Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire Pre-Departure Information


Festival Park Marina
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire, ST1 5PA

Please note that this postcode also takes you to the pub that is situated the other side of the marina. Access to the marina via Lakewood grove is ST1 5RH.

You can use What 3 words which will take you directly to our location : Buns.Leaves.Super

what3words /// The simplest way to talk about location

Tel: 0044 (0)1782 201981

We look forward to welcoming you!

Thank you for your holiday booking to depart from our Stoke on Trent hire base in Staffordshire, we look forward to welcoming you.

Below is some useful information to help you plan your holiday, including handy videos to watch, directions on how to find us, places to stay if you are arriving early, grocery shopping etc. There may also be things you need to pre-book, such as lock or tunnel access.

Please do not hesitate to call our team if there is anything you would like help with, on 0044 (0) 1527 575115.

Preparation & Planning


The best way to be prepared for your forthcoming trip is to read or watch watch the video on the Boaters Handbook, a guide to basic boat handling and safety by the Canal & River Trust. When you receive your handover tuition at the hire base you will be asked if you have watched/read this guide and be asked to sign handover documentation to confirm this.

Watch the Boaters Handbook Video.

It’s also good to get familiar with the operation of own narrowboats and you can do this by watching our Induction video on the link below.

Watch the Induction to a Black Prince Narrowboat Video


It’s good to have an idea of your planned route before you go, although please bear in mind that it’s good to be flexible due to the changing nature of the canals and rivers. See all the Route Options for Stoke on Trent here. If you have any particular questions about the route, places to moor up and stay etc, you can contact the base directly on the contact phone / email shown above before your trip and the team will be able to help you.

How to Find Us


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

Nearest Airport: Manchester International Tel. 0161 489 3000

Nearest Railway Station: Stoke on Trent


Intercity CabsTel: 01782 855855 /

Approximate prices: (Prices courtesy of Intercity Cabs – subject to change).  Please note that if you have a large amount of suitcases you may need a larger vehicle which cost more. Please advise when booking.

Manchester International Airport to Stoke on Trent: £59 outward and £61 return.
Heathrow Airport to Stoke on Trent: £216 one way.

Taxi prices correct of April 2023, please note they may vary.

Flying into London

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.

Flying into Manchester

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.

When to Arrive at the Hire Base

Boats are available from 2.30pm and must be returned and vacated by 9.30am.

Pre-departure Planning

Harecastle Tunnel

For guests departing from our Stoke on Trent base and wanting to cruise the Four Counties Ring it is necessary to book slots for passage through the Harecastle tunnel.

Non-booked passages can arrive at the Tunnel between 8am and 12 noon (Monday to Sunday).

Booked passages are available between 2pm and 4pm (Monday to Sunday)

Booked Passages:

2pm – Southbound (Kidsgrove to Westport Lake)

3pm – Northbound (Westport Lake to Kidsgrove)

4pm – Southbound (Kidsgrove to Westport Lake)

You can book your passage online at the Canal and River Trust website, in the Licensing section. 

For direct tunnel enquiries please email

Included in the Price of Your Holiday

Everything you need for your boating holiday is included, such as lifejackets (if required), windlasses, mooring ropes, life ring etc. Bedlinen, towels and a dish washing-up pack is also included.

You can find a full list of what’s included in the boat inventory here.

For a list of recommended items to bring with you, please click here.

Please note that fuel is not included in the price of your holiday. This will be charged for on your return to the hire base. The average per day cost, depending on how far you travel, is approximately £18-20.


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

Alternatively you can pre-order a supermarket delivery to the base. Please book a slot to the base address between 12 noon and 2pm on the date of your departure.

Please note that the freezer compartment on board is no bigger than a shoe box so best to keep freezer items to a minimum. The base will not have anywhere to keep your shopping refrigerated so bear this in mind when doing your shop and choosing a delivery slot. You do not need to order food for the whole of the holiday, there will be ample opportunity to buy food along the way and perhaps sample local produce and specialities.


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

Handy Links

See our Frequently Asked Questions

Watch the Induction to a Black Prince Narrowboat Video

Watch the Boaters Handbook Video

Plan your journey! See all the Route Options for Stoke on Trent