A family friendly canal holiday in Worcestershire

Chocs Away

You’re looking for a canal holiday that will entertain the kids and suits you too. Chocs Away follows the Stourport Ring in Worcestershire, and packs in attractions and stunning landscapes.
Your route includes the UK’s longest flights of locks. A real-life chocolate factory. A city stop in Birmingham. An award-winning open-air museum. A giant aquarium. A chance to roam through beautiful countryside. A river cruise. And plenty of time to relax, travel slowly and soak up the sun.

“Chocs Away is a wonderful route because it has a little bit of everything for families. City and countryside. Attractions and wide open spaces. Locks and tunnels. It is so much fun.”

Leighton Jones, Black Prince

THREE WAYS FOR FAMILIES TO ENJOY CHOCS AWAY

Our Chocs Away cruise follows the Stourport Ring circular route that starts from the Black Prince base at Stoke Prior in Worcestershire. We’ve created family itineraries for four, seven and 10 nights holidays.

7-night holiday highlights:

76 miles | 109 locks | average of 7 hours per day cruising

  • Tardebigge, the longest flight of locks in the UK
  • Cadbury World*
  • Day and night enjoying Birmingham city centre
  • OR a daytime visit the National Sea Life Centre*
  • Cruise along the stunning Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal
  • Enjoy an afternoon and evening in medieval Worcester
  • River cruising along the Severn
Father and daughter driving narrowboat

10-night holiday highlights:

76 miles | 109 locks | average of 5 hours per day cruising

  • The Tardebigge Flight
  • Cadbury World*
  • Day and night enjoying Birmingham city centre
  • OR a daytime visit the National Sea Life Centre*
  • Full day at the award-winning Black Country Open Air Museum*
  • Kinver Edge*
  • Severn Valley Railway*
  • River cruising on the Severn
  • Worcester city centre
Family narrowboat adventure

4-night holiday highlights:

34 miles | 70 locks | average of 8 hours per day cruising
This is an out-and-back route that means you have to tackle the Tardebigge Flight of 35 locks twice, so we only recommend it if you have a fit and active crew who can share the load.

  • The Tardebigge Flight
  • Cadbury World*, the National Sea Life Centre* or Birmingham city centre

*Please note that the cost of entry is not included in your holiday. Check the attraction website for latest prices. We recommend booking in advance.

Sunny signature boat interior

Route highlights: The Tardebigge Flight

THE UK’S LONGEST FLIGHT OF LOCKS

You’ll need to work together to tackle the Tardebigge Flight, famous for being the longest run of locks in the UK. You’ll head through more than 30 narrow locks to climb 67 metres up a two mile stretch of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Our tip:

“You can’t stop overnight on the flight so you’ll need to complete the four hour stretch all in one go. Each lock takes around 10 minutes to work through, so take it in turns to work the locks, drive the boat and keep your humour intact! Older kids can be a big help here.”

Tardebigge Flight

Route highlights: Cadbury World

A TASTY TREAT AT ONE OF THE UK’S MOST POPULAR ATTRACTIONS

Once you’ve completed the Tardebigge Flight you’re rewarded with a lock-free run to Cadbury World on the outskirts of Birmingham.
If your family loves chocolate (and who doesn’t) this world-class attraction is a real winner. You’ll take yourself on a tour of different chocolatey zones including 4D Chocolate Adventure, Cadabra chocolate train and the interactive Chocolate Planet. Best of all, you can make your own sweets in the Have a Go zone. Yum!

Our tip:

“The Birmingham and Worcester canal passes through Bournville but we recommend carrying on to Gas Street Basin and catching a train back to Bournville Station, so that you can save 30% on your admission price with Cadbury World’s 30% train offer. You must book this in advance – see the details here.

Cadbury world

Route highlights: Gas Street Basin

STOP AT THE HEART OF BRITAIN’S CANAL NETWORK

Gas Street Basin in Birmingham centre is known as the heart of Britain’s canal network as it’s where several canals meet. This is a lovely area to explore with a wonderful mix of old and new, and a great time to treat yourself to a posh meal in the evening.

Birmingham-Gas-Street-Basin

Route highlights: Birmingham City Centre

EXPLORE ENGLAND’S SECOND CITY

One of the wonders of Chocs Away is that you can turn it into a city stay by stopping at one of the many mooring spots within walking distance of Birmingham city centre. For a change of pace, you can discover museums, shopping centres and the famous jewellery quarter.

Birmingham

Route highlights: National Sea Life Centre

SPEND A DAY AT THIS POPULAR AQUARIUM

Your kids will be thrilled by a visit to the canal-side National Sea Life Centre. This giant aquarium has the UK’s only 360-degree Ocean Tunnel where they’ll marvel at sharks swimming overhead and underneath. You’ll meet more than 2,000 magical sea creatures, including clownfish, piranhas and jellyfish! You’re best to buy tickets in advance on the Sea Life website.

Our tip:

“Take the kids to the colony of Gentoo penguins at the Penguin Ice Adventure.”

National Sealife Center Birmingham

Route highlights: Black Country Open Air Museum

EXPLORE THE PAST AT THIS AWARD-WINNING ATTRACTION

This award-winning outdoor museum is an immersive experience featuring 40 carefully reconstructed shops, houses and industrial areas that tell the story of one of the very first industrialised landscapes in Britain. If your children have taken the fancy dress challenge from our Towpath Activity Guide, this is a great place to dress up!

Our tip:

“The fish and chips from Hobbs are cooked in 1930’s fashion using beef dripping. Delicious. And there’s a historic inn serving local ales in exactly the same way as they were in 1910!”

Black-Country-Museum

Route highlights: Kinver Edge

ENJOY THIS STUNNING NATIONAL TRUST LANDSCAPE

This rare heathland habitat is owned by the National Trust and there are lots of easy walking trails and the landscape buzzes with wildlife. This is a great chance to try out the map activity from our Towpath Activity Guide.

Our tip:

“Kinver Edge is famous for the fascinating rock houses that were still lived in until the 1930s.”

Kinver Edge

Route highlights: Severn Valley Railway

TRAIN RIDE THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE

Moor up at Roundhill Wharf and you are in walking distance of the Severn Valley Railway. This full-size standard-gauge railway meanders through the Shropshire countryside.

Our tip:

“Book tickets for this popular attraction in advance on the Seven Valley Railway website.”

Severn Valley Railway

Route highlights: The River Severn

SWAP THE CANAL FOR A RIVER CRUISE

Once you’ve cruised through Birmingham you’ll swap canals for the River Severn. Britain’s longest river will take you through beautiful Shropshire and Worcestershire countryside You also get an easy ride on locks, with lock keepers operating the systems for you.
Our team will prepare you for this part of the journey so you’re ready for the particular challenge of a river cruise.
At Worcester you leave the Severn and climb gently back to Stoke Prior through open countryside.  You’ll end your Choc’s Away route back at the Black Prince at Stoke Prior, with one final lock to get you back to your starting point.

DOWNLOAD YOUR EXCLUSIVE CRUISING NOTES

To inspire your holiday plans, we’ve created an exclusive set of cruising notes with day-by-day ideas for this route. Want to know more? You can download our exclusive cruising notes here.

PERFECT FOR YOUR FIRST FAMILY CANAL CRUISE

As your first family cruise, this route has something of everything for a family holiday. It’s a city break with best-of-British countryside. There are thrilling attractions. New destinations every day. Stretches of delicious isolation. And iconic canal challenges that you’ll tackle together.

YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS WITH A FREE COACHING SESSION

And before you head off, we’ll give you and the family a free British Marine Federation accredited coaching session.
We’ll walk you through the controls on the boat. Show you how to steer and stop. How to cruise safely. How to operate locks and swing bridges and navigate tunnels.
You won’t leave until you’re a wiz on the narrowboat. Ready and raring to discover a new destination every day.

WE’LL SEND YOU AN EXCLUSIVE ROUTE PLAN FROM OUR TEAM

Our teams know every route like the back of their hand. So when you book, we’ll send you exclusive cruising notes for your holiday, with ideas for each day’s travel, where to stop, how many locks and how long you’ll need to cruise.
Your suggested itinerary is a great base for planning your trip. You can tailor days to suit your family, to create your exclusive adventure.

YOUR HOLIDAY INCLUDES

  • Lifejackets for children and adults
  • All your linen and kitchen equipment
  • A coaching session before you set off
  • A family-friendly route plan with advice on stops each day and night
  • The Towpath Activity Guide from family adventurer David Mellor
Holidaying with friends or family? Save 5% when you book a second boat

Picture credits:

Cadbury World © Cadbury World
Tardebigge flight © Gillie Rhodes / cc-by-sa/2.0
National Sea Life Centre © National Sea Life Centre
Black Country Living Museum © Phil Sangwell / CC BY-SA 2.0
Kinver Edge © Roger Kidd / cc-by-sa/2.0
Severn Valley Railway © Philip Pankhurst / cc-by-sa/2.0