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“1 week Stourport Ring (anti-clockwise)”

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Countrywide Cruisers
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brewood
Reviewed 24 August 2015

All in all a great week for a family of 4 (with 2 teenage sons).

We didn't get away quite as early as we'd hoped mainly due to a jam on the M5, and by the time we arrived there were a couple of groups ahead of us so had to wait 20 mins, fair enough. The staff were friendly and helpful. My wife and I had done canal holidays before - albeit over 25 years ago so appreciated the refresher introduction. Also I reviewed our proposed schedule with CC, it's definitely worth planning beforehand if you are doing a ring. Sir Bruin was fine, everything we needed, all clean and working except we found out later the water filler-cap key was missing (easy enough to improvise something). You can't receive a TV signal in most places we stopped and there is no WiFi, resolved by using my phone as a WiFi hotspot (on Three) which worked in most places.

The plan was to make good progress on the first couple of days so we could take it easier and fit in some stops for the rest of the week. Our second day was the longest and we only just got as far as planned due to some very slow lock operators on the boat ahead (yes you *can* lower the paddle before closing the gate - sigh) but easily stayed on track after that.

We moored-up overnight at Compton (Fiume), Stourport (The Angel), Tibberton (Bridge Inn), Alvechurch (nr. Crown Inn), Birmingham Gas Street (met up with friends), West Country Museum and Brewood itself (Bridge Inn). Several pubs are Marstons ones with exactly the same menu at each - and they stop serving food quite early, e.g. 7:50pm (Brewood).

No problems on the trip. It seems odd (but interesting) taking a narrowboat on the wide river Severn and felt a bit guilty emptying those huge locks just for us! It's quite fast on this section due to the flow of the river - I imagine it would be slower going north. The entry into Worcester is great, though the turn back onto the Worcester & Birmingham canal is a little tricky as it's a sharp turn and the river current doesn't help. They are double locks, so if you might be able to share the work.

Next day was Astwood, Stoke and Tardebigge - 42 locks in all which took 5.5 hours. Mostly through Tardebigge we were able to set up the lock ahead. It didn't seem hard at the time but I ached a bit the next day.

Gas Street was fine on a Wednesday. We got there in time for lunch and visited the museum and art gallery and elsewhere. Arrived back after dinner - most of the bars in the Mailbox close at 10:30pm though Penny Black was open later. Only woken once by a small group of clubbers passing by at 2:00am, but good natured. There were about 4 boats plus us moored there (and many in the basin at the opposite side of the canal).

Took the Old Main Line towards Dudley and stopped at the Black Country Living Museum. Good, but try to get a full half day there - its £16.50 (as of 2015) and quite a lot to look round. There aren't many mooring place there (several occupied by working boats) but there is some room for morning a bit further along the canal just past the factory. There is water at the BCLM Friday (not shown on the Pearson Canal Companion) and a winding hole.

Friday was our only day of rain as we tackled the 21 locks past Wolverhampton - probably just as well during the school holidays. We were advised to go through here on a week day during school time, though it seemed quite pleasant when we did it. Mooring in Brewood is easy beyond the marked official moorings which will probably be full towards the end of the day.

The only incident we had was a broken wooden tiller handle when it touched the inside of a bridge - while I was attempting to train the kids on the first day - and a broken glass. We weren't charged for these.

If we decide to do the Four Counties Ring next year, I would use Countrywide Cruisers again.

Room Tip: Sir Bruin was good.
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  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with family
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1  Thank goban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2015

Very pleasant short break on Sir Fergus. The boat was clean and tidy and the accommodation was just right for our family of four. Minor problem with the fridge otherwise the boat was fine. The staff were friendly and helpful both on arrival and when we returned the boat. The local countryside is lovely with lots to see and plenty of walks when you want to get off and stretch your legs.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Dan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2015

This was the first time we have gone canal boating as a family. It was excellent. The Boat, Sir Bruin, was well presented and delivered early on the Saturday. We had a thorough hand over and we set off with a few words of wisdom from the friendly staff. The boat had everything thing on board you would want and more. The showers were always hot and everything worked as promised. The Stourport Ring kept our boys happy with plenty of locks and a variety of City scape and countryside to please every body. We will be going back and thoroughly recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Cleanliness
1  Thank Adam538392
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2015

Just had a wonderful weekend on Sir Cador ! We booked this break as a present for my sister and brother in law and it really couldn't have been more pleasurable.From the moment we arrived we felt relaxed and in safe hands. A lovely lady Nina welcomed us and showed us to our boat, and then handed over to Cliff who went through the safety procedures and workings of the boat, in a professional, instructive and friendly manner. The boat was immaculately clean and wonderfully equipped with better and more utensils than at home( wife's quote)steering a fifty foot narrow boat sounds a bit daunting at first but within a couple of bridges you feel like a natural and life just seems to slow down to a lovely relaxed pace(4mph). We will definitely be booking again, ,just a wonderful experience and great value for money.

  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank michael w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2015

If you are looking for a professional canal boat hiring company, you won't find a better organisation that Countrywide Cruisers.
We've been cruising the canal network for a number of years and came across Countrywide through the internet. Nina and Cliff are FIRST RATE
Cliff performed a thorough handover of the boat we had hired for a week

Keep up the excellent service

Room Tip: Sir Ironside for 2, Sir Menaduke for 2 couples
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Stayed: April 2015, travelled with friends
Thank KT7Pete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Countrywide Cruisers

Address: Brewood ST19 9BG, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Staffordshire > Brewood
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brewood
Number of rooms: 16

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