester Ship Canal over the Barton Swing aqueduct, the only swing aqueduct in the world. We skirt round Manchester, Stretford and Sale. Although urban this section still feels very rural. Continuing to cruise towards Anderton we pass the Rucorn Junction and reach Preston Brook tunnel, this is where we join the Trent and Mersey Canal. A small section with two tunnels before we arrive at the Anderton Boat lift. We will take a ride up and down and have time to visit the visitor center. Leaving the boat lift we head to Middlewich past the salt works and you may even get to see one of the nodding donkeys pumping the brine out the ground. At Middlewich we turn on to the Middlewich Branch wich is the location of a maor breach in 2018, we will see the amazing repair conducted. At Barbridge Junction we join the main line of the Shropshire Union canal heading South. Passing the Llangollen canal before we reach Nantwich where our guests depart.

Cruise 8 - Nantwich - Birmingham (via Black Country Museum

Date - 20 - 27 Jun

Route Details:

56 Miles

53 Locks

14 Aqueducts

4 Tunnels

1 Museum

 

Canals/Rivers:

Shropshire Union Canal

Staffordshire and Worcester Canal

Birmingham Canal Navigation (Old Main Line and Main Line)

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - We depart Nantwich and head South on the Shropshire Union Canal where we encounter our first locks at Hack Green, also a site of a former Nuclear Bunker. Continuing to Audlem we pass the famous Shroppie Fly pub and then climb the 15 locks at Audlem. A little further and we reach Adderley flight, only 5 locks this time. Market Drayton is the next town we pass and now the canal enters some of the most stunning cuttings on any canal. Within theses cuttings are Tyrley locks, my favorite locks. Continuing through Woodseaves cutting, just short of 2 miles. As well as cuttings we also experience embankments, Shebdon being one. We continue and pass some pretty canal side villages including Gnosall and Wheaton Aston, here we see our last lock on the Shropshire Union canal. We cross Stretton Aqueduct which goes over the roman road, Watling Street.  We reach Autherley junction and immediately Aldersley junction where we join the Birmingham Canal Navigations. Climbing 17 locks to Wolverhampton we now enter the urban section of our trip. We will visit the Black Country Museum before our final stretch into Birmingham where we moor near Gas Street Basin.

Cruise 9 - Birmingham - Nottingham (National Arboretum)

Date - 29 Jun - 6 Jul

Route Details:

66 Miles

62 Locks

2 Moveable Bridges

15 Aqueducts

2 Tunnels

1 Arboretum

 

Canals/Rivers:

Birmingham Canal Navigation (Main Line)

Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

Coventry Canal

Trent and Mersey Canal

River Trent

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - We leave our mooring and are faced with our first locks our of Birmingham, Farmers Bridge Locks. We are on the Birmingham and Fazeley canal and we cruise to Fazeley junction. It's very urban for a while but doesn't detract from the experience of cruising the Birmingham Canal Network. We continue past Erdington and a few miles later the countryside opens up. Heading to Fazeley junction we pass many of lakes which surround us and if we look hard enough we can see Drayton Manor Theme park. Reaching Fazeley we turn left and head to Fradley junction, a stretch of 10 miles with no locks which makes this a very winding canal. At Fazeley we turn right and cruise towards Alrewas, here we will leave the boat and visit the National Arboretum. Back on board and now on the Trent and Mersey canal we head to Nottingham. A relatively straight canal passing  Barton-Under-Needwood, Burton-upon-Trent and Willington. At Willington we notice we are now cruising adjacent to the River Trent. Our next major junction and we join the River Trent. Our final 10 miles see us cruise the River Trent before locking off onto the Nottingham Canal where we reach our final destination. 

Cruise 10 - Nottingham - Braunston

Date - 10 - 17 Jul

Route Details:

81 Miles

70 Locks

11 Aqueducts

4 Tunnels

 

Canals/Rivers:

River Trent

Grand Union Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - We depart Nottingham on the Nottingham canal before we join the non tidal section of the River Trent. We turn left onto the River Soar and head South.  We stay on the River Sour till we reach Loughborough, an industrial town.here we join the Leicester branch of the Grand Union Canal.  Industrial and rural for a while with plenty of lakes either side of the canal all the way to Leicester. This section we get full on rural. This section through Leicester is actually part of the flood prevention scheme. We also cruise through what is known as the 'Mile Straight' - It's like a formal avenue, tree lined and crossed by several ornamental iron bridges.  As we leave Leicester our final reminder is the football stadium. Continuing south for some miles we reach our first tunnel, Saddington tunnel, a few miles more we arrive at Foxton locks. Foxton locks are am impressive with 2 staircase flights of 5. The stretch to Norton Junction is open countryside with amazing scenery, we pas through another two tunnels, Husbands Bosworth and Crick. Crick is where the largest inland waterway show takes place. We now pass through Watford locks which are an attractive 7 locks with 4 being a staircase. Rreaching Norton Junction we turn right onto the Grand Union Main Line and have our final approach to Braunston but not before passing our final tunnel, Braunston tunnel and Braunston locks

Cruise 11 - Braunston - Berkhamsted

Date - 19 - 26 Jul

Route Details:

60 Miles

52 Locks

1 Moveable Bridge

11 Aqueducts

2 Tunnels

 

Canals/Rivers:

Grand Union Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - Heading East we arrive at our first locks, Braunston Locks before passing through Braunston Tunnel. Passing Norton junction we begin our decent through Buckby Locks and then travel a small section before arriving in Weedon. Here is the ordnance depot that was mainly built between 1804 and 1816. It was built for the Board of Ordnance to provide a secure inland store for gunpowder, firearms and other military stores. These could be transported by the nearby Grand Junction Canal. We leave Weedon and our next junction is Gayton junction, here you can travel to Northampton, we continue south where soon we arrive at Blisworth Tunnel. At 3075 yards Blisworth tunnel is the one of the longest on the network. Stoke Bruerne next and if time we can visit the National Waterways Museum before continuing South.  Milton Keynes, Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard are next to cruise through, surprisingly lovely and most the time you feel you are still in the countryside. Continuing we reach Marsworth and here we pass both the Aylesbury and Wendover Arms, the latter under restoration all completed by the Wendover Arm Trust.  A few more miles and a few more locks we approach Berkhamsted. Berkhamsted being the location where William 1st received the offer of the English crown in 1066.

Cruise 12 - Berkhamsted - Uxbridge

Date - 28 -31 Jul

Route Details:

23 Miles

38 Locks

1 Moveable Bridge

1 Aqueducts

 

Canals/Rivers:

Grand Union Canal

Duration - 3 Nights

Cruise Details - We depart the wonderful Berkhamsted with an impressive descent of 38 locks over 23 miles to Uxbridge. The canal stays pretty rural even as we approach London. Our first large town being Hemel Hempstead.  Past Hemel Hempstead is where we go under the M25 and now within Greater London.  With plenty of lakes and county parks to cruise through you'd often forget you were in Greater London. We continue past Rickmansworth and not long after arrive at Denham. Denham lock is the deepest lock on the Grand Union with a rise/fall of over 11ft.  Our final stretch sees us skirt to the West of Uxbridge until we reach Packet Boat Marina where our guests depart.

Cruise 13 & 14 - Uxbridge - Uxbridge

Date - 2 - 9 Aug (cruise 13)

            11 - 18 Aug (cruise 14)

Route Details: TBC

Canals/Rivers:

Grand Union Canal

River Thames

River Lee

Regents Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details - Both cruise 13 and 14 will be an adventure. Very little is known however we will cruise the Tidal Thames. This will see us pass Parliament, the London Eye and under Tower Bridge to name a few sites. We will also take in the Lee navigation and cruise past the Olympic park as well as the Regents Canal, Little Venice and Alperton. Which direction, where we stop, when we turn will all be a mystery - What a great adventure with surprises all the way.

Cruise 15 - Uxbridge - Reading

Date - 20 - 25 Aug

Route Details:

67 Miles

34 Locks

3 Aqueducts

 

Canals/Rivers:

Grand Union Canal

River Thames

Duration - 5 Nights

Cruise Details -

Cruise 16 - Reading - Braunston

Date - 28 Aug - 4 Sep

Route Details:

94 Miles

52 Locks

21 Moveable Bridges

1 Aqueducts

 

Canals/Rivers:

River Thames

Oxford South Canal

Grand Union Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details

Cruise 17 - Braunston - Stone

Date - 6 - 13 Sep 

Route Details:

78 Miles

27 Locks

2 Moveable Bridges

24 Aqueducts

1 Tunnel

Canals/Rivers:

Oxford North Canal

Coventry Canal

Birmingham Canal Navigation

Trent and Mersey Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details -

Cruise 18 - Stone - Chester (Via Ellesmere Port and the National Waterways Museum)

Date - 15 - 22 Sep 

Route Details:

70 Miles

62 Locks

16 Aqueducts

1 Tunnel

Canals/Rivers:

Trent and Mersey Canal

Shropshire Union Canal (Inc Middlewich Branch)

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details -

Cruise 19 - Chester - Llangollen (Via Ellesmere Port and the National Waterways Museum)

Date - 24 Sep - 1 Oct 

Route Details:

78 Miles

35 Locks

10 Moveable Bridges

12 Aqueducts

3 Tunnel

Canals/Rivers:

Shropshire Union Canal

Llangollen Canal

Duration - 7 Nights

Cruise Details -