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Cruising Routes

Our Standard and Custom Holiday packages are all intended to give guests the chance to make the most of their time on board. We suggest our standard four night five day break offers guests a genuine longer cruising time, making it possible to reach further, see more, enjoy every minute on the water by setting off early and arriving back later in the day.
All our holidays start from Fenny Compton, close to Banbury, Leamington Spa, Stratford upon Avon and Warwick. Our  short break package of 5 days and 4 nights genuinely affords longer cruising time making it possible to reach further. BELOW is a guide to  POSSIBLE SHORT BREAK ROUTES, from Fenny you can head North or South and for the first few hours simply cruise and hone your boat handling, soak up the glorious English Rural Landscape before settling into life on 'the cut'. LONGER BREAKS will offer even more opportunities to explore the heart of England

Canal lift bridge on Oxford Canal


Head South towards Oxford

Booking a short break allows for 4 whole cruising days which if you allowed for 31 hours of cruising time, (total out and back) a journey south can take you to the outskirts of

Kidlington about 54 miles on the Oxford Canal taking in 46 locks (23 there and 23 back). There is a wealth of rural landscape to immerse in as well as access to the delights of the Cotswolds , there are 12 'winding holes' between Fenny and Kidlington, so taking ones time, perhaps not travelling quite so far is always on the cards and the off canal explorer will be spoilt for choice.


Head North to Braunston

This is the way to access the most variety of routes, every one has to pass through Napton before they can branch off. The landmark windmill on the hill is a tantalising beacon and, typical for the canal, is unsurprisingly in view for a long time before one gets to pass by. The meandering approach plus 9 locks to negotiate make it a sound first stage of a gentle cruise (apart from the fact Napton has several stop-over delights, the Folly Inn by Napton Bottom Lock, the best village shop for miles and an award winning cider producer) A Short Break will take you beyond Napton and going on north will take you through Braunston and one can reach Rugby if actual time cruising is your thing.

Napton on the Hill windmill
Stockton Locks - Grand Union Canal


Head North and West

If you turn west at Napton Junction you are on your way to Leamington Spa, one of the most attractive English towns with the canal disecting the town one has the opportunity to explore one of the finest surviving Regency Towns in England. 

A trip from Fenny Compton to the heart of Leamington Spa is a total return distance of 45miles, with 64 locks  (32 there and 32 back) This will take 28/29 hours calculated as 4 days at 7 hours per day plus 3 hours on the last morning.

As a destination coupled with some fantastic canal navigation Leamington is a joy. Any time of the day Leamington will offer a plethora of discoveries. There are 3 winding holes in Leamington but nothing between Leamington and Napton Junction so choosing this route is for those wishing to experience the Stockton flight of locks as well as several others.


Head North and East

As a taster for all things canal, locks; bridges; and tunnels, this is the route. From Fenny, past Napton, onto Braunston and turn East. Based on a short break this route could take you as  far as Crick or Weedon (depending on which branch you choose at Norton Junction)

For Crick, cruise for a total of  26/27 hours this

will take you to the outskirts of the famous Crick

Marina about 53 miles on the Oxford and Grand

Union Canals taking in 44 locks (22 each way). North always gives one the chance to stop in Braunston and Gongoozler (the best floating Cafe!), this route offers the fullest experience of navigating the cut, taking one through the tunnel at Braunston (2042 yards long) and the shorter one at Crick as well as single and double locks, manned and unmanned, every type of bridge and some of the most beautiful landscapes .

Braunston on the Grand Union Canal
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