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The Drayton Manor From Alvechurch.php Canal Boating Cruising RouteCRUISE TO DRAYTON MANOR THEME PARK, AND TAMWORTH'S SNOWDOME, TAKING IN BIRMINGHAM'S COLOURFUL GAS STREET BASIN & SEA LIFE CENTRE, AND CADBURY WORLD AS WELL!!
Once setting off from Alvechurch, you soon leave the traffic behind and cruise through lovely Worcestershire countryside to your 1st Tunnel at Wast Hills which at 2726 yards is one of the longest in the country!
For your 1st nights stop it is nice to cruise for an hour to Hopwood & then stop by Bridge 67 where there is a convenient pub- The Hopwood House, by the Canal.
Continuing on through the Tunnel, for those with children you might want to stop at the visitor moorings at Bournville for Cadbury World, which is 1 mile north of the Kings Norton Junction (booking is advisable Tel. 0844 880 7667.).It is sign posted from the canal. There is an exhibition dedicated to the history of chocolate, audio visual displays, Victorian Birmingham & a Jungle to explore! Or catch it on the way back, see Day 10.
About 3 miles later you arrive at the Gas Street basin which is in the heart of Birmingham's canal network, and has been redeveloped into a unique experience where traditional narrow boats moor up next to cosmopolitan cafes and bars. The surrounding area is a vibrant arts & entertainment area and there are many shopping options within a short walk.
Amongst some of the attractions are the National Sea Life Centre and the Jewellery Quarter Discovery centre, also many fine Art galleries and over 500 restaurants offering every choice of food!
For shopping a visit to the new Bullring is a must, which covers an area the size of 26 football pitches and a has a huge range of shops.
Close by is the national Indoor Arena, one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting & entertainment venues in Europe.
Total cruising hours from Alvechurch to Gas Street basin is 4 ¾ hours.
From the Gas Street basin, cruise up to the Deep cuttings Junction & turn right where you will soon encounter your first locks as you begin your descent from Birmingham, the flight of 13 locks at Farmers bridge.
You will only have time for a short breather before you get to the next flight- the 11 locks at Aston. (Do not turn right onto the Digibeth Branch just beforehand). Bear right at Salford Junction onto the Birmingham & Fazeley canal.
After the 3 locks at Minworth you will start seeing the countryside again, and if you stop at Curdworth there is a pub and a steak house, and you will have done 7 ¾ hours cruising to here.
If you want to press on there is a lovely pub at Bodymoor Heath by Cheatle's farm Bridge, about another 2 hours cruising, so 9 ¾ cruising in total.
Cruise up the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, you will soon pass Drayton Manor -The UK's best family theme park with kids rides, family fun, zoo, and thrill rides. The entrance to the Theme park & Zoo is a short walk from here .
Featuring Stormforce 10 with a backward water drop, Maelstrom, Shockwave- Europes first stand up roller coaster, and the vertical drop -New for 2011 is Ben 10 Ultimate Mission the ride, Ben needs you to stop Vilgax from stealing the Omnitrix and the only way is to board the “Mecha Vehicle”, Good luck on your mission! . Adults & children will love the white knuckle rides, but the park has many family rides and a Thomas Land area for the younger children, and a Zoo to explore. The park is closed during November to March.
Total cruising time 1 ½ hours
If you are mooring up & spending the day here, it might be worth booking a session at the Snowdome in Tamworth & catching a bus or a taxi there for the evening. There is Skiing, snowboarding, Tobogganing, Ice-skating, swimming & Adrenaline Tubing!! All on real snow!
DAY 5,6 & 7
Cruise back to Alvechurch
Total Cruising time : 18 Hours