Four Counties Ring

Spanning the counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire & The West Midlands gives the Four Counties Ring it’s literal name.  As you can imagine, taking in such different locales, this route features some unique canal related locations such as The Potteries, stunning countryside scenary, The Harecastle Tunnel & much more!

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Introduction

Four Counties Ring (Clockwise from Middlewich Wharf)

This route has something for everyone, featuring views across the open plains of the Cheshire countryside, energetic lock wheeling up “Heartbreak Hill” (with the route in total including 94 locks), the fabulous Harecastle Tunnel. As well as several superb places worth a stop including The Potteries Museums & Factories (Etruria Museum, National Garden Festival & Historic Stoke-On-Trent), Shrugborough Hall, Gailey Round House, Market Drayton & Nantwich Village, The Caldon Canal (time permitting), Stoke City Football Club & The junction of the Llangollen Canal at Barbridge before returning down the Middlewich Arm of the Shropshire Union Canal to return to base at Middlewich Top Wharf.

After a short cruise from our base, and a couple of locks, Heartbreak Hill presents the first real challenge of your boating mettle on this route. The canal climbs to it’s summit via a section of locks that are close to one another and come in quick succession. Once at the top you are rewarded with some excellent views of the surrounding area and a few lovely pubs to stop at in Kidsgrove at Hardingswood Junction including The Red Bull, Canal Tavern & The Blue Bell Inn.

Once you arrive in Kidsgrove the canal water turns a dark brown orange colour, some say this is due to the pollution from the potteries industries in the area over many years. Another theory is that it is due to the ground’s high content of iron ore and the canal bed’s lining of clay.

The Harecastle Tunnel presents the next major feature on the route. Around 1.5 miles long the tunnel is operated by Canal and River Trust (CRT) staff and you will need to take a short briefing before proceeding and follow the instructions of the staff (see the navigational notes with regards transit times).  Also known as the “Scarecastle” Tunnel as it is a 45 minute journey through a dark and wet aperture. Do look out for some spooky ancient graffiti on the walls as you make the journey too!

After exiting the tunnel you continue a short distance before West Port Lake which has some good visitor facilities for boaters and some nearby shops if you need to stock up on provisions.

At Etruria junction you take the right hand lock to proceed along your journey. If you have adequate time then a detour onto the Caldon Canal – left hand lock – is worth considering and you can find out more information on the route and features of the Caldon Canal on our dedicated page. Etruria is also the location of Festival Park where there is a Waterworld & multi-plex cinema.

Stoke-On-Trent is still very much an active centre of pottery even today. Although it is no longer the main employer and industry in the town, it is still a going concern of the area.  Some of the pottery factories are actually open to the public to explore, and it is well worth a stop, especially Wedgwood, Bone Mill at Etruria Museum.  Here there is so much to learn about many of the things we take for granted today, such as the art and science behind making those objects we use everyday but with little thought for how they came to be. 

Great Haywood is a lovely town to explore and stock up on new supplies, there is a post office, atm, shop, pub, pharmacist and a doctors.  The canal here is on the fringes of Shugborough Hall. A National Trust managed estate with grounds to explore as well as the country mansion. Tea rooms, play gounds and a zip line are also available for the more thrill seeking visitors.

At Tixall Wide the canal bursts into life in a dramatic expansive wide area. The nearby Tixall Hall was demolished in the early 20th century, however the hall did host Mary, Queen of Scots as a “guest” before she met her grisly end.  The reason for the inexplicabbly wide nature of the canal in this area is due to the owner of the land and hall when the canal was built, being decidedly against a water borne motorway crossing his land and spoiling the view. So he insisted upon it beign made so wide so that it looked like a lovely lake from the house.  The Elizabethan gatehouse can still be seen today from the canal when passing Tixall Wide.

Gailey Round House is a striking looking building as you go along the canal, currently a small shop with the nearby lock keepers cottage a private dwelling.  The area here is steeped in history and was involved in the early transformation of the canals from commercial carrying to that of a pleasure craft boating nature.

Here after the countryside opens up into vast expanses with views over the Cheshire plains to one side and the majestic Welsh hills and mountains on the other as you wind your way towards the canal’s junction with the Llangollen Canal which eventually leads across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, one of the wonders of the canal system.  Worth a detour if you have an extra week you are able to add to your itinerary.

There are many lovely quintissential English villages along the Shropshire Union Canal Main Line. A fine example being Market Drayton. Local folk lore says the town is the home and birth place of gingerbread, with several purveyors claiming the history and invention of the sweat treat and to be the creator of the best gingerbread. So lots of samples obviously need to be taken to make up your own mind!  This town also has lots of interesting timber clad buildings reminiscent of the Tudor / Stuart era.

 

Four Counties Ring (Clockwise)

110 miles, 2 furlongs, 94 locks, 37 small aqueducts, 2 tunnels (Harecastle Tunnel (2919 yards long) and Cowley Tunnel (81 yards long)) – a total of 1 mile, 5¾ furlongs underground.

Total cruising time 60 hours, 53 minutes which is 6 days, 6 hours and 53 minutes at 9 hours per day.

Departing from our Middlewich base and heading south along the Trent and Mersey Canal, there are a couple of locks which are a good distance apart and you weave your way out of the town and into the countryside before approaching the first challenge along this route, Heartbreak Hill. Aptly named as the canal here climbs to it’s summit via 31 locks over 12 miles. 

After completing Heartbreak Hill you reach Kidsgrove and the entrance to Harecastle Tunnel. Follow the CRT staff briefing and make sure you are well prepared for the tunnel passage in advance so that you can complete this part of your journey smoothly. We will ensure you are fully aware of tunnel procedures before you leave during your narrowboat induction.

From here you continue through to Etruria Junction and Stoke-On-Trent, at the junction the canal bears left for the Caldon or right to continue along your route via a Stoke Top Lock. From here there is a long distance of cruising with few lock obstacles before reaching Great Haywood Junction after around 16 miles.

From Great Haywood Junction you take a sharp right turn at 90 degrees to join the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal.  Along this stretch the canal winds and weaves its way past Tixall Wide, Shugborough Hall and Gailey Round House and towards the end of the stretch you then start to descend to the Shopshire Union Junction at Autherley, via sets of locks that come in handfuls of 2 to 4 or 5.  

At Autherley Junction you make an almost hairpin turn to the right to join the Shropshire Union Canal. This stretch of canal is one of the last to be built during the great era of canal building.  It benefits from the greater knowledge of civil engineering of the time compared to the earlier canals and is straighter with less locks to impede progress.  You will have little lock wheeling to do until you reach Audlem near Market Drayton. From there on its further easy cruising up to the junction of the Middlewich Arm, where you turn right at Barbridge and head for home over another area of picturesque scenery and lovely countryside.

At the end of the Middlewich branch you descen Wardle lock and turn left where you will go under the bridge dead ahead and find your back at base.

NAVIGATION NOTES

  • Tetton Bridge
    • Beware of the change in bridge profile when heading south.
  • Wheelock Botto Lock No 66
    • Towpath side lock appears intact but is closed.
  • Wheelock Lock No 61
    • The towpath-side lock is open, but marked as “narrow” and unsuitable for boats with a beam of over 6’10”
  • Lower Thurlwood Lock No 54
    • The towpath side lock is narrow and not suitbale for boats with a beam of over 6’10”
  • Church Lawton Bottom Lock No 48
    • The lock opposite the towpath side is apparently intact but closed.
  • Red Bull Lock No 45
    • Offside lock is not operational due to paddle problems.
  • Harecastle Tunnel Opening Times
    • Spring & Autumn – 8am to 5pm (last arrival for guaranteed passage 3pm)
    • Summer – 8am to 6pm (last arrival for guaranteed passage 4pm)
    • Winter – check Canal and River Trust Website
  • Stoke Top Lock No 40
    • A Canal and River Trust handcuff key is needed to open this lock.
  • Newcastle Road Bridge No 115
    • Low headroom at this bridge!
  • Teddesley Road Basin (Penkridge)
    • This is a private basin which belongs to Teddeseley Boat Co. The owners live in the house opposite, so don’t get caught using it.
  • Filance Lock No 37
    • Please be aware that due to a new bulge in the chamber wall the lock width has been reduced slightly and may pose a hazard to some wider boats. The new minimum dimension is approximatley 2.14m which is only just over 7ft.
  • Gailey Wharf
    • One of the water-points here does not have a standard 3/4″ BSP male connector, so you may have to use one of th eothers if you don’t have an adaptor.
  • High Bridge No 39
    • Due to the way the canal bends there is restricted visibilty through the bridge as you approach in either direction.
  • Tyrley Bottom Lock No 7
    • The pound between the 4th and 5th locks at the Tyrley flight can be challenging:
      • 1) There are no lock landings in either direction.
      • 2) There is a very strong by wash from lock 4 into the pound, which can pin a boat on o the offside wall.
      • 3) There is a lip or ledge between the centre of the channel and the towpath. It is impossible to come alongside the towpath.
      • 4) Trying to pass a boat in the opposite direction, or “hover” in the pound is tricky due to the strength of the bywash and a bad idea for the less experienced boater. It is best to have your next lock at your level, with the gate open, before leaving the lock that you are in. 

Detailed Route:​

Trent and Mersey Canal (Main Line – Middlewich to Preston Brook)
From Middlewich Top Wharf to:

Middlewich Junction Water point

Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal Main Line with Wardle Lock Branch leading to Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch
½ furlongs, 0 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Main Line – Harding’s Wood to Middlewich)
From Middlewich Junction Water point (Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal Main Line with Wardle Lock Branch leading to Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch) to:
Tetton Bridge [see navigational note]1 mile, 4½ furlongs, 2 locks
Elton Moss Wharf2 miles, ½ furlongs, 3 locks

Wharf Bridge No 154

Wheelock . Also known as ‘Wheelock’
2 miles, 2½ furlongs, 0 locks

Wheelock Bottom Lock No 66 [see navigational note]

Locks from here to Red Bull Top Lock are duplicated except where noted.
2¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Wheelock Lock No 61 [see navigational note]

Towpath-side lock is open but marked as “narrow” and unsuitable for boats over 6’10” (September 2013). Also known as ‘Clock Lock’, ‘Office Lock’, ‘Kimmick Lock’, ‘Cardboard Lock’
6 furlongs, 5 locks

Wheelock Flight Top Lock No 59

Malkin’s Bank Flight Nos 59 to 64. Also known as ‘Cork’s Lock’, ‘Maddock’s Lock’

Having passed through Wheelock Flight

3 furlongs, 2 locks

Lower Thurlwood Lock No 54 [see navigational note]

Towpath side lock is narrow and not suitable for boats over 6’10” (Sept 2013). Also known as ‘Woodall’s Lock’
2 miles, 1¼ furlongs, 5 locks
Lawton Moorings A good place to moor1 mile, 1½ furlongs, 2 locks
Church Lawton Bottom Lock No 48 [see navigational note] Having passed through Lawton Treble Locks3¾ furlongs, 4 locks

Red Bull Lock No 45 [see navigational note]

Townfield or Top of Church Pound Lock. Also known as ‘Townfield Lock’, ‘Top of Church Pound Lock’, ‘Kent’s Locks’
6¼ furlongs, 3 locks

Red Bull Services toilets for boatersWater pointToilet pump-outRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Also known as ‘Red Bull Wharf’
2¼ furlongs, 2 locks

Hardings Wood Junction

Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch
5 furlongs, 3 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Main Line – Etruria to Hardings Wood)
From Hardings Wood Junction (Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch) to:

Harecastle Tunnel (northern entrance) Water pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Kidsgrove. Also known as ‘Kidsgrove’
2¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Harecastle Tunnel (southern entrance) Water point

An extra 45 minutes has been allowed for this passage

Having passed through Harecastle Tunnel (2919 yards long) [see navigational note]

1 mile, 5¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Longport Road Bridge No 1261 mile, 3¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Longport Wharf Toilet pump-out

Home of Stokeboats
¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Toby Carvery Festival Park

Canalside
1 mile, 6¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Etruria Junction

Junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal, Caldon Branch, Uttoxeter 30 miles
2½ furlongs, 0 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Main Line – Great Haywood to Etruria)
From Etruria Junction (Junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal, Caldon Branch, Uttoxeter 30 miles) to:

Stoke Top Lock No 40 [see navigational note]

Also known as ‘Etruria Summit Lock’, ‘Summit Lock’
¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Newcastle Road Bridge No 115 [see navigational note] Having passed through Stoke Locks (rise of 50 feet)2 furlongs, 3 locks
Newcastle Road Bridge No 95 Having passed through Meaford Locks (rise of 32 feet and 5 inches)8 miles, 4 furlongs, 9 locks

Stone Wharf Toilet pump-out

Home of Canal Cruising hire boats
2 furlongs, 0 locks

Great Haywood Junction A good place to moor

Junction of Trent and Mersey and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canals
9 miles, 7¾ furlongs, 6 locks
Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal (Main Line: Autherley to Great Haywood)
From Great Haywood Junction A good place to moor (Junction of Trent and Mersey and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canals) to:
Tixall Wide (southwestern entrance)7¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Milford Bridge No 105

No waterpoint
1 mile, 3 furlongs, 1 lock

Radford Bridge Visitor Moorings A good place to moor

Stafford town centre is one mile to the west. Also known as ‘Stafford’
2 miles, 2 furlongs, 0 locks

Acton Moat Bridge No 92

Acton Trussell. Also known as ‘Acton Trussell’
2 miles, 3½ furlongs, 1 lock
Park Gate Lock No 401 mile, 3½ furlongs, 1 lock

Teddesley Road Basin (Penkridge) [see navigational note]

ex Teddesley Boat Company
½ furlongs, 1 lock
Teddesley Park Bridge No 892½ furlongs, 0 locks
Penkridge – Visitor Moorings below Lock A good place to moor1 mile, ¾ furlongs, 1 lock

Filance Lock No 37 [see navigational note]

No lock landing bollards or rings below lock
3 furlongs, 1 lock
Filance Bridge No 841¼ furlongs, 1 lock

The Cross Keys Inn A good place to moor

48-hour visitor moorings
a few yards, 0 locks
Gailey Wharf toilets for boatersWater pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here [see navigational note]2 miles, 2 furlongs, 5 locks

Calf Heath Bridge No 77

Winding hole is next to bridge
1 mile, 3 furlongs, 0 locks

Hatherton Junction A good place to moor

Junction of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Hatherton Canal (under restoration)
1 mile, 0 locks
Coven Heath Bridge No 69 A good place to moor3 miles, 4 furlongs, 0 locks
Autherley Junction Having passed through Autherley Narrows1 mile, 7¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Shropshire Union Canal (Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal – Main Line)
From Autherley Junction to:

Autherley Wharf Toilet pump-out

Home of Napton Narrowboats
½ furlongs, 1 lock

High Green Bridge No 14

Brewood. Also known as ‘Brewood’
4 miles, 7½ furlongs, 0 locks

Stretton Aqueduct

Over the A5 road (Watling Street)
1 mile, 2 furlongs, 0 locks

High Onn Bridge No 25

Church Eaton 1 mile northeast. Also known as ‘Church Eaton’
4 miles, 4½ furlongs, 1 lock
Cowley Tunnel No 33 (southern entrance)1 mile, 5½ furlongs, 0 locks
Cowley Tunnel No 33 (northern entrance) Having passed through Cowley Tunnel (81 yards long)¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Gnosall Bridge No 354 furlongs, 0 locks

Norbury Junction Services toilets for boatersWater pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Also known as ‘Norbury Junction Sanitary Station’

Having passed over Shelmore Embankment (1750 yards long)

2 miles, 3½ furlongs, 0 locks

Norbury Junction A good place to moor

Junction with former Newport Branch
¼ furlongs, 0 locks
High Bridge No 39 [see navigational note]7½ furlongs, 0 locks
Anchor Bridge No 42 A good place to moor Having passed through Grub Street Cutting1 mile, 3¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Knighton Wharf

This was the wharf for the Cadbury factory.

Having passed over Shebdon Embankment (1530 yards long)

1 mile, 7½ furlongs, 0 locks

Newport Road Bridge No 45

Knighton. Also known as ‘Knighton’
1 furlong, 0 locks

Goldstone Bridge No 55

Cheswardine 1 mile east. Also known as ‘Cheswardine’
3 miles, ¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Tyrley Top Lock No 3

Tyrley Flight Lock No 1. Also known as ‘Tyrley Flight Lock No 1’

Having passed through Woodseaves Cutting

2 miles, 1 furlong, 0 locks

Tyrley Bottom Lock No 7 [see navigational note]

Tyrley Flight Lock No 5. Also known as ‘Tyrley Flight Lock No 5’

Having passed through Tyrley Locks (rise of 33 feet)

3 furlongs, 4 locks
Newcastle Road Bridge No 62 A good place to moor1 mile, 1 lock

Orwells Boatyard

Also known as ‘Victoria Wharf (Market Drayton)’
4¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Adderley Top Lock No 8

Adderley Flight Lock No 1. Also known as ‘Adderley Flight Lock No 1’
2 miles, 5¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Adderley Bottom Lock No 12

Adderley Flight Lock No 5. Also known as ‘Adderley Flight Lock No 5’

Having passed through Adderley Locks (rise of 31 feet)

2¾ furlongs, 4 locks

Audlem Top Lock No 13

Audlem Flight Lock No 1. Also known as ‘Audlem Flight Lock No 1’
1 mile, 2¼ furlongs, 1 lock

Audlem Lock No 14

Audlem Flight Lock No 2 . Also known as ‘Audlem Flight Lock No 2’
¾ furlongs, 1 lock

Audlem Lock No 15

Audlem Flight Lock No 3 is the top lock of main Audlem Flight. Also known as ‘Audlem Flight Lock No 3’
2 furlongs, 1 lock

Audlem Wharf toilets for boatersWater pointA good place to moorRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Also known as ‘Audlem’
7¼ furlongs, 10 locks

Audlem Bottom Lock No 27

Audlem Flight Lock No 15. Also known as ‘Audlem Flight Lock No 15’

Having passed through Audlem Locks (rise of 93 feet)

3 furlongs, 2 locks
Nantwich Aqueduct A good place to moor Having passed through Hack Green Locks (rise of 12 feet)5 miles, 4½ furlongs, 3 locks

Nantwich Services toilets for boatersWater pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Also known as ‘Nantwich Sanitary Station’
2¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Nantwich Basin Entrance

Junction of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal – Main Line and the Chester Canal. Also known as ‘Basin End’, ‘Nantwich Marina’

Having passed over Nantwich Embankment

¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Shropshire Union Canal (Chester Canal – Nantwich to Bunbury)
From Nantwich Basin Entrance (Junction of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal – Main Line and the Chester Canal. Also known as ‘Basin End’, ‘Nantwich Marina’) to:

Hurleston Junction A good place to moor

Junction of Llangollen Canal and Shropshire Union Main Line
1 mile, 7¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Barbridge Visitor Moorings (northwestern end) A good place to moor

48 hour moorings
1 mile, 1¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Barbridge Aqueduct¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Barbridge Visitor Moorings (24 hour) A good place to moor¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Barbridge Junction A good place to moor

Junction with Shropshire Union – Middlewich Branch
¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Shropshire Union Canal (Middlewich Branch)
From Barbridge Junction A good place to moor (Junction with Shropshire Union – Middlewich Branch) to:
Aqueduct Marina Toilet pump-out3 miles, 1¼ furlongs, 2 locks
River Weaver Aqueduct No 10A3¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Wardle Lock No 4

Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal, Wardle Lock Branch and Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch. Also known as ‘Maureen’s Lock’
6 miles, 3½ furlongs, 2 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Wardle Lock Branch)
From Wardle Lock No 4 (Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal, Wardle Lock Branch and Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch. Also known as ‘Maureen’s Lock’) to:

Middlewich Junction Water point

Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal Main Line with Wardle Lock Branch leading to Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch
1 furlong, 0 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Main Line – Middlewich to Preston Brook)
From Middlewich Junction Water point (Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal Main Line with Wardle Lock Branch leading to Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch) to:

Middlewich Top Wharf

Formerly home of Middlewich Narrowboats. Also known as ‘Middlewich Narrowboats’
½ furlongs, 0 locks

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  • positive review Having fab short break on Gemini III - lovely n interesting trip up to Bugsworth Basin.

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    Vicki Jones
    4/10/2019

    Very nice People. No Problems. Wonderful holidays. Greetings from Austria. We will come again. Thomas

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    Thomas Schwed
    11/13/2019

    I spent the weekend on the boat for my mates stag do. We had Paul driving the boat for us... read more

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    8/29/2019
  • We spent 4 days on one of Floating Holidays' boats in end May 2019. I recommend them very highly: they... read more

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    Hugh Everett
    6/06/2019

    I had a wonderful stay on Paul's narrow boat. It's a perfect, leisurely and relaxing way to spend a holiday... read more

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    9/20/2017

    4 star rating“Cosy relaxing short break on Gemini III” Had a great short break on Gemini III (Mon-Fri). Paul was friendly and handover was quick and efficient. We cruised... read more

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    fiona b
    3/13/2019
  • Enjoyed our break away last year so much we have re-booked - can’t wait.

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    Cathy Smith
    5/09/2018

    Paul’s narrow boat did everything it was supposed to do despite us being complete novices! Had a wonderful time chugging... read more

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    9/07/2018

    A great boat for our two families, lots of fun for all -swing bridges, narrow turns and lovely country pubs.... read more

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    Rachel
    1/02/2020
  • Great weekend. A lot easier than you'd imagine. Beautiful scenery.. everyone is friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.

    Joseph Grundy Avatar
    Joseph Grundy
    11/13/2019

    This was a most enjoyable time aboard the Gemini III, made possible by Paul's efficient and personal handling of our... read more

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    Sandy
    5/02/2018

    Paul excellent on the getting started , best sleep in the beds they are so comfy ,no noise but the... read more

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    Sam Gordon
    11/13/2019
  • We decided to rent Paul’s floating home for the Easter weekend and we were not disappointed. As both of us... read more

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    Peter
    4/02/2018

    5 star rating“Cosy narrowboat” We had a weekend on the Gemini III on a cold January weekend but still had a wonderful time! The... read more

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    1/31/2018

    If you are a first timer on the canal then this is the ideal holiday for you. My wife... read more

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    ste michaels
    5/29/2019
  • Boat was clean and well equipped ready for use, easy to use and we had a really relaxed week sailing... read more

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    Patrick Casken
    11/13/2019

    The boat was clean and the beds were really comfy. Thoroughly enjoyed our family of 4 trip over 7 days.... read more

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    Tina Begley
    9/29/2019

    The boat was clean and the beds were really comfy. Thoroughly enjoyed our family of 4 trip over 7 days.... read more

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    Tina Begley
    11/13/2019
  • 5 star rating“Relaxing weekend.” We booked this boat at very short notice due to cancellation of our booked holiday and we had a lovely... read more

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    SiouxT57
    8/27/2019

    5 star rating“Gemini weekend.” Wonderful weekend had on Gemini. Paul was fab and gave full instructions and demonstration for handling the boat. Luckily we... read more

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    Danielle2...
    2/18/2019

    I’ve used the floating holidays for the last couple of years & had a fantastic time every time . Boats... read more

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    danny booth
    11/13/2019
  • 5 star rating“A very sucessful week on Lady Sophia” We hired the Lady Sophia for a week because we are thinking of buying a narrowboat and wanted to see... read more

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    2/22/2020

    4 star rating“Pet friendly, Good holiday” Paul was very helpful, although the Weather was not so good we will be prepared for rain next time! Boat... read more

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    MAI863
    7/09/2019

    5 star rating“Lovely boat in wonderful scenery” Gerat tuition with a personal touch. Though at 69 feet not a short boat, it was easy to handle, a... read more

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    Andreas R
    7/11/2019
  • 5 star rating“Really good fun” Neither of us had operated a large boat before. Paul was very helpful and made sure we were confident before... read more

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    simes303
    1/07/2019

    If you are a first timer on the canal then this is the ideal holiday for you. My wife... read more

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    ste michaels
    11/13/2019

    5 star rating“Highly Recommended, the perfect canal boat company!!” This trip surpassed our expectations. It was the small touches that made it extra nice, the dog biscuits and dog... read more

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    HayleyHor...
    8/12/2018
  • We spent 4 days on one of Floating Holidays' boats in end May 2019. I recommend them very highly: they... read more

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    Hugh Everett
    11/13/2019

    We had a lovely time on the boat and was pleased to say that we managed to do a couple... read more

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    Adri
    10/25/2017

    I’ve used the floating holidays for the last couple of years & had a fantastic time every time . Boats... read more

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    danny booth
    9/29/2019
  • Lovely boat, just the right size and with everything you need! We went in January but was warm and... read more

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    Ingrid Ashton
    2/02/2018

    5 star rating“Brilliant Weekend by John Ford” Management brilliant. Nine adults had a great weekend on the canal as first time explorers. Boat clean and superb. Would... read more

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    JohnF2574
    5/12/2019

    5 star rating“We did this trip about 10 years ago 2009” This was a hoot. My wife and I rented one of the Narrow Boats. It was 40' long and just... read more

    Fred Q Avatar
    Fred Q
    5/25/2019
  • Absolutely beautiful stretch of canal from Poynton to Whalley Bridge. Would definitely do it again. Although I was with a... read more

    Jill Jenkins Avatar
    Jill Jenkins
    9/26/2019

    I spent the weekend on the boat for my mates stag do. We had Paul driving the boat for us... read more

    Matthew Smith Avatar
    Matthew Smith
    11/13/2019

    positive review This is our 2nd holiday with them. 2017 on Gemini III their 4 berth. 2018 on Rakiraki the 10 Berth.... read more

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    Alison Darby
    8/21/2018
  • The boat was as advertised and Paul was a great host. We had a great time with lovely weather and... read more

    Lucy Avatar
    Lucy
    6/24/2019

    Great weekend. A lot easier than you'd imagine. Beautiful scenery.. everyone is friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.

    Joseph Grundy Avatar
    Joseph Grundy
    5/29/2019

    Paul excellent on the getting started , best sleep in the beds they are so comfy ,no noise but the... read more

    Sam Gordon Avatar
    Sam Gordon
    8/29/2019
  • 5 star rating“Great pet friendly narrowboat hire, lovely week :-)” The owner Paul was an excellent host, answering any queries before the booking and was very flexible in his approach... read more

    ClaratayS... Avatar
    ClaratayS...
    3/05/2018

    4 star rating“Brilliant weekend on Lady Sophia” We spent a weekend on Lady Sophia at the end of April 2019, for the wife’s birthday. Couldn’t be happier... read more

    115steven Avatar
    115steven
    7/07/2019

    5 star rating“Lady Sophia” This was our first experience of a narrow boat and so we only had a vague idea of what to... read more

    ianrC2760... Avatar
    ianrC2760...
    7/08/2019
  • 5 star rating“Could not have found better for our purpose.” We are thinking of buying a narrowboat. We know what it is like when the weather is good and wanted... read more

    C8750ALmi... Avatar
    C8750ALmi...
    2/23/2020

    positive review We have just come home from a lovely canal boat holiday booked with Floating Holidays. Paul couldn’t have been... read more

    Sue Hay Avatar
    Sue Hay
    5/04/2019

    5 star rating“Great experience” Picked up the narrow boat at Poynton and motored through to Whaley Bridge on our 5 day rental. Bed was... read more

    Pat G Avatar
    Pat G
    7/07/2019

Boats for all sizes of party

2020 cruising dates available

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