Stoke-on-Trent Short Break Route canal boat holiday
Great Haywood Junction and Return
38 miles, 36 locks, 24 hours cruising total
This three or four night short break route takes you down the Trent and Mersey Canal from our base in central Stoke on Trent, at Etruria Marina.
Cruising out of the marina, you’ll head south towards Stone. You’ll pass by the old pottery factory works in industrial Stoke on Trent and on towards Trentham Lock.
If you fancy immersing yourself into all things pottery, then moor up just past the lock and head over to the Wedgwood Visitor Centre. This famous factory was founded in 1759 and today you can go on a tour of its historic factory, get creative in the studios or enjoy afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Team Room. Book in advance here www.worldofwedgwood.com.
A popular mooring spot for your first night is next to the Plume of Feathers pub (bridge 103 at Barlaston).
Once you’ve had your fill of pottery, get back on board and continue south through the Meaford Flight of locks to the old market and canal town of Stone. This is a great little place with an excellent reputation for food and drink, with frequent monthly Farmers’ Markets and an annual Autumn Food & Drink Festival. The canal runs through the town and it’s easy to moor up for the night and enjoy dinner out at one of the many friendly pubs.
Once past Stone you’re out in the Trent Valley, a pretty countryside area, perfect for relaxed cruising along a relatively straight canal, not many twists and turns to navigate here.
Just past Stone you’ll come to the small village of Aston, look out for the NO26 bar and restaurant at Aston Marina.
Continue south through the quiet meadows and countryside through Burston, Sandon, Sale and Weston until you reach Great Haywood Junction. This is the canal junction where the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal terminates and meets the Trent and Mersey Canal near to the village of Great Haywood.
If you have time, the Shugborough Hall is worth a visit. This National Trust estate is open for visits to the house, farm and wide expanse of gardens. You can moor at Great Haywood and it’s a short walk to the house and gardens.
You’ll then turn at Great Haywood Junction or further on a Rugeley and make your way back the way you came to the Stoke on Trent hire base.