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    Exploring the Best Local Cruising Routes from Great Haywood Marina

    From picturesque landscapes to key tourist destinations

    Whether you're a nature lover seeking beautiful scenery and wildlife encounters, an adventure enthusiast looking for exciting tourist destinations and activities, or simply someone who enjoys cruising through charming towns and cities, we've got you covered.

    With a near endless choice in cruising routes including some of Britain’s most popular and picturesque waterways, if you love exploring the network, Great Haywood Marina is the place to moor your boat.

    Keep reading to find out some of our best recommended places to stop along the way when you're cruising from Great Haywood Marina, including pubs, cafes, landmarks and interesting things to spot, as well as multiple day options for those who want to extend their cruising experience.

    The Four Counties Ring

    A popular canal ring which offers a variety of scenery and cruising for a narrowboat holiday, taking in the four counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands.

    Starting at Great Haywood Junction, you'll begin your Journey on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal heading towards Autherly Junction. You'll then enter the Shopshire Union Canal, heading north towards Barbridge Junction and making a right turn onto the Middlewich arm of the Shropshire Union. Once you reach Middlewich it's another right turn onto the Trent and Mersey Canal, which returns you to Great Haywood via the Potteries.

    Cannock Chase

    A must-see for nature lovers.

    Great Haywood Marina sits just outside Cannock Chase AONB - You can get there within half an hour on foot!

    The Chase is one of the largest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the the home of one of the largest herd of fallow deer.

    There are several access points onto the Chase. You can simply follow the Trent & Mersey to be guided along this beautiful area of picturesque scenery.

    Best Routes For Things To Do

    Our favourite cruising routes through cities and attractions.

    Heading south on the Trent and Mersey will take you onto the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) into the bustling city of Birmingham and experience Little Venice.

    Families love taking a two day cruise on the Trent and Mersey Canal from Great Haywood to Fazeley. From there it's just a short walk into Tamworth, where you will find a bowling alley, cinema, one of the largest indoor Snow Dome attractions in the UK and Drayton Manor Theme Park.

    Heading north on the Trent & Mersey will take you to The Potteries is the world capital of ceremics, an industrial area which is now the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Here you'll find factory tours, museums and pottery workshops giving an insight into the history and tradition of this craft.

    Lichfield is an awe-inspiring city that's well worth a visit, with mismatched architectural styles detailing a long and rich history, and its famous three-spired cathedral - the only one in the country.

    Best Three Day Cruises

    For a long weekend or midweek adventure.

    Penkridge on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal - About a 20 mile round trip, this makes a lovely leisurely cruise over a few days. Travel southwest from Great Haywood Junction on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal for 10 miles, 1 furlong and 6 locks to Penkridge.

    Stone via the Trent and Mersey Canal - About a 19 mile round journey, a visit to the old market town of Stafford is a great way to spend a leisurely weekend. From Great Haywood Marina, travel northwest on the Trent and Mersey Canal for 9 miles, 7¾ furlongs to Stone.

    Fradley Junction via the Trent and Mersey Canal - Taking about 25 miles there and back, Fradley Junction is well worth a visit. From Great Haywood Junction, travel southeast on the Trent and Mersey Canal for 12 miles, 1¾ furlongs and 5 locks to Fradley Junction.

    Places to Stop On The Way

    Saracen's Head in Weston is a rustic, dog friendly country pub not far from the marina, where you'll find exciting specialty nights including the popular Grill Night on Wednesdays and Burger Night on Thursdays.

    Clifford Arms in Great Haywood is a dog friendly country pub offering a great selection of ales, beers and great food. You'll find them on the Trent & Mersey at canal bridge number 73.

    The Red Lion in Little Haywood is a traditional English pub with an abundance of unique character and charm, located on the edge of Cannock Chase just a short stroll off the Trent & Mersey.

    Weston Hall in Stafford is perfect if you're looking for some up market refined dining. This magnificent grade II listed building has a delightful dining area and cosy accommodation.

    The Bank House in Hixon offers delicious classic pub favourites and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, just a stone's throw from Cannock Chase.

    Roam Free With An Annual Mooring

    Take advantage of our free visitor mooring scheme.

    As an annual Moorer at Great Haywood Marina, you can now enjoy cruising even more with our free visitor mooring which allows you to visit any of our partner marinas across the UK for free!

    You will have the ability to cruise the network with unlimited access to Lakeland Leisure Marinas*. Enjoy Saul Junction Marina in Gloucestershire, Tattenhall Marina in Cheshire, Roydon Marina Village in Essex, or Barton Marina in Staffordshire.

    Cruise the canals, enjoy both rural and city life from the water at your own pace; knowing you have a mooring to hand.

    * Subject to availability, please contact your destination marina in advance of arrival.

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