Planned Cruises for 2016

Club Cruises 2016

The main summer cruise for this year will be to Stratford on Avon for the River Festival

Please don’t forget that other cruises are available with dates already arranged which you may wish to consider. You can find these by scrolling down the page under “Further Options for 2016”

At our recent cruise planning meeting numerous members suggested a summer cruise nearer to the central area of the network.

The idea was mooted that the Summer Festivals on the River Avon (Jul 2nd & 3rd) could act as the core to the cruises, in particular the Festival at Stratford upon Avon.

Martin Turner (Commodore) writes:

“Subjectively, it is considered among the best in the country. It is in the main town on the Avon and attracts a large crowd ( perhaps 35k), there is first class entertainment of all kinds, fireworks and a large number of stalls. The RSC is adjacent to the moorings, where you may see one of the finest theatres and acting companies give an excellent evening. Perhaps we could have a Four C’s Shakespeare evening, preceded by Fish and Chips at the cafe adjacent.”

“Organisation is by members of the IWA amongst others. Usually there will be a couple of celebrities attending and around 150 boats; the moorings are herringbone formation laid out in raft style. Some moorings are bankside breasted up. The festival organisers are happy to accommodate us wherever we wish to moor.”

“Since circulating outline proposals, we now have seven boats so far, wanting to go.”

To find out about the Stratford River Festival, look at:


“On this [stratforward] site you will find the booking forms which each person will have to fill in. Make a note on the form indicating we are the Cotswold canals Cruising Club and wish to be moored as a group.

I have contacted the festival organisers and they are happy to deal with this as a block booking. I know the mooring people well and will act as the co-ordinator. Bookings should be made as soon as possible.

There is a booking fee but this includes the licence to boat on the Avon and works out around the same price as a normal licence.”

Full details are on the web but costs are:

Access from Canal licence for River at Stratford above the lock only

July 1st to July 4th                                                                                            £35.00

Access from the River Severn 7 day licence, June 28th to July 4th

up until July 1st to the 7th                                                                                 £50.00

14 day licence June 28th to July 11th till July 1st to July 14th

This is intended to cover the Evesham festival, but in my experience is OK for 14 day, access from either the canal or Severn                                                                        £55.00

30 day licence, to cover all festivals from June 26th till July 1st                       £60.00


As you will be coming from several directions, I advise that we all arrive on the same day, that is Thursday 30th June.  This would make it simpler for the mooring organisation and enable us to all settle down and have a quite Pimms or go to the Theatre for a little culture.

The position of Stratford gives the opportunity for several cruises. In addition people may wish to stay for the Evesham and Pershore Festival, both of which are completely different from Stratford and although they are on a much smaller scale, they are entertaining and amusing in their own right. Evesham is a cabin cruiser type festival that lets other boats in! Again fireworks, flypasts and illuminated processions – plus silly- games are normal.

Option number 1:

1:                                             Stourport to Stratford on Avon 

Cruising via Stourport, Rivers Severn & Avon, Stratford on Avon Canal.

Saturday 25th June                Stourport Basin to Worcester Race Course Moorings.

Four Narrow Locks at Stourport Maybe 5 if we moor above York Street. River Severn Three Locks 13 miles Total time around 4-5 hours depending how fast you go! Worcester requires visiting, the Cathedral and Pottery are World Class and the shops are excellent. We would moor at Riverside as these are nearly always available, breasting up will probably be required and a charge is possible £3.00.

Sunday 26th June                   Worcester to Tewkesbury – River Avon.

One or two locks, both manned, 17 miles, around  four hours. Upton is a delightful town so it is worth mooring to have a look around . Moorings can be tight here so breasting up is normal. You may also moor on the steps and at the hotel if you buy a beer.

At Tewkesbury mooring is a choice between Severn side and Avon side , all depend what is available, to go Avon side you have to go through the lock. Lockeeper will advise, a charge will be made for mooring. Tewkesbury is a delightful town with wonderful half-timbered buildings throughout and one of the finest abbey’s in the UK. More importantly a great Indian restaurant the walk from the moorings via the River on the south side through Abbey mill is delightful where you will see one of the most popular calender Photos in the UK. Do not miss this! One of our members has a house there.

Monday 27th June                 Tewkesbury to Pershore

Three locks (manual) around 12 miles ( 4mph limit) 4-5 hours

Pershore moorings are good, the lock is fun and the setting overall excellent. At the moorings is water and a pump out. A large supermarket in the grounds, plus Tesco and a baker that sells wonderful Lardy Cakes. Lovely Georgian town , lovely park and of course Abbey plus many pubs and a brewery.

Tuesday 28th June                  Pershore to Offenham

The distance is around 13 miles 6 locks around 5 hours

I suggest a stop at Evesham where there are plenty of shops. Moorings at Offenham are extensive and in a lovely rural spot.  Time for a picnic and a walk and if we moor correctly an evening at the pub.

Wednesday 29th June            Offenham to Bideford  or Billington

The distance is around 9-10 miles with 3-4 locks. For a shorter trip .moorings in Bideford can be tight , again breasting up. The option to go on to Billington for more moorings which is a short walk back across the  field to Bideford.

Thursday 30th June               Bidford to Stratford.

This is a lovely trip which can take a while, it being around 10 miles with 7 locks.

There is a good Pub at Binton. You must empty Elsans and fill with water at Luddington Lock, water is available Stratford and a Lavender boat but its best to be full and empty

Option number 2:                   Gloucester to Tewkesbury.

People from Gloucester hopefully will wish to meet up with people from Stourport, this could be either Tewkesbury itself or Worcester. I have not checked Tide times but when we know who is going from the Gloucester and Sharpness we work dates and timings out. A Sunday night curry in Gloucester would be a good idea.

Option number 3:                   Start in Birmingham.

Cruise either to Stourport or directly to Stratford. If people are interested I will work it out.

Option Number 4:                  What happens after the festival?

Co-ordinator:                        Martin Turner – Commodore


Further Options for 2016

Dates are all approximate and can be adjusted either way to accommodate members’ needs.

Cruising has been calculated at 5 hours per day without any stops for exploring, shopping etc. but we have added extra days into each cruise to accommodate these requirements. No overnight moorings have been arranged, these will be entirely the decision of the individual boat crew.

Members are of course, free to join and leave cruises whenever they wish. Cormorant II will be doing some or all of these cruises dependent upon the wishes of other members.

Cruise 1  Tewkesbury to Oxford – meet in Tewkesbury on May 21st

Up the Severn to Tewkesbury – 1 day

  • UP the River Avon, to Stratford Upon Avon. – 4 days
  • South Stratford to Kingswood Junction. – 2days
  • Grand Union to Napton Junction – 4 days
  • South Oxford to Oxford – 5 days

Arrive Oxford 9th June – 19 days At this point, it would be possible – even desirable on account of our Club roots, to append a few days

Cruise 2  Oxford to Lechlade to Reading – meet in Oxford on 11/12th June

Going up the River Thames to Lechlade. – 2 days
Return to Reading. – 3 days
Arrive Reading on 21st June – 8 days

If anyone wishes to do so, at this point:

  • Traverse the Kennet and Avon Canal, either part-way or the whole way to Bristol.-or-
  • Continue Downriver to Weybridge – 3 days.

Cruise 3  Wey and Godalming Navigation and Basingstoke canal – meet Weybridge 25th June

Explore the Wey and Godalming Navigation. – 3 days + 3 days return.
Explore the Basingstoke Canal –if it is available again! – 3 days + 3 days return
Continue Downriver to Teddington Lock. 3 hours
Arrive Teddington Lock on 10th July – 15 days


  • Leave the River at Brentford, rejoin us at Limehouse or later; – 4 days (via Bulls Bridge/Little Venice) – We will most likely return this way! 4 days


Cruise 4 Dates dependant on tides and St Pancras Cruising Club

  • Travel down the Tidal River to Limehouse and exit the river into Limehouse Basin. (I will get in touch (again) with St. Pancras CC to assist on this passage) – 1 day

Cruise 5  Explore the Lee and Stort Navigations –  Meet Limehouse Basin on 16th July

Lee and Stort Navigation (to Bishop’s Stortford) – 4 days – 4 days return.
Lee Navigation – (from Feilde’s weir lock) to Hertford – 1 day + 1 day return
Return via Hertford Union, Regents Canal to Paddington, Little Venice. – 2 days.
Paddington Arm then North up Grand Union. – 2 days
Explore the Slough Arm (GU) – 1 hour!!!!
Cowley Peachey Junction – Bulbourne Junction – 5 days
Explore the Wendover Arm (GU) – 1 hour
Explore the Aylesbury Arm (GU) – 1 day + 1 day to return. 2 days
Arrive at Junction of the Aylesbury arm and Grand Union on 11th August – total 26 days

Any members wishing to discuss these alternatives in more detail, please contact me:
Bob Hallam (Cruise Manager).

Note: Cormorant 2 is to return home @ 5 hours/day = 16 days.