2 Week Cruise90%
4 hours per day40%
The Four Counties Ring from our Cheshire Acton Bridge Hire Base takes cruisers through Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, and is relaxing fortnight.
First you pass through the red-watered Harecastle Tunnel (the result of local iron workings). This tunnel is also the fourth longest navigable canal tunnel in the United Kingdom. You will then pass the Wedgwood Factory, where you can take in a factory tour or walk around the museum of the famous pottery company founded in the 18th century.
You will pass through the canal town of Stone, where you can visit Aston Marina, a new leisure development containing everything required for the modern boater, including shops, a butchery, deli and a waterside bistro serving local produce. Once you’ve stocked up, you’ll pass through Great Haywood before joining the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.
Just north of Wolverhampton, you meet the Shropshire Union Canal with its extravagant cuttings and embankments, carrying you up to Barbridge and the Middlewich arm.
Barbridge is steeped in history. As part of a small hamlet, it was famously mentioned in the Itinerary of the famous historian John Leland. Occupied by royalist forces during the civil war before being populated by Quakers in the 18th century, Barbridge is a beautiful and historical rural parish.
Middlewich is most famous for its canal network, with three canals passing through the town. It was once also renowned for its salt production. If you intend to spend some time in the town, you should try to tie-in your visit with one of its farmer’s markers.
If time permits a diversion along the Caldon is well worthwhile. The Caldon canal was originally built in 1776 to carry limestone to Stoke on Trent.
It is considered one of the most interesting waterways in the United Kingdom because of its contrasts. It begins in the very centre of the Potteries (the towns surrounding Stoke on Trent) but also features a passage through a wealth of remote countryside. Caldon is a canal to stop and take in the lovely scenery.