How to get there - M6 junction 3, 1st exit if coming from south, 3rd exit from north to Bedworth, left under M6 bridge, first right, follow the road to the traffic lights over the bridge turn left into Sutton Stop.
For those with SatNav the postcode is CV6 6DF.
Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - Sutton stop near the Greyhound pub.
Description - 16 miles approx. I did the trip in two days as an easy paddle in spite of the weather but it could be done in a real hard days paddle.
1 lock at Sutton stop at the junction of the Grand Union and Oxford canals which I walked the canoe past to put in, then no locks until the last mile where I portaged past 3 locks.
The first leg I did was from Hawkesbury junction to Ansty. I started at 12 o'clock. It starts by having to pass moored boats on either side on a corner so beware of oncoming barges, although every person driving the barges were very vigilant and polite. Once you got past the M6 running alongside the canal you start into the countryside and even on the cloudy breezy day I went, it was beautiful and as I said the people on barges are nice and respectful.
As you get to the M69 bridge you come to Ansty and a pub garden at the Rose and Crown on your left. Just past there I stopped under the road bridge for a coffee.
The next leg was to Stretton wharf, this was the hardest but only because of the weather. Amazing views past the golf course. A massive footbridge towers above you. You pass under the M6 and that is when the wind hit me full in the face. The rain started and I went backwards, straining my shoulder fighting it. By 5.30pm I had got to Stretton wharf and a coffee and a chat with a man that is moored there.
The main priority was a camping spot on the towpath but as there is no camping site on this part of the canal, I considered Cathiron lane moorings a mile or so from Stretton wharf but decided to carry on because it seemed a bit early to camp. Further on it started spitting with rain so it forced my hand and I found a little wooded area next to the road at Brinklow marina. Just as I got the tent up the heavens opened and I stayed in the tent and used a gas stove instead of a camp fire because of the rain.
Next morning the rain was still coming down as I put the camp away and left it as I found it and set off in the rain. After 1-2 miles you come to Newbold Tunnel (206 yards - towpath each side). I didn't have a torch or light but I kept up with a barge through the tunnel much to the amusement to the ladies on a day cruise on the barge. My target for the next stop was Clifton wharf and in between was Brownsover picnic site,
At the picnic site is a 24hr mooring with barges on either side. I had a near miss on the corner with an oncoming barge which I just avoided. After my break at Clifton Wharf at 1pm I set off for final leg to Hillmorton wharf. On the final leg at Hillmorton locks I portaged the 3 locks and managed the last leg by 3pm.
I got out at Hillmorton moorings but my friend who picked me up was told in no uncertain terms by one of the owners not to park there so my advice is to get out at the Hungry Horse pub car park. Overall the trip was my first on a canal and because of it, that wont be my last canal trip.
As I live next to Brownsover picnic site, once I get storage at my place for my canoe that is where you will find me most weekend as I will be able to portage from my home with my DIY trolley that I am making.
Comments on this trip
Keith Day 19 Jul 2008
Iain camped overnight at Brinklow Marina but if you wanted to spread this trip over two days without camping you could end day 1 & start day 2 at the Cathiron Lane Picnic Site.