Cruise Details 2019

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 1

CRUISE DETAILS 2019

Leamington Spa to Banbury 
via Oxford Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 1

Cruise 
Details

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 2

Banbury to Reading 
via Oxford and River Thames

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 2 

Cruise 
Details

From Banbury we go under the M40 passing even more quiet locks. You can see the church spire at King's Sutton.  We briefly cross the River Cherwell, reaching Somerton, next after this we follow the valley for many miles, we then continue on to Thrupp and Oxford. We join the Thames headed for Abingdon through the area known as Dyke Hills. It’s then onward to Shillingford, Wallingford and Goring which is said to be one of the most attractive parts of the Thames.

We head downstream to Whitchurch and Mapledurham before we arrive in Reading.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 3

Reading to Pewsey 
via Kennet & Avon Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 3

Cruise 
Details

On the Thames at Reading near the start of the Kennet & Avon Canal, we make our way West though Reading and towards Tyle Mill Lock having passed through the City Center and some lakes near Theale. We then head through the countryside towards Aldermaston, Midgham and Thatcham then into the town of Newbury, going back into the countryside towards Kintbury and the lovely town of Hungerford. Then on towards the villages of Little Bedwyn and Great Bedwyn as we head West towards the VALE OF PEWSEY and the villages of Crofton, Wootton Rivers and our destination Pewsey, passing through The Bruce Tunnel.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 4

Pewsey to Bristol via Kennet & Avon Canal, Caen Hill Flight, River Avon

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 4

Cruise 
Details

Pewsey and Honeystreet, passing through The Bruce Tunnel. We head towards Devizes and the famous Caen Hill Flight of 29 locks in 3.6km and a drop of 72 meters. We then head towards the lovely town of Bradford-On-Avon and the impressive Aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas on the way to Bath. Getting onto the River Avon we head towards Keynsham and Bristol. 

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 5

Bristol to Devizes via River Avon, Caen Hill Flight, Kennet & Avon Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 5

Cruise 
Details

We leave heading towards Keynsham on the River Avon to Bath. We then head on the Canal towards the town of Bradford-On-Avon and the impressive Aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas. We arrive at the bottom of the famous Caen Hill Flight of 29 locks in 3.6km and a rise of 72 meters towards Devizes

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 6

Devizes to Bristol via Kennet & Avon Canal, Caen Hill Flight, River Avon

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 6

Cruise 
Details

Devizes and the famous Caen Hill Flight of 29 locks in 3.6km and a drop of 72 meters. We then head towards the lovely town of Bradford-On-Avon and the impressive Aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas on the way to Bath. Getting onto the River Avon we head towards Keynsham and Bristol. 

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 7

Bristol to Newbury via River Avon, Caen Hill Flight, Kennet & Avon Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 7

Cruise 
Details

We leave heading towards Keynsham on the River Avon to Bath. 

Next we through the little villages of Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn on the way to Hungerford.

On leaving Bath we head on the Canal towards the town of Bradford-On-Avon and the impressive Aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas. We arrive at the bottom of the famous Caen Hill Flight of 29 locks in 3.6km and a rise of 72 meters towards Devizes. Then on through The Vale of Pewsey and the villages of Honeystreet, Pewsey, Wootton Rivers and Crofton, passing through The Bruce Tunnel. 

Next we go through little villages of Great Be Next is Kintbury before arriving in Newbury.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 8

Newbury to Oxford via Kennet & Avon Canal & Thames

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 8

Cruise 
Details

Next is the town of Thatcham and the villages of Midgham and Aldermaston. Then we arrive in Reading where we leave the Kennet & Avon Canal and get on the River Thames going upstream towards Mapledurham, Whitchurch and on towards Goring - which is said to be one of the most attractive parts of the Thames. We then continie on to Wallingford and Shillingford, through the area known as Dyke Hills getting to Abingdon and on to Oxford.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 9

Oxford to Warwick via Oxford Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 9

Cruise 
Details

On leaving Oxford we head north to Kiddlington, Thrupp and Somerton and cross the River Cherwell at Aynho lock. 

Next on our itinerary, you can see the church spire at King's Sutton. 

Onto Banbury, we head towards Napton Junction, cruising on the way through Cropredy Village. After 9 locks, we come to Wormleighton Reservoir, then Fenny Compton Tunnel which has no roof. 

Meandering on down through 9 locks to Napton-on-the-Hill then Napton Junction, we leave the Oxford Canal on to the Grand Union Canal. From here onwards, we descend through wide locks starting with Calcutt, Stockton, Bascote, Fosse and Radford locks. The canal then passes through Royal Leamington Spa and onto Saltisford Canal Centre in Warwick.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 10

Warwick to Warwick via Stratford

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 10

Cruise 
Details

Upon leaving our helpful mooring in The Saltisford Arm, Warwick, we soon reach the foot of ‘The Stairway to Heaven” - the Hatton flight of twenty-one locks. 

At the top of these, there is Shrewley Tunnel (433 yards) leading to Kingswood Junction at Lapworth, where the Grand Union is linked by a short arm to the Stratford Canal.
 
We take this link and join the Stratford by a re-opened channel between two cottages, one of which has a barrel roof, a feature of this canal. 

Passing through Lowsonford and Preston Bagot, we arrive at Wootton Wawen and cross the A3400 on an iron aqueduct.
 
At Edstone, there is a 200-yard long aqueduct which makes it one of the longest in the country. The canal passes close to Mary Arden’s House at Wilmcote (she was Shakespeare’s mother). 

We now start the descent of sixteen locks to enter Bancroft Basin in Stratford. After staying a night, we retrace or route back to Warwick.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 11

Warwick to Droitwich via Stratford Canal,Worcester & Birmingham Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 11

Cruise 
Details

Upon leaving our helpful mooring in The Saltisford Arm, Warwick, we soon reach the foot of ‘The Stairway to Heaven” - the Hatton flight of twenty-one locks. 

At the top of these, there is Shrewley Tunnel (433 yards) leading to Kingswood Junction at Lapworth, where the Grand Union is linked by a short arm to the Stratford Canal. We take this link and join the Stratford by a re-opened channel between two cottages, one of which has a barrel roof, a feature of this canal. 

We head up 18 locks towards Kings Norton and turning south through Wast Hills Tunnel at 2726 yards long towards Alvechurch. 

We pass through two more small tunnels and the Tardebigge Tunnel and the 24 Tardebigge locks. There are 6 more locks near Ashwood before we turn at Hanbury Junction with 3 more locks on the Droitwich Canal and our marina.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 12

Droitwich to Autherley via Stourbridge Worcester & Birmingham Canal, River Seven, 
Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 12

Cruise 
Details

On leaving the Marina we head West towards Hawford Junction and join the River Seven heading north towards Stourport-on-Seven. Passing Holt Castle and through a valley of forests and hills. 

On the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal we head towards Kidderminster and into the countryside towards Compton and Autherley.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 13

Autherley to Chirk via Pontcysylite Aquaduct

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 13

Cruise 
Details

Making a right turn to a stop lock, we are immediately made aware of Telford’s influence as, after a long stretch of open countryside, we pass through deep shadowy sandstone cuttings and high embankments, after which we arrive at Norbury Junction. 

We continue through uncluttered countryside towards Tyrley, where we encounter our first flight of five locks and descend towards Market Drayton. Down this route, we pass the beautiful locks at Adderley and Audlem, then the Hack Green locks climbing towards Nantwich. Shortly after leaving Nantwich we turn right onto the Llangollen Canal and immediately climb the four locks by Hurleston Reservoir. 

The canal travels through lovely scenery and reaches Wrenbury, where we encounter the first of several lift bridges. We continue until we reach Grindley Brook with its three chamber staircase lock. After Grindley Brook, the canal crosses Whixall Moss, a bog rich in flora and fauna. 

Over the next few miles there are several meres (small lakes formed in the Ice Age) on either side of the canal, which are followed by the short Ellesmere Tunnel (87 yards). Ellesmere town is at the end of a short arm. A few miles further on comes Frankton Junction, where we continue past up to New Marton Locks, the last of the canal, and cross the Chirk Aqueduct overlooked by the railway viaduct and into Chirk Tunnel (459 yards). 

Whitehouse Tunnel (191 yards) follows quickly after and then we reach the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 126 feet above the River Dee. We stop for a while then make our way back to Chirk.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 14

Chirk to Chester via Pontcysylite Aquaduct

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 14

Cruise 
Details

As we leave Chirk going through the Chirk Tunnel (459 yards) long, we pass through the Whitehouse Tunnel (191 yards) on the Llangollen Canal heading towards the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and crossing the River Dee 126 feet below. 

We stop for a while and then make our way back to Chirk. We come to the smaller Chirk Aqueduct and our first locks heading down to New Marton and the lovely Welsh countryside heading towards Ellesmere.

Over the next few miles there are several meres (small lakes formed in the Ice Age) on either side of the canal. Next comes Whixall Moss a bog rich in flora and fauna, after comes Grindley Brook with its three chamber staircase lock and some lovely scenery before arriving at Wrenbury.

We come to Hurleston Junction turning left on the Shropshire Union main line canal towards Barbridge Junction, going  through Bunbury Staircase on way to Waverton and Christleton before we arrive in Chester.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 15

Chester to Chirk via Montgomery Canal & Pontcysylite Aquaduct

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 15

Cruise 
Details

As we leave Chester heading towards Christleton and Waverton on the Shropshire Union canal, we arrive at Bunbury Staircase and head towards Barbridge Junction, we follow a brief stretch of this canal until we reach Hurleston Junction. 

Afterwards, we turn right onto the Llangollen Canal and immediately climb the four locks by Hurleston Reservoir. The canal travels through lovely scenery and reaches Wrenbury, where we encounter the first of several lift bridges. 

We continue until we reach Grindley Brook with its three chamber staircase lock. After Grindley Brook, the canal crosses Whixall Moss, a bog rich in flora and fauna and over the next few miles there are several meres (small lakes formed in the Ice Age) on either side of the canal, which are followed by the short Ellesmere Tunnel (87 yards). 

Ellesmere town is at the end of a short arm. A few miles further on comes Frankton Junction where we turn onto the beautiful Montgomery Canal. 

Having gone down as far as possible we then turn round and head back, continuing past up to New Marton Locks, the last of the canal, and cross the Chirk Aqueduct overlooked by the railway viaduct and into Chirk Tunnel (459 yards). 

Whitehouse Tunnel (191 yards) follows quickly after and then we reach the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 126 feet above the River Dee. We stop for a while then make our way back to Chirk.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 16

Chirk to Northwich via Pontcysylite Aquaduct & Anderton Boat Lift

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 16

Cruise 
Details

As we leave Chirk going through the Chirk Tunnel (459 yards) long, the Whitehouse Tunnel (191 yards) on the Llangollen Canal heading towards the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and crossing the River Dee 126 feet below we stop for a while and then make our way back to Chirk. 

We come to the smaller Chirk Aqueduct and our first locks heading down to New Marton and the lovely Welsh countryside before we turn onto the beautiful Montgomery Canal. 

Having gone down as far as possible before turning round and then heading back towards Ellesmere. Over the next few miles there are several meres (small lakes formed in the Ice Age) on either side of the canal. 

Next comes Whixall Moss a bog rich in flora and fauna, after which comes Grindley Brook with its three chamber staircase lock and some lovely scenery before arriving at Wrenbury. 

We then come to Hurleston Junction turning left on the Shropshire Union main line canal until Barbridge Junction turning right onto the Middlewich Arm and following the countryside for 11 miles towards Middlewich. 

After the built up area of Middlewich and some locks, we go back into some lovely countryside before the industrial edge of Northwich before going down The Anderton Lift and onto the River Weaver towards Northwich.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 17

Northwich to Stone via Anderton Boat Lift, Harecastle Tunnel & Caldon Canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 17

Cruise 
Details

On leaving Northwich, we rise up in the magnificent Anderton Boat Lift and turn right to head for Middlewich, skirting around the environs of industrial Northwich. We cruise through a beautiful stretch of countryside, heading to Bugsworth Basin, Middlewich. In Middlewich, which is known for its dairy, silk products and brine (the source of salt), you can see a large salt factory and salt mountain. 

We then head for Heartbreak Hill, a flight of 26 locks that unfold mostly in open countryside. We travel on past Hardings Wood Junction to Harecastle Tunnel, which in places is extremely low but is one of our favourites, because it's one way. After leaving the tunnel, we pass a large and long tile factory, soon to pass Westport Lake. 

At Etruria, we turn onto the Caldon Canal, which is acknowledged to be one of the most picturesque of the inland waterways. We pass through Hanley, the main town of 'The five towns' of the Potteries. The first part of the canal is projected against an industrial landscape background before it reaches open country. 

There are several lift bridges and at Stockton Brook, a flight of five locks raises the canal over 40 feet into stone wall country. The canal passes under the Leek Branch at Hazelhurst Junction and continues on to Cheddleton, where there is one of several flint mills which supplied flint to the pottery trade. 

We retrace our journey to Hazelhurst Junction and back to the Trent and Mersey Canal. Turning left we immediately descend five locks, passing old factories, and two bottle kilns which have been restored among new apartments. 

Descending one lock at Barlaston and the Wedgwood factory, we continue to descend past Meaford and on towards Stone.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 18

Stone to Stone (The Four Counties Ring)

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 18

Cruise 
Details

We leave the canal town of Stone on the Trent and Mersey Canal, heading to Great Haywood. Here we turn right under a bridge to enter the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Passing over the River Trent, we next come to Tixall Wide. Passing on through the tiny villages of Milford and Acton Trussell, we reach Penkridge.

Winding our way through wooded countryside, we reach Gailey where we pass under Watling Street to find the quaint round Lock Keeper's Cottage by the lock. By twists and turns, we reach Autherley Junction. Making a right turn to a stop lock, we are immediately made aware of Telford’s influence as, after a long stretch of open countryside, we pass through deep shadowy sandstone cuttings and high embankments, after which we arrive at Norbury Junction. 

We continue through uncluttered countryside towards Tyrley, where we encounter our first flight of five locks and descend towards Market Drayton. Down this route, we pass the beautiful locks at Adderley and Audlem, then the Hack Green locks climbing towards Nantwich. Shortly after leaving Nantwich, we turn right at Barbridge Junction and head for the Trent and Mersey Canal at Middlewich. 

Here we turn right and start to ascend locks straight away. This is just a taste of the climb to come as we start to ascend what the working boatmen called 'Heartbreak Hill'. We pass under an aqueduct where the canal water is stained bright orange by deposits in the hills, and we await our turn to enter the magnificent Harecastle tunnel, which are over a mile and half long. Emerging from the far end of the tunnel, we enter the Potteries and then descend Stoke locks and pass the Wedgwood Centre at Barlaston. Meaford locks make a pleasant interlude before we arrive at the canal town of Stone.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 19

Stone to Nottingham via Erewash canal

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 19

Cruise 
Details

After leaving Aston Marina we head towards Great Haywood, where we pass close to Shugborough Hall, the home of Earl of Lichfield, which now belongs to the National Trust. 

We continue through this lovely countryside near Cannock Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty at Fradley junction which is very popular with Gongoozlers (spectators), where you can see the Swan Pub a famous canal landmark, turning right onto the Trent & Mersey Canaltowards Alrewas.
Now known for The National Arboretum which was officially opened to the public in May 2001. 

Then we join the River Trent for a short time and after a few miles we arrive at Burton Upon Trent, Known for its Breweries. One more narrow lock in Burton Upon Trent. After 7 miles we start to descend wide and very deep locks all still in open countryside, there are plenty of manmade lakes which are old Gravel Quarries. 

After a few flood locks we join Sawley cut Trent Junction where we turn left up the Erewash Canal and after turning we go back on the Trent to Cranfleet cut, soon joining The River Trent and passing Attenborough Nature Reserve and our mooring at Beeston.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 20

Nottingham to Market Harborough Foxton locks & lift museum 

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 20

Cruise Details

As we leave Nottingham going through the Attenborough Nature Reserve on the River Trent, we go on the Cranfleet cut to Trent Junction and join the River Sore towards Kegworth and Loghborough with two locks and plenty of gardens to see. 

Passing Barrow-Upon-Soar we wind our way towards Leicester travelling up four locks, and to our right you will see Watermead Country Park. Sailing through Leicester with a few large ornamental bridges and Leicester Football Stadium to our left next to a large weir. 

After climbing eleven locks we arrive at Kilby Bridge where we are now travelling in open countryside with spaced out locks and then Saddington Tunnel (880 yards). We travel about three more miles until we reach Foxton Junction, where we turn left passing the bottom of Foxton Locks, (there may be time for a look around) with its staircase of ten locks arranged in two five lock flights. 

To the side of the locks is the site of the incline plane, which was built to replace the locks, but was not a success, and fell into disrepair. There is a museum here which has exhibits demonstrating how the incline plane worked. Now on the Market Harborough Arm we wind our way to our mooring in the Basin.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 21

Market Harborough to Wellingborough Foxton locks & lift museum & River Nene

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 21

Cruise 
Details

We leave Market Harborough and travel to the bottom of Foxton Locks, which are two staircases of five locks each. 

At the side of the locks is the site of an incline plane and a museum, which has exhibits demonstrating how it worked. At the top of the locks is a long lock-free pound to the top of Watford Locks, which are also a staircase.

Soon after the bottom of these is Norton Junction where we turn onto the main line of the Grand Union Canal towards Buckby Locks and then wind our way through Weedon and on to Gayton Junction where the 17 locks lead you up the Northampton Arm to the River Nene and East to Wellingborough.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 22

Wellingborough to Aylesbury River Nene & Aylesbury Arm 

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 22

Cruise 
Details

We travel West towards Northampton and down the 17 locks to Gayton Junction soon after we reach Blisworth Tunnel (3056 yards) and Stoke Bruerne with its waterways museum, from here we then descend 7 locks. 

At Cosgrove Village look out for Soloman's Bridge, turning left we drop down a lock, then cruise lock free round Milton Keynes until Fenny Stratford which is only 1 foot 1 inch drop. We journey 7 more miles & through 5 locks with open landscape until we reach our destination Leighton Buzzard. 

We start to climb again through the lovely Chiltern countryside towards Marsworth Junction, through 10 locks and then turn onto the Aylesbury Arm, which descends through attractive farmland to reach our destination.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 23

Aylesbury to London Aylesbury Arm & Little Venice

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 23

Cruise Details

We leave Aylesbury up the Aylesbury Arm towards Marsworth Junction and  turn right towards Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempsted. We then come down the Chiltern Hills to Kings Langley through the Colne valley and Harefield Moor towards Cowley Peachey Junction, then we turn left at Bulls Bridge Junction onto the Paddington Arm passing Northolt, Wembley and Kensington and arriving at Little Venice. 

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 24

London to Bishop Stortford via Little Venice, Regent’s Canal, River Lee, River Stort.

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 24

Cruise 
Details

On leaving Little Venice we turn right up the Regents Canal heading towards London Zoo and Regents Park, we then come to Camden and their famous Market and the Canal Museum at Battlebridge Basin before going through Islington Tunnel. 

We then journey on towards Limehouse Basi and head East up the Limehouse Cut towards the Lee Navigation passing the Olympic Village. 

We head north past lots of reservoirs toward Enfield, Waltham Abbey and Hertford. After turning we take a left towards Sawbridgeworth on the River Stort and arrive at our destination, Bishop’s Stortford. 

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 25

Bishop Stortford to London via River Stort , River Lee, Regent’s Canal, Little VenicE

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 24

Cruise 
Details

As we head south towards Sawbridgeworth on the River Stort we turn right up the River Lee towards Hertford. 

After turning we head South through Waltham Abbey and Enfield. Next is the Lee Valley Park of lakes and Clapton. 

We arrive at Stratford Olympic Park, then comes Limehouse Basin and onto the Regents Canal through the Islington Tunnel towards the Canal Museum at Battlebridge Basin and Camden famous for their Market. It's then onward to London Zoo and Regents Park before arriving at Little Venice.

Takara Hotel Boat
Cruise 26

London to Oxford via River Thames

Takara Hotel Boat Cruise 24

Cruise 
Details

We leave Little Venice and travel towards Kensington, Wembley and Northolt on the Paddington Arm, we then turn left at Bulls Bridge Junction towards Brentford and the River Thames. 

On the Thames we head west towards Richmond, Hampton Court Park, Weybridge and Staines. 

Next we come to Windsor and Eton and see the Castle and racecourse. Maidenhead is followed by Marlow before we arrive at Henley famous for its Regatta. Next is Reading and on towards Mapledurham, Whitchurch and on towards Goring which is said to be one of the most attractive parts of the Thames. We then continue on to Wallingford and Shillingford, through the area known as Dyke Hills getting to Abingdon and on to Oxford.
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