The King’s Coronation bank holiday weekend (6-8 May) offers the perfect excuse to plan a boating break on Britain’s beautiful inland waterways.
Our 250-year old network of navigable canals and rivers is steeped in history, with locks, bridges, tunnels, marinas, junctions and pubs named after various Kings across the centuries.
To celebrate the forthcoming Coronation of King Charles III, we’ve listed our Top 6 bank holiday boating breaks with a Royal connection:
1. Cruise from King’s Orchard Marina to Great Haywood
On a weekend’s break from our’ base at Kings Orchard in Staffordshire, canal boat holiday-makers can cruise to the pretty canal village of Great Haywood and back. The journey begins on the Coventry Canal, transferring onto the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction, close to Fradley Pool Nature Reserve. From there, you’ll travel on through the Staffordshire countryside through the village of Rugeley. Then past Cannock Chase Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty and the National Trust’s impressive Shugborough Estate, before reaching Great Haywood. The journey to Great Haywood travels 15 miles, passes through four locks and takes around seven cruising hours.
2. Navigate to the King’s Lock Inn at Middlewich
On a weekend break from our base at Anderton Marina, you can navigate to the King’s Lock Inn at Middlewich. The journey travels nine miles along the Trent & Mersey Canal, passes through four locks and takes around five hours. Next to Middlewich Junction, the Kings Lock pub serves craft ales, offers fresh food and hosts regular live music events.
3. Pass through King’s Norton Junction & Tunnel to Lapworth
On a weekend’s break from Tardebigge on the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal, you can reach King’s Norton Junction and Tunnel. The journey takes around four hours and travels nine miles, through a series of tunnels and the remains of the Forest of Arden. At King’s Norton Junction you’ll transfer onto the North Stratford Canal and then pass through Brandwood Tunnel, also known as King’s Norton Tunnel. There are moorings further along the Stratford Canal, perfect for exploring the village of Lapworth and local attractions.
4. Navigate to Bosworth Field where King Richard III lost his crown
On a week’s holiday from Braunston, you can cruise to moorings at Sutton Cheney, close to the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. Here, the Battle of Bosworth Field, where King Richard III lost his crown to Henry Tudor in 1485, is explained with exhibitions and guided walks. The journey to Sutton Cheney travels 37 miles, passes through four locks and takes around 16 cruising hours.
5. Travel to King John’s Bridge on the River Avon
On a week’s holiday from Wootton Wawen you can reach King John’s Bridge on the River Avon near Tewkesbury. The journey, which travels 49 miles, passing through 34 locks, takes you along the Stratford Canal to Shakespeare’s Stratford. At Stratford-upon-Avon, you’ll transfer onto the River Avon and cruise on to King John’s Bridge via the historic market town of Evesham.
6. Cruise to the King’s Head pub at Napton
From our canal boat hire base at Stockton, it takes just one-and-a-half hours to cruise to Napton Junction. From there it’s a short walk from the popular King’s Head pub. This country pub in the picturesque village of Napton-on-the-Hill, serves food all cooked fresh and from scratch, using locally sourced ingredients. On a weekend’s break from Stockton, you can continue on to the pretty canalside village of Hillmorton. The journey from Stockton travels 15 miles, passes through six locks and takes just over six hours.