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With more canals than Venice, one of the best ways to visit Birmingham is by canal boat.

Emma Lovell, reservations manager for Anglo Welsh, says:

“Canal boat holidays are great for families, setting off together for a floating staycation adventure with everything you need on board.

“All our boats have showers, flushing toilets, hot water, central heating, comfortable beds, well equipped kitchens and Wifi.  Some also have multi-fuel stoves too, perfect for an Autumn break when the nights are drawing in.

“Pets are welcome aboard all our boats too.

“There are hundreds of miles of canals in the West Midlands with dozens of waterside destinations to choose from, including canalside pubs with roaring log fires. 

“To celebrate the upcoming October half term holiday, we’ve put together a guide to our top five boating breaks in the West Midlands.”

  1.        Boat into Birmingham City Centre

Exploring Birmingham by boat is one of the best ways to experience Britain’s exciting second city.  From Anglo Welsh’s canal boat rental base at Tardebigge near Bromsgrove, you can cruise along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal into the centre of Birmingham in just five hours.  Family-friendly canalside pubs to enjoy along the way include the Crown at Alvechurch.  City centre moorings are available at Gas Street Basin. There are no locks on this route, but the journey takes boaters through four tunnels.

  1.        Cruise to Shakespeare’s Stratford

From Anglo Welsh’s canal boat hire base at Wootton Wawen, on the Stratford Canal near Henley-in-Arden, it takes around six hours to cruise to Stratford-upon-Avon.  Family-friendly canalside pubs to enjoy along the way include the Mary Arden Inn at Wilmcote.  There are town centre moorings available at Bancroft Basin.  There at 17 locks to pass through on this route.

  1.        Complete the Birmingham Mini Ring

Canal holiday-makers can complete this popular circuit on a mid-week break from Tardebigge.  The route takes in sections of the Worcester & Birmingham, Birmingham Main Line and Grand Union canals.  Family-friendly pubs to enjoy along the way include the Boat Inn at Catherin-de-Barnes and the Navigation Inn at Lapworth.  From Tardebigge, the Birmingham Mini-Ring takes around 27 hours, traveling 45 miles and passing through 49 locks.

  1.        Navigate to Hatton Locks

On a short break from Wootton Wawen, boaters can reach the base of the famous flight of 21 locks at Hatton.  Family-friendly canalside pubs to enjoy along the way include the Fleur de Lys at Lowsonford and the Navigation Inn at Rowington.  The journey to Hatton takes around eight hours and there are 17 locks along the way.

  1.        Moor up at the Black Country Living Museum

On short break From Tardebigge, boaters can travel along the Worcester & Birmingham and Birmingham Canal Navigations to the Black Country Living Museum.  Family-friendly pubs along the way include the Crown at Alvechurch and The Hopwood House at Hopwood. The journey takes eight-and-a-half hours and passes through three locks.

Anglo Welsh’s 2023 October Half Term boating breaks start at £890 for a short break (three or four nights), £1,230 on a boat for two people.

For more information about Anglo Welsh’s holidays, go to or call the bookings team on 0117 304 1122.