Holidays in the UK - Canal Holidays

Guide to the Avon Ring

The Avon Ring travels through the heart of England on canals and rivers, and includes some of the prettiest countryside and most famous sights in England.

The route takes the River Avon from Stratford-upon-Avon between the Malvern Hills and the Cotswolds through typical English villages.

Distance, Time, and Locks

109 miles, about 60 hours cruising, 129 locks

Take 10/11 days enjoying a relaxing trip. An experienced crew can cover this Ring within a week but it is advisable to spend longer if you want to visit the attractions en route.

For most people 2 weeks gives a good blend of sightseeing and cruising. Please note that a licence (approx £50) is purchased on entering the River Avon.

Cruising the Ring

Follow the Stourport Ring route up the Worcester and Birmingham canal to Kings Norton junction outside Birmingham.

Join the North Stratford Canal through splendid countryside and past delightful villages with quaint names.

If time allows you can have a detour along a lock free stretch of the Grand Union to the top of Hatton Locks and then take a train the short distance to Warwick and visit its superb medieval castle.

Continuing the Avon Ring, on the South Stratford Canal the canal character changes with split bridges and 'barrel-roofed' cottages.

Before reaching Stratford visit Mary Arden's Cottage, Shakespeare's mother's home, close to the canal at Wilmcote. Cross the Edstone Aqueduct in a 754 feet long cast iron trough before reaching Stratford-upon-Avon.

At Stratford moor opposite the Shakespeare Theatre in Bancroft Basin and enjoy Shakespeare's birthplace and its many attractions. Details are available from the Tourist Information Office adjacent to the canal basin.

In Stratford join the River Avon, which meanders to Tewkesbury, through Evesham and Pershore (reputed to be Borchester in the long running Archers serial on BBC radio).

In Tewkesbury visit the magnificent abbey and join the River Severn at Tewkesbury lock.

It is a short trip along the wider and picturesque River Severn from Tewkesbury to Worcester and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal to complete the Ring.

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