MAIN ROUTES AND DISTANCES

Our mooring position at Braunston in Northamptonshire, the Heart of the Canal network, means we cover the majority of the canal boating routes in the Midlands, and can travel as far south as Milton Keynes and as far north as Nottingham.

Our diagram gives an indication of how far you can go during the different canal boat hire periods we offer.

Two day and five day trips are ‘go and return’ using the same route.

With trips of seven day or more, it is possible to use a circular route as an alternative to ‘go and return’.

ROUTE SUMMARIES

1 Day Routes

Route Description Total Miles Total Locks Timing

notes

Other Information
Hillmorton and return 17.8 6 A long day, but not too strenuous Narrow locks wind just after them. The Old Royal Oak serves meals and has a nice outdoor garden.
Norton Junction and return 7.6 12 Nice easy day Great short trip. Wide locks. Route goes via historic Braunston Tunnel.
Napton Junction and return 15 0 Nice easy day Lovely lock-free trip through open countryside.
Watford Locks and return 11.8 12 A long day Braunston Tunnel; Wind before Watford Locks but walk up the Watford Lock staircase.
Calcutt and return 16.2 6 A long day Through locks and return. Open countryside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Day Routes

Route Description Total Miles Total Locks Timing

notes

Other Information
Crick and back 19 26 Beware of delays at Watford staircase at busy times Watford Lock Staircase with two tunnels each way. Wide and narrow locks.
Fenny Compton and Back 37.8 18 Difficult turning Narrow locks with open countryside.
Leamington Spa and back 36.8 46 Not for the faint hearted. Lots of heavy locks. Lovely route with wide locks through mid-Warwickshire countryside.
Hawkesbury Junction and back 46.2 Narrow locks sometimes paired. the historic Newbold Tunnel. Stretton-under-Fosse swing bridge and Hawkesbury Stop Lock.
Rugby and back 21 6 Nice two day route. Canal is ½ hours walk from town centre Explore the historic market town of Rugby which includes  Webb Ellis Rugby Museum, World Rugby Hall of Fame and
Rugby School
Stoke Bruerne and back 37.4 26 Great trip but needs a Friday start and long daylight hours. Visit the excellent Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum.
Stretton Stop and back 32 6 Lovely scenic route. Webb Ellis Rugby Museum, World Rugby Hall of Fame and
Rugby School in Rugby
Weedon and back 18 26 A great weekend trip Wide locks. Trip includes passing through the historic Braunston Tunnel. Playing field at Weedon and Visitor Centre at the old The Royal Ordnance Depot

 

 

 

5 Day Routes

Route Description Total Miles Total Locks Timing notes Other Information
Atherstone and back 69 8 Turn before Atherstone locks or add another 6 – 8 hours to the trip SnowDome at Tamworth by taxi or minibus from Atherstone.
Banbury and back 59 44 Time to explore Banbury Shopping Centre and swimming pool. Also see the historic Banbury Cross.
Ashby Canal and back 77 8 Make time to explore Battle of Bosworth Country Park.
Coventry and back 56.4 8 Coventry is worth a visit, but moorings may be in short supply So many attractions to see and explore in Coventry including Coventry CathedralTransport Museum.
Great Linford and back 59.8 42 Lots of variety on this route Lovely scenic village. Call in to visit the fabulous Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum.
Top of Hatton Flight and back 47.2 92 Not for the faint-hearted. Wide locks .
Warwick and back 43 50 Allows for a mid- week stop for a day in Warwick Warwick Castle is steeped in history and is a great attraction for a day out. Leamington Spa is nearby and well worth stopping off at along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Day Routes

Route Description Total Miles Total Locks Timing notes Other Information
Birmingham: ‘The Frying Pan Trip’ 93.2 141 Just enough time for one visit to somewhere Only for the hardy enthusiasts. Four tunnels.
Market Harborough and back 91.7 80 Watford and Foxton can have long delays at busy times Four tunnels twice. Two sets of staircase locks there and back. Scenic and quiet route
Ashby and Coventry 98.4 8 Three tunnels twice. Easy route, very few locks.
Bournville and back 86.7 130 Mooring at Bourneville can be difficult at busy times. Six tunnels in total. Cadbury’s World.
Leighton Buzzard and back 86.4 54 Wide locks. Two long tunnels twice. Stoke Bruerne Canal MuseumGreat Ouse Aqueduct. Wind at Bridge 114.
Oxford and back 109.6 76 Moorings busy in Oxford Anchor required for this trip.

Additional licence (expensive) needed if you go on the River Thames

Warwickshire Ring 101.2 93 Get timings right so you have all day for Drayton Manor Park Drayton Manor Adventure Park and/or Tamworth Snow Dome. Three or five tunnels depending on your route through Birmingham.

 

 

 

10 Day Routes

Route Description Total Miles Total Locks Timing notes Other Information
Leicester Ring 153 98 Few moorings in Leicester itself. But otherwise a lovely route Six Tunnels; Anchor required.
Black Country Museum  109.6 147 Eight tunnels. Possibility to moor outside the museum’s back entrance.

Things to consider when planning your route

  • You cannot hurry things on the canals – just think that this pace of life is all part of the joy of canal boating.
  • Where you go and what you do depends on your group and the time of year.
  • Trying to do too much can make a trip less enjoyable.
  • The maximum speed limit on the canals is 4 mph. You will probably average no more than 2 – 3 mph.
  • The Canal & River Trust allows no cruising during the hours of darkness, so think of cruising for no more than around 6 to 8 hours each day.
  • At certain times of the year, the canals are much busier, so your progress may be slowed.
  • There are far fewer hours of daylight in the winter months.
  • Your crew may want to get off the boat and explore the surroundings.
  • A lock can take as much as 15-20 minutes to negotiate and you should therefore count each lock as the equivalent in cruising time as about one mile.
  • At busy times you may be in a queue at a lock.

It is important on self-steer bookings to get your journey timings correct.

The late return of the boat may result in there not being sufficient time for the boat to be prepared in readiness for the next booking and group taking the boat out.

We have sessions on route planning and waterway ‘rule-of-the-road’ during our LNBP Certification / CCBM assessment courses.

During the peak season or during times of water shortages there may be restricted lock opening times.

When planning your cruise you will need to be aware of any restrictions or stoppages on your intended route. It is best to obtain this information from the LNBP Bookings Officer.

If you are going out as a self-steer it is essential that before leaving the boatyard you are familiar with latest information regarding any restrictions or stoppages which may affect your intended route.

Self-steerers and hirers please note that our boats are not permitted to travel after dark and before sunrise in the morning.

You are not allowed to run your engine, except for cruising, before 8.00 am or after 8.00 pm.

All hires of six or more days MUST submit their cruise plan beforehand, and have this agreed. This is done via the Booking Officer.