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Welcome to Viking Afloat's Worcester Hire Base


If you choose Worcester you start your holiday at Lowesmoor Wharf, once the bustling centre of the city's canal trade.
Worcester became prosperous because of its position on the River Severn - first as one of the few river crossings and later as a staging post for river traffic. With the advent of the canal age, Worcester soon found itself linked to the rest of Britain's canals via the Worcester Birmingham Canal and so today finds itself at the hub of what is now the holiday cruising network.
It is conveniently placed for access to the Worcester Birmingham Canal, the Staffs. and Worcs. Canal, the Stratford on Avon Canal and the rivers Severn and Avon, offering cruising through some of the prettiest and most interesting areas of Britain.

Directions to the base.

(Click on the tours below for full details of each trip.)

The ideal trip for newcomers. A one week 'out and back' cruise offering great variety, including boating along part of the River Severn, and a journey up the delightful Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. You can set your own pace and enjoy the beautiful Worcestershire countryside.

A rather more energetic run that takes you on a circular route thereby avoiding the need to retrace your steps. Great countryside, plenty of locks to keep you busy and a number of wonderful attractions along the way.

A truly pastoral route almost entirely based on the Rivers Severn and Avon. Please note that an additional licence is required to cruise on the River Avon (42 in 2000). We do not recommend this route during the early or late part of the season as river levels can be unpredictable.

A varied two week circular trip that combines river cruising on the Severn and Avon with canal cruising. We do not recommend this route during the early or late part of the season as river levels can be unpredictable.


Tour 1   (1 week)

Worcester and Staffordshire
78 Miles - 80 Locks - 4+ hours cruising per day.

Passing through Worcester by canal, you join the River Severn for a leisurely cruise up to Stourport where you join the Staffs. and Worcs. Canal. Here you will appreciate the contrast between the wide river and the more intimate atmosphere of the canal, which threads its way unobtrusively through the landscape, encouraging you to stop at will.

This canal takes you past dramatic sandstone rocks and through the beautifully preserved Bratch locks towards Autherley Junction. You will probably want to turn here in order to make the most of the return journey, which apart from opening up new views of the countryside, will give you a chance to visit some of the attractions you may have missed on the way up, such as the Severn Valley Railway, or the sandstone caves at Austcliffe.

 

Tour 2   (1 week)

Stourport Ring 
83 Miles - 116 Locks - 8 hours cruising per day

As with tour 1, you travel north up the River Severn to join the Staffs. and Worcs. Canal at Stourport.

You continue up this scenic contour-hugging canal to Stourton Junction where you branch off to Birmingham via the impressive Netherton tunnel. A visit to the award winning Black Country Museum is well worth some time before you cruise on through Birmingham (National Sea-life Centre and City Centre) to meet up with the Worcester Birmigham Canal. This canal brings you past Bournville (Cadbury World) and finally down the Tardebigge flight of locks to Worcester, passing through idyllic open countryside.

Tour 3     (1 week)

Worcester to Stratford-upon-Avon
100 Miles - 44 Locks - 6 hours cruising per day

From Worcester you head down the River Severn to Tewkesbury where you join the Warwickshire Avon. The Avon takes you north-east through the rich fertile countryside of South Worcestershire. Along the way you can visit the delightful market towns of Pershore, Evesham and Bidford-on-Avon before finally arriving at Stratford itself. On your journey to Stratford you will almost certainly have earmarked places for exploration on the way back - something to look forward to as you embark on a return journey that will open up new perspectives of the delightful Warwickshire and Worcestershire countryside.

Tour 4    (2 weeks)

Avon Ring
109 Miles - 129 Locks -5 hours per day

This trip follows the same outward route as Tour 3, via the Rivers Severn and Avon to Stratford-upon-Avon. You then leave the river to re-join the canal system and travel up the Stratford -upon-Avon Canal to Kings Norton Junction. This canal is characterised by its unique split bridges and barrel roofed cottages. At Kings Norton you turn left onto the Worcester Birmingham Canal, this brings you back to Worcester by way of the Tardebigge flight of locks and the rolling open countryside of North Worcestershire. Please note that an additional licence is required for the River Avon (£42 in 2003).

 

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