A lock heavy section of canal, the Stratford Canal is a great paddle for those looking to build up their portage strength.
OK, we’re joking. But in all seriousness, if you do paddle along the Stratford canal be prepared for a portage or two.
This is because this 26 mile canal has 54 locks along its route. So, if you are planning to paddle the length of the Stratford Canal you might want to block out two or three days.
By the early 20th Century, the lower section was mostly disused and almost closed in the 1950s. However, a campaign to restore it for pleasure boating worked, and it was taken over in 1960 by the National Trust.
The two sections of the Stratford Canal
Generally speaking, the canal has two sections. The Northern Stratford runs from Kings Norton Junction to Kingswood Junction, linking the Worcester and Birmingham Canal with the Grand Union Canal. This section is 10 miles long with 19 locks.
The other section is the Southern Stratford and runs from Kingswood Junction to River Lock at the River Avon junction. A recent restoration means you can now paddle through history, quite literally!
Look up as you paddle through the villages and into the centre of Stratford. Here you’ll meet with Tudor style buildings and old timber frame houses.
Perfect for the history lovers who want to paddle through Shakespeare’s back garden!