One Week Cruises Grand Union North Cruise as for the three day cruise opposite
continuing North through the Stoke Bruerne Locks and the Blisworth Tunnel, where you escape underground for 45 minutes. Do not worry, you can still pass oncoming boats in the tunnel as it is 16 feet wide.
On through Northamptonshire and its
attractive stone villages to Weedon, reputed to be the centre of England. Then on to Braunston Junction where the Oxford to Coventry Canal crosses the London to Birmingham, Grand Union Canal.
Braunston village grew up around the
canal and became well known for the building of wooden narrowboats. The church steeple can be seen for miles around.
This cruise gives the perfect introduction
for a week's canal cruising with the passage of 27 locks, 2 aqueducts, 2 tunnels and the canal museum at Stoke Bruerne, not to mention the excellent canal-side hostelries and for the younger crew members the many children’s play areas in and around Milton Keynes.
Hours cruising to Braunston 21 hours each way.
Grand Union South Cruise to Berkhamsted as for the 3 - 4 day
cruise opposite and on down the Colne Valley towards the Thames Valley and London.
Although there are more locks as you cross
the Chiltern Hills than travelling north, the canal is very quiet and extremely pretty through places such as Cassiobury Park, with the Earl of Essex's ornamental bridges, and on through the woods to Croxley Green where you pass through the middle of the recently landscaped Colne Valley nature reserve.
Hours cruising to Croxley Green 20 hours each way.
Ten Day Cruises
South and London In order to have a day or two for
sightseeing in the centre of London take a ten day cruise.
Little Venice provides superb free mooring
close to the theatres and sights of London. Cruise on through Maida Vale tunnel, past Lords Cricket ground to Regents Park, home to London Zoo.
Camden Town Lock with its market and
redevelopment is a wonderfully vibrant spot to visit before returning to Linslade.
Hours cruising to Camden Town 31 hours each way.
North Oxford and
Ashby Canals After Braunston head north leaving the
church spire behind you, through the three duplicated narrow locks at Hillmorton and on to the old market town of Rugby made famous by its public school.
Hawkesbury junction is where the Oxford
Canal finishes and joins the Coventry Canal. The Greyhound pub stands beside the junction where the boat people would congregate while awaiting orders to load from the Warwickshire coal fields.
Turning left takes you five miles to
Coventry with its basin close to the centre of the city. A visit to the new cathedral is a must.
Marston Junction, just a few miles north of
Hawkesbury Junction on the Coventry Canal, is where the Ashby Canal begins.
The Ashby Canal is a tranquil 21 mile
lock-free canal terminating north of Snarestone tunnel where the Globe Inn offers good food and beer. On the way you can explore 'Bosworth Field' battleground and visit the Shackerstone steam railway.
Hours cruising to Snarestone Tunnel 37 hours each way.
Two Week Cruises
The Warwick Ring After Braunston continue along the Grand
Union Canal towards Warwick where a stop is essential to visit Warwick Castle.
Up the flight of 21 locks at Hatton, 'the
stairway to heaven' (which has been completed in under two hours) and on towards Birmingham. This section through the eastern end of the Birmingham Canal Navigation gives a fascinating insight into industrial architecture and the original function of the canal system.
Under 'spaghetti junction' and after
Birmingham you have the rural section which is lightly locked leading you north along the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal to the Coventry Canal at Fazeley Junction. Then past Drayton Manor Park and Zoo and back to Braunston via the North Oxford Canal.
Total hours cruising: 95 hours.
Leicester Ring Cruise North to Norton Junction and onto
the Leicester section through the locks at Watford Gap. Here you will come across your first staircase locks where the bottom gates of one lock form the top gates of the next.
After Watford there is the twenty mile
pound across the summit to Foxton. This is a very rural canal where you see hardly any civilisation but there are several small villages just half a mile from the canal which are well worth a visit.
At Foxton are the remains of the old steam
driven inclined plane. The old engine house is now an excellent museum illustrating how the steam driven plane was built and worked.
Through Saddington tunnel and on to the
city of Leicester where you join the River Soar which flows down to its junction with the River Trent just south of Nottingham.
Up the River Trent for 2 miles and join the
Trent & Mersey to Fradley Junction and then head south on to the Coventry and North Oxford Canals.
Total hours cruising: 107 hours.
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