Canal boat holidays—Trent & Mersey Canal

Published: Wednesday, 19 January 2011

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All facilities

Moorings are plentiful along the waterway, with marinas the like of Stenson, Jannel, Barton Turns and Kings Bromley providing all services, and Barton Turns boasting many shopping outlets. With so many marinas and boatyards boating facilities are plentiful.

Though the narrow locks are somewhat easer to operate, alas, like the earlier broad locks, many have awkward gates, many being hard to move and some refusing to remain closed, with those at Fradley Junction amongst the worst. A further problem is that as it is a busy junction, passage at peak times can be very slow indeed, being notorious for long delays.

The canal has plenty of sections of Armco for mooring as well as dedicated mooring  facilities. Rugeley boasts a plethora of shops including a large supermarket, with moorings on rings very close to the waterway. The supermarket is the only one by the waterway on this section of the Trent & Mersey, but moorings can be hard to come by at busy times as can be seen from the above picture.

After this the canal passes over a Trent aqueduct along the attractive Trent Valley, through the awkward Colwich Lock, aptly named Cow Shit Lock by our Victor Swift, and you will see the reason why. Then it's a large garden centre a short walk from Wolseley Bridge. There is access to the impressive Shugborough Hall at Bridge 73. Then the waterway meets the Staffs & Worcs Canal at Haywood Junction.

The broad locks spoil the recommendation for an easy holiday hire, unless a strong crew, but even with the sometimes awkward narrow locks, it has many interesting features, including a roofless 'tunnel' at Armitage (pictured) and  a great many canalside eateries.

This section of the canal is 39 miles with 22 locks, with an attractive aqueduct over the Dove and a lesser spectacular one at Rugeley over the Trent.

Ease of operation
Ease of passage ✪
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The more black stars the better.