Canal Routes

Passage through some tunnels, bridges and locks needs to be booked in advance.  This might be because of unexpected events, such as an unplanned stoppage or coronavirus restrictions, or because boat passage need to coincide with tide times. Please click here for details of how to check https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices

Green Routes

Here we have suggested a few routes.  These routes are for the more casual boater, these routes will cater for 3-4 hours cruising per day, allowing the rest of the time to enjoy being aboard the boat, exploring the villages and towns you pass through and allowing more time to make use of pubs/restaurants along the way. Of course, you can still do these things on the red routes, however with the red routes you will be looking to complete many more locks and be cruising for approximately 7 hours per day on your full days.

We offer bespoke routes based on your exact requirements.  For this please contact Bee Boating Breaks and we can arrange a pre-holiday chat to tailor a route for your perfect break.

As part of your planning, we suggest a good tool to use is the Canal Route Planner which is available online at www.canalplan.org.uk You can use this to plan your route but also, it’s a great tool to see how far you are from Mercia Marina.

3day-burton

This is a trip of 19 miles, 3 furlongs and 8 locks from Mercia Marina to Barton Turns Marina and back to Mercia Marina. This will take 8 hours and 27 minutes of cruising. This route allows for a much more relaxing weekend, with 4 locks to negotiate to Barton Turns Marina and 4 locks back. This route is ideal for those wanting to stop whenever you like at the many pubs and restaurants along the route and spend some time in and around the Burton-on-Trent area. There is the option to continue a little further to Wychnor winding hole to turn around.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

4day-alrewas

This is a trip of 26 miles, 2 furlongs and 12 locks from Mercia Marina to Alrewas and back to Mercia Marina.  This will take 12 hours which is 4 hours cruising per day not including your first day. You’ll go through the town of Burton-on-Trent on this route. There are many places to moor along this route at pubs and restaurants, some located a little further away from the mooring. You’ll be able to reach Bagnall Winding hole at Alrewas before turning around and heading back, allowing for 4 hours of cruising per day on your full days.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

7day-great-haywood

This is a trip of 54 miles and 32 locks from Mercia Marina to Great Haywood Junction and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 27 hours and 23 minutes which is 6 days, 3 hours and 23 minutes at 4 hours per day. A less lock intensive route, with only 16 locks there and 16 locks back. Considering approximately 4 hours cruising per day you will be able to get to Great Haywood Junction.  A short walk away is the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate. Our advice is if you can travel a little more than 4 hours a day in the first few days it will allow for a more leisurely return and more time at Shugborough.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

7day-burton

This is a trip of 54 miles and 32 locks from Mercia Marina to Great Haywood Junction and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 27 hours and 23 minutes which is 6 days, 3 hours and 23 minutes at 4 hours per day. A less lock intensive route, with only 16 locks there and 16 locks back. Considering approximately 4 hours cruising per day you will be able to get to Great Haywood Junction.  A short walk away is the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate. Our advice is if you can travel a little more than 4 hours a day in the first few days it will allow for a more leisurely return and more time at Shugborough.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

10day-lichfield

This is a trip of 58 miles, and 22 locks from Mercia Marina Curdworth Winding Hole and back to Mercia Marina.  This will take 27 hours and 11 minutes which is 9 days, 11 minutes at 3 hours per day.

At just 3 hours per day cruising this trip is aimed for people who wish to enjoy less time cruising and locks, and more time stopping and making the most of amenities and places of interest along the way. This journey will take just over 27 hours cruising allows you to have more relaxing days on your holiday.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

10day-stafford

This is a trip of 65 miles, and 34 locks from Mercia Marina to Stafford and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 32 hours and 3 minutes which is approximately 3 hours cruising per day.

On this route you will travel through Burton-on-Trent, Fradley Junction, Rugeley, Great Heywood and Stafford. A beautiful route taking you in and out of the villages along the way. You will have lots of time to stop and take in places of interest along your route. If you do more than 3 hours per day cruising it allows for a more relaxed return leg.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

10day-stafford

This is a trip of 85 miles, and 58 locks from Mercia Marina to Trentham and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 44 hours and 30 minutes which is between 3 and 4 hours cruising per day. On this route you will go through Burton, Fradley, Rugeley and Stone before reaching Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent and turning around at Trentham winding hole and returning back to Mercia Marina.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

14day-birmingham

This is a trip of 83 miles, and 98 locks from Mercia Marina to Birmingham City Centre and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 48 hours and 10 minutes which is almost 4 hours cruising per day not factoring in your first day. With this route it is recommended that you try and complete as much of the journey in your first few days allowing for more time in Birmingham and for your return leg.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

Red Routes

Here we have suggested a few routes.  These routes are for boaters who wish to spend more time on their holiday cruising.  You will be expected to complete more locks and average approximately 7 hours cruising per day. This means you get to see a lot more of the canal network.  For less intensive holidays consider the green routes available.

We offer bespoke routes based on your exact requirements.  For this please contact Bee Boating Breaks and we can arrange a pre-holiday chat to tailor a route for your perfect break.

As part of your planning, we suggest a good tool to use is the Canal Route Planner which is available online at www.canalplan.org.uk You can use this to plan your route but also, it’s a great tool to see how far you are from Mercia Marina.

3day-fradley

Starting at Mercia Marina

Total distance is 30 miles, 2¾ furlongs and 22 locks. There are 16 small aqueducts or under bridges.

This will take 15 hours, 38 minutes which is 2 days, 1 hour and 38 minutes at 7 hours per day. For initial calculation purposes (before adjusting for such things as overnight stops) this is taken as 2 days of 7 hours and 49 minutes each.

When you reach Fradley Junction you will turn the boat around.  There are mooring options before and just after Fradley Junction.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

4day-fradley

Total distance is 37 miles, 11 locks there and 11 locks back. There are 2 moveable bridges and 16 small aqueducts or under bridges.

This is made up of 27miles and a total of 22 narrow locks.

This will take a total of 18 hours 38 minutes, so this is 6 hours 12 minutes of cruising per day on your 3 full days. Any cruising you do on the first day will allow you a less intensive next 3 days.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

7day-rugeley

This is a trip of 82 miles and 56 locks from Mercia Marina to just past the Plume of Feathers pub at Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 42 hours and 46 minutes, so 7 hours cruising per day not including your start day or your checkout day. This holiday is designed to allow more time for cruising and going through locks, and experiencing greater distances than more casual routes.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

7day-stafford

This is a trip of 76 miles and 46 locks from Mercia Marina to Otherton Marina and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 38 hours and 55 minutes which is 6.5 hours cruising on your full days. You will cruise through Burton-on-Trent, Fradley, Rugeley, Stafford and Penkridge on this route.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

staffordshire-ring

This is a trip of 105 miles and 101 locks from Mercia Marina around the Staffordshire Ring and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 58 hours and 7 minutes which is just under 6 hours cruising per day. This ring can be completed either clockwise or anti-clockwise.  Along the route you will pass through Burton, Fradley, Rugeley, Stafford, Penkridge, Wolverhampton, Birmingham city centre and Tamworth before turning back to the Marina at Fradley.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

birmingham-ring

This is a trip of 121 miles, and 99 locks from Mercia Marina around the Birmingham Ring and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 63 hours and 42 minutes which is between 6 and 7 hours cruising per full day of your holiday, this route will bring a mixture of idyllic countryside and the urban exploration of Birmingham’s canal network.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

four-counties-ring

This is a trip of 164 miles, 6¾ furlongs and 126 locks from Mercia Marina around the Four Counties Ring and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 88 hours and 14 minutes which is just under 7 hours cruising per day on your full days. One of the most famous canal rings on the network from the Trent & Mersey Canal, Shropshire Union Canal through the rolling Cheshire Plains to the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal and back to the ‘Shroppie’, the Four Counties Ring is one of the more rural cruising rings.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.

14day-coventry

This is a trip of 165 miles and 82 locks from Mercia Marina to Heyford Fields Marina and back to Mercia Marina.

This will take 78 hours and 34 minutes which is just over 6hours cruising per day. A scenic route taking you in and out of the towns as you boat South, through Tamworth, Coventry, Rugby and Daventry.

Remember to allow yourself enough time for the return leg back to Mercia Marina.