(for the total return trip)
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.