Canal Holiday Routes - Cruising Rings

 

Although most holidays on the waterways are ‘out and back’, it is possible in some cases to carry out a circular cruise, ending back where you started but without retracing your steps. This does require a little more planning, since you need to keep to a schedule to avoid having to rush at the end of the holiday to get back to bases at the agreed time.
We’ve described the various popular ‘rings’ here, and given the measure of how much cruising you need to carry out each day to stay on schedule. The number of hours you need to be on the move are given, but do bear in mind that you’ll probably want to stop off along the way to explore a village, do some shopping or just relax and enjoy the countryside. For some of the ‘rings’, we’ve shown you a choice of lengths of cruise, depending on what sort of pace you want to take your holiday at.
There are no rings in Scotland, and those in Northern England tend to pretty strenuous - and thus ideal for an active crew.
There is a wide choice of rings in Central England, many involving the bustling parts of Birmingham.
In Southern England, the cruising rings tend to be a little longer, and the Thames ring is a wonderful yet relaxing treat.

For more information about any of the Cruising Rings, please click on the area of the map below that interests you.

maps of the canal rings in the UK Two Roses Ring canal holidays and hire South Pennine Ring canal boat holiday hire Cheshire Ring narrowboat holiday hire Four Counties Ring canal boat holiday Black Country Ring canal holiday Warwickshire Ring canal holiday Stourport Ring waterway holiday Droitwich ring waterways holiday Avon ring waterway holiday East Midlands ring boating holiday Thames ring waterway holiday

CRUISING RINGS

 

TWO ROSES RING

(Also known as the North Pennine Ring.)

185 miles, 215 locks, 21 days at 6 hours cruising per day.

Waterways:
Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Aire & Calder Navigation, Calder & Hebble Navigation, Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal.
Highlights:
Rochdale summit, Todmorden village, Hebden Bridge town, Tuel Lane Deep Lock, Sowerby Bridge, Castlefield Basin, Manchester Nightlife, Manchester Town Hall, Wordsley, Barton Swing Aqueduct, Wigan Trencherfield Mill, Wigan Pier, Wigan Locks, Blackburn, Burnley, Foulridge Tunnel, Skipton town, Skipton Castle, Bingley Five Rise Locks, Leeds Royal Armouries.

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SOUTH PENNINE RING

Also known as the Rochdale Ring.

70 miles, 197 locks, 14 days at 7 hours cruising per day.

Waterways:
Calder & Hebble Navigation, Huddersfield Broad Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Rochdale Canal.
Highlights:
Huddersfield town, Slaithwaite village, Standedge Tunnel, Standedge Visitor Centre, Saddleworth village, Dukinfield Industrial Museum, Manchester nightlife, Manchester Lowry, Bridgewater Hall, Clegg Hall, Littleborough village, Rochdale summit, Todmorden village, Hebden Bridge town, Tuel Lane Deep Lock, Sowerby Bridge.

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CHESHIRE RING

96 miles, 91 locks, 10 days at 6 hours cruising per day.

Waterways:
Bridgewater Canal, Ashton Canal, Peak Forest Canal, Macclesfield Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal
Highlights:
Castlefield Basin, Manchester Nightlife, Manchester Town Hall, Bollington Village, Macclesfield Silk Museum, Little Moreton Hall, Adlington Hall, Marple, Bugsworth Basin.

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FOUR COUNTIES RING

110 miles, 90 locks, 7 days at 9 hours cruising per day

Waterways:Shropshire Union Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
Highlights:
Harecastle Tunnel, Wedgwood Visitor Centre, Market Drayton, Tixall Wide, The Potteries, Audlem Mill, Audlem Locks, Tyrley Locks.

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BLACK COUNTRY RING

Also known as the Birmingham Ring or the Staffordshire Ring

75 miles, 79 locks, 7 days at 8 hours cruising per day

Waterways:
Birmingham Canal Navigations, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, Coventry Canal, Birmingham & Fazeley Canal
Highlights:
Tixall Wide, Black Country Living Museum, Dudley Tunnel trips, Drayton Manor Theme Park & Zoo, Gas Street Basin, Birmingham Science Museum, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Sealife Centre, Brindley Place.

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LEICESTER RING

Also known as the East Midlands Ring

154 miles, 100 locks, 14 days at 6 hours cruising per day

Waterways:
Grand Union Canal (Leicester Section), River Soar, Trent & Mersey Canal, Coventry Canal, Oxford Canal. Grand Union Canal
Highlights:
Foxton Locks, Foxton Inclined  Plane & Museum, Shardlow village, Burton Brewing Museum, Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo, Coventry Cathedral,

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STOURPORT RING

79 miles, 110 locks, 7 days at 8 hours cruising per day

Waterways:
Birmingham Canal Navigations, Worcester & Birmingham Canal, River Severn, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
Highlights:
Tardebigge Locks, Worcester Cathedral, Worcester City, Birmingham Science Museum, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Sealife Centre, Brindley Place, National Indoor Arena, Cadbury World, Kinver village, Bratch Locks.

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WARWICKSHIRE RING

Also known as the Midlands Ring

100 miles, 93 locks, 7 days at 9 hours cruising per day

Waterways:
Coventry Canal, Oxford Canal, Grand Union Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations, Birmingham & Fazeley Canal
Highlights:
Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo, Gas Street Basin, Birmingham nightlife, Cadbury World, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry Museum of Transport, Birmingham Science Museum, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Sealife Centre, Brindley Place.

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AVON RING

108 miles, 130 locks, 7 days at 9 hours cruising per day or 14days at 6 hours cruising per day.

Waterways:
Worcester & Birmingham Canal, River Avon, Stratford on Avon Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations.
Highlights:
Stratford on Avon, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Tewkesbury Abbey, Mary Arden’s House, Birmingham nightlife ,Birmingham Science Museum, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Sealife Centre, Brindley Place, Evesham town, Pershore town, Stourport, Worcester City, Worcester Cathedral.

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DROITWICH RING

Also known as the Mid-Worcestershire Ring

21 miles, 33 locks, 4 days at 7 hours cruising per day

Waterways:
River Severn, Droitwich Canals, Worcester & Birmingham Canal
Highlights:
Worcester city, Worcester Cathedral, Droitwich Spa, Hanbury Hall.

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THAMES RING

Also known as the Grand Ring or Southern Ring

248 miles, 174 locks, 14 days at 9 hours cruising per day or 21 days at 6 hours cruising per day.

Waterways:
Grand Union Canal, River Thames, Oxford Canal
Highlights:
River Cherwell, Banbury town, Oxford city attractions, Oxford Colleges, Rousham House, Aynho, Claydon Granary Museum, Oxford Canal Summit, Braunston village, Cropredy village, Braunston Tunnel, Blisworth Tunnel, Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum, Cosgrove village, Great Ouse Aqueduct, Great Linford, Soulbury Three Locks, windmill?, Marsworth reservoirs, Wendover Arm, Tring Summit, Berkhamsted, Cassiobury Park, Rickmansworth Canal Centre, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Maze, Henley River & Rowing Museum, Runnymede.

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