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Rugby Wharf
Bridge 53 North Oxford Canal

Location & Route Suggestions

This page gives information on how to reach the boatyard and suggested routes information. For some very useful travel web sites, please go to the bottom of the page.

Normal arrival times are between 2pm and 4pm.

However, please call the boatyard on the day before your arrival date to arrange a time slot if possible. The boatyard closes at 5.00pm so please ensure that at least one member of your crew arrives before then.

Arrival instructions for WILLOW WREN fleet:

From M6 Junction 1 , take A426 towards Rugby. (Dual carriageway).Straight across the first two roundabouts. Straight across third roundabout (Mr Kipling). Straight across fourth roundabout (Tesco) on on to the next roundabout, passing under disused railway viaduct. Consul Road is the first left by the Car Garage.
The entrance to WILLOW WREN is 200 yards on the right.

From M1 junction 20 , Take A427 towards Lutterworth/Rugby. Turn left at traffic lights on to A426 Rugby (4 miles). At junction of A426 and M6 motorway, follow instructions as above.

If approaching from the South (A426), coming into Rugby from the South, you will come through the village on Dunchurch. Take all signs that direct you to the M6 North. Follow the road towards Rugby Town Centre (A426) and still keep following all signs to M6 North. This will eventually bring you to the Avon Mill roundabout. Turn right at this roundabout and travel down the dual carriageway, turning left just past the viaduct into Consul Road. The entrance to WILLOW WREN is 200 yards on the right.


One Week:

North Oxford & Ashby Canals: Rural cruise which is ideal for first-timers as there is only one small lock. Pretty countryside and small villages a few minute's walk from the canal.

Grand Union Leicester Section: Head through Braunston Tunnel then turn left at Norton Junction to cruise the winding rural Leicester Summit. A real 'get away from it all' holiday.

Grand Union South: An interesting country route which is a great introduction to canals as you get a sample of everything: narrow locks, wide locks, tunnels, the River Ouse Aqueduct, and Stoke Bruerne; a picture-postcard village where the canal is the main street and home of the Waterways Museum.

South Oxford Canal: A most attractive cruise with easy to work locks. Pretty Cotswold stone villages, remote countryside, passing through the new shopping centre in Banbury, and on through a steady procession of narrow locks and a short section of the River Cherwell to the University City of Oxford. If you are not sure which route to choose, make it this one! You might not make it to Oxford in a week - just take it steady and see where you end up.

Warwickshire Ring: An interesting and energetic cruise taking you through Royal Leamington Spa, Hatton Locks - 'the staircase to heaven', Birmingham, and through lots of glorious Midlands countryside. 100 miles and 100 locks, so be prepared to work, or take a fortnight.

Two weeks:

Thames Ring: Cruise the South Oxford Canal to Oxford, then onto the Royal River Thames for a cruise through history: Oxford, Abingdon, Henley, Windsor, Hampton Court, then onto the Tideway to Brentford before returning up the Southern Grand Union. A fabulous fortnight, or why not make it 2 ½ weeks or even three and cruise onto the Kennet & Avon, or maybe the River Wey to Guildford, or into Central London to Little Venice?

Stratford on Avon: Head off on the Grand Union through Leamington and Warwick, then take the Stratford Canal down to Bancroft Basin, mooring right outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. (Can be done in a week by mooring in Warwick and catching the bus to Stratford, but that's cheating!)

Leicester Ring: Cruise the rural Leicester Section to the River Soar. Turn left onto the Trent and head back through the brewing centre of Burton, before turning left again at Fradley Junction for the easy last couple of days back to base.

Short breaks:

South Oxford Canal: Cruise to Napton and return, for a taste of this wonderful canal.

Grand Union Canal South: Head to Gayton Junction. Passing through Buckby locks and the Braunston Tunnel and up to the village of Crick, for a good 'taster' cruise.

Ashby Canal: Head up the rural and lock-free Ashby Canal to the pretty village of Stoke Golding before retracing your steps. A great cruise to chill out for the weekend.

Coventry Canal to Fradley Junction and return: An interesting cruise through countryside, interspersed with the Warwickshire towns of Nuneaton and Atherstone. Head down Atherstone Locks to Fazeley Junction where the Birmingham And Fazeley Canal strides off towards Birmingham and the Black Country. If you have time, continue into Staffordshire onto Fradley Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal, part of the 'Grand Trunk' for the Potteries.