Four Counties Ring
2 Week Cruise
The Four Counties Ring includes the Shropshire Union, Staffs & Worcester, Trent &Mersey and Middlewich Branch; 123 miles and 107 locks on a circular route.
Allow 2 weeks cruising. This circular route can be traveled clockwise or anticlockwise and you will travel through the counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Shropshire passing through areas of lovely countryside and the industrial areas of Stoke with its history in the Potteries. Travelling south from the marina, join the Middlewich branch of the 'Shroppie' at Barbridge junction and at Middlewich Wardle Junction turn right onto the Trent and Mersey canal heading towards Stoke on Trent. You now work your way up through 31 locks in 13 miles locally known by the old boatmen as 'Heartbreak Hill' or the Cheshire locks. From here you will navigate the famous 2670 meter singlewidth Harecastle Tunnel said to be haunted (manned by tunnel keepers) originally built by Brindley and later modernized by Telford. Traveling the 45minutes through the tunnel the open Cheshire countryside will be replaced by the busy shopping parks in the city of Stoke with its industrial past revealed in the Potteries museums and Industrial Museum at Etruria. Here the Caldon canal branches off towards Leek and Froghall.
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