See historic towns
Kennet Avon Canal
Take a canal boat
Take canal locks
up and down hills
Stop at peaceful
pubs and villages
Four Counties Ring
Base 32 is operated by a large boat operator with high standards of service. It is very easily accessible by road or rail.
The base is situated on the charmingly rural North Oxford Canal, close to Rugby town. It is perfectly positioned for a number of interesting and contrasting one-week routes ranging from a simple and virtually lock-free trip up to Snarestone and back via the Ashby Canal, to the impressive Warwickshire Ring for the more energetic. A range of short break options are available.
Bosworth and Return: 0 locks 18 hours
A lock-free cruise up the North Oxford Canal to the Ashby Canal, perhaps further to Snarestone
Braunston or Napton and Return: 8 locks 12/15 hours
Braunston and Norton and Return: 20 locks 18 hours
South from the base cruise to the canal town of Braunston, with its pubs and shops. Perhaps continue west to Napton village on a hill over the canal, or east through more locks to Norton or up the Grand Union Canal to Crick
Banbury and Return: 75 miles 50 locks 35 hours
A relatively gentle cruise through the pretty Cotswold countryside first takes you down the North Oxford Canal via Braunston and Napton Junctions and onto the South Oxford Canal, renowned for its meandering route to the Thames. You will pass charming villages such as Cropredy with its thatched sandstone cottages before reaching Banbury itself, famous for its 'cross' and scrumptious cakes!
Stoke Bruerne and Return: 42 miles 30 locks 30 hours
This interesting trip takes you down the North Oxford Canal to Braunston where you join the Grand Union Canal heading southwards towards London. This is essentially a rural route that incorporates several very impressive tunnels including Blisworth Tunnel, which is over 3,000 yards long! The village of Stoke Bruerne awaits you as you emerge from Blisworth and we recommend that you take time to visit the excellent Canal Museum here.
Warwickshire Ring: 103 miles 107 locks 54 hours
A rather more energetic week than some, a cruise remarkable for its contrasts. Set off up the Grand Union Canal to Warwick with its fine castle. The next stop is Birmingham with all its amenities. Once you reach the International Convention Centre, you branch off down the Birmingham Fazeley Canal, which takes you out under 'Spaghetti Junction' to Coventry Canal, where you turn South past Coventry back to base. There are a number of things to see and do on this most popular of trips.
Market Harborough and Return: 65 miles 50 locks 30 hours
Cruise down the North Oxford Canal to Braunston and then head up the Grand Union (Leicester Section) Canal towards Leicester itself. On the way to Market Harborough you will encounter no less than four tunnels, two sets of staircase locks and mile after mile of open countryside. At Foxton, you can explore the site of the short-lived Inclined Plane that was built to overcome the need for such an impressive flight of ten locks. At the foot of these locks is the canal arm that leads to Market Harborough where you can rest and recuperate before tackling the return journey.
151 miles 100 locks 70 hours
A really pleasant two week cruise through parts of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire which involves cruising on rivers as well as canals. This route takes you up the Grand Union (Leicester Section) Canal to the Foxton flight of locks and on to Leicester itself where you join the River Soar. Continue along the Soar to Trent Junction, where you briefly join the River Trent, which takes you up to Sawley. At this point you rejoin the canal system and complete the ring back to Base 32.
Alternatively, a very ambitious fortnight or more leisurely three weeks can be spent travelling down the South Oxford Canal to the River Thames at Oxford, cruising along the Thames to Brentford and then returning via the Grand Union Canal.