Holiday search

Stoke-on-Trent Narrowboat Base


Situated on the re-developed National Garden Festival Site, the Stoke-on-Trentcanal is one of the most popular Black Prince starting points. Close by there is an exciting Water World, dry ski-slope, multi-screen cinema, ten pin bowling and shopping centre… and that is before you get on the water!

The variety of canal cruising routes is wide with the Cheshire Ring and Four Counties being favourites for narrow boating. You travel through some of the waterways’ most beautiful scenery, along with the pure contrast of the Potteries, Royal Doulton, Cheddleton Mill and Wedgwood industries. For the more energetic there’s Alton Towers near the end of the Caldon Canal New Procedure – Harecastle Tunnel.

For guests departing from our Stoke on Trent or Acton Bridge and wanting to cruise the Four Counties Ring, it is necessary to book slots for passage through the Harecastle tunnel. Slots are available for seven days a week, from 8 am until 5 pm. We will send you details on how to reserve your slot prior to your holiday.

PLEASE NOTE: there are restrictions on certain routes during the 2022 season, please see below for details.


Book now and save 15% on summer holidays from our Stoke on Trent hire base. Find out more here. 


Routes from
Stoke-on-Trent Base

Stoke-on-Trent HIRE BASE

Festival Park Marina, Etruria,
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 5PA


Stoke-on-Trent Hire Base Cheshire Ring, Stoke to Manchester canal boat holiday

110 Miles
92 Locks
2 Week Cruise
5 hours per day

Stoke-on-Trent Base Caldon & Leek canal boat holidays

42 Miles
34 Locks
1 Week Cruise
4 hours per day

Temporarily unavailable

Stoke-on-Trent Base to Whaley Bridge and return, canal boat holiday

82 Miles
26 Locks
1 Week Cruise
6 hours per day

Temporarily unavailable

Stoke-on-Trent Short Route

42 Miles
34 Locks
Short Break
8 hours per day


Canal Closure

The Caldon Canal is closed due to maintenance works and is likely to remain closed until the end of June. This means that the cruising routes to Leek and Froghall will be unavailable (Route C).

Lock Restrictions

The Macclesfield Canal and the Peak Forest Canal will be affected by restricted opening times on at the Marple and Bosley Lock flights during the 2022 season.

You can read more detailed information here, but in summary this news means that it will not be possible to cruise the Cheshire Ring in one week and those planning to cruise it in two weeks will need to plan the route carefully. It also means that it will not be possible to head north from our Stoke on Trent base to Whaley Bridge on a seven-night break (Route D).

However, there remains plenty to cruise in the area, including the following options:

  • The Four Counties Ring, 1-week, 8/9 hours per day (Route B)
  • Part of the Four Counties Ring and return
  • Head south on the Trent and Mersey towards Rugeley or Fradley Junction and return
  • 10 days/ 2-week holidays can do the Four Counties ring and join the Llangollen canal or the Shropshire Union towards Chester.


Below are the boat types that are available for barge hire Stoke-on-Trent from this base. When you start your holiday search all the boat options and dates that closely match your desired departure date and party number will be presented to you.

Sat 2.30pm – Tues 9.30am | Tues 2.30pm – Sat 9.30am

Princess 4 | Duchess 2Shakespeare 4 | Duchess 4 | Lautrec 4 | Princess 6 | Duchess 6 | Duchess 8

Fri 2.30pm – Mon 9.30am | Mon 2.30pm – Fri 9.30am

Princess 4 | Duchess 6


Premier Inn (3 star hotel), Etruria Road, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5NH, Tel: 0333 321 9337 

Hilton Garden Inn Stoke on Trent, (4-star hotel0, Potteries Way, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4QA, Tel: 01782 486960

National Rail Enquiries: Tel: 08457 484950 Tel: 0871 244 1545

Nearest Airport: Manchester International Tel. 0161 489 3000

Nearest Railway Station:Stoke on Trent


Approximate prices: (Prices courtesy of Intercity Cabs – subject to change)
Manchester International Airport to Stoke on Trent: £53 one way or £197 return
Heathrow Airport to Stoke on Trent: £185 one way or £374 return.

Taxi prices correct of October 2021, please note they may vary.

There is a large Morrison’s supermarket and a number of other shops at Festival Park, nearby to the base.

From Heathrow airport, get the London underground tube to Euston station.
From Gatwick airport, get the Gatwick Express to London Victoria station, then get a London underground tube to London Euston.
From Stansted airport, get the London underground tube to London Euston.
From London Euston station there is a train to Stoke on Trent.
Visit to plan your route on the London Underground.

Get a train to Manchester Piccadilly or Wilmslow station, and then change for Stoke on Trent.

M6: Exit at Junction 15 (from South) or Junction 16 (from North) and follow the A500 until you reach the A53. Turn towards Hanley and the city centre. Passing over the canal, you will see the marina on your left hand side – stay in the left hand lane (do not cross the flyover). At the roundabout, turn left. At the mini – roundabout turn left, and the marina entrance is on your left.

Stoke-on-Trent Reviews:

mandy dalleymandy dalley
11:25 03 Apr 22
Lovely and friendly staff, nice boat and a relaxing holiday.Thank you for your help in everything. ( Erin).
Margaret ParkMargaret Park
20:18 10 Aug 21
Had a great few days on Gillian a black prince narroiwboat. Would certainly recommend them
Joan FurnissJoan Furniss
20:40 29 Jul 21
First time on a narrow boat they were very helpful and the boats are fantastic absolutely loved it. Can't wait to go on one again and would definitely pick Black Prince Holidays
Martin RathfelderMartin Rathfelder
20:06 15 Apr 21
Very friendly and helpful. Came and rescued us when we lost the boat keys
Andy HoweAndy Howe
19:38 24 Oct 20
Just returned from a weeks holiday . We had 2 boats..Megan and Isla. We have to say the staff were spot on . Nothing was too much trouble. They gave us advice on good mooring spots .... places to visit .. and also the important loch turorial.The boats were immaculate throughout and the beds surprisingly comfy .We were impressed from start to finish and will definitely be hiring from Black Prince again 😎👍


Call today on ++44 (0)1527 575 115 and a Black Prince team member will be happy to help!

contact us