Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, Stratford-upon-Avon

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The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal is a canal in the south Midlands of England. The canal, which was built between 1793 and 1816, runs for 25.5mi in total, and consists of two sections. The dividing line is at Kingswood Junction, which gives access to the Grand Union Canal. Following acquisition by a railway company in 1856, it gradually declined, the southern section being un-navigable by 1945, and the northern section little better.The northern section was the setting for a high-profile campaign by the fledgling Inland Waterways Association in 1947, involving the right of navigation under Tunnel Lane bridge, which required the Great Western Railway to jack it up in order to allow boats to pass. These actions saved the section from closure. The southern section was restored by the National Trust between 1961 and 1964, after an attempt to close it was thwarted. The revived canal was re-opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and responsibility for it was transferred to British Waterways in 1988.RouteThe Stratford-upon-Avon canal connects the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Kings Norton to the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. It consists of two sections, divided by a junction which connects it to the Grand Union Canal. The northern section from Kings Norton in the suburbs of Birmingham to Lapworth is level for the first 10.8mi, following the 453ft Birmingham Level, but then descends quite rapidly through the Lapworth flight of 18 locks, to reach the junction. There is a choice of route to reach the Grand Union, as there are two locks side by side, one on the main line of the canal, and one on the branch, but a channel joins the bottom ends of both locks. The junction is almost exactly halfway along the canal.
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  • We stayed at Wilmcote and decided to walk to Stratford. The wind was chilling - the snow was blowing across the canal but we loved it. Walking from Wilmcote we passed plenty of canal locks, a few barg...  more »
  • Once upon a time... a very nice village not only by the history that surrounds it in the lathe to Shakespeare. Houses with much charm.
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  • We visited yesterday and the canal is still frozen in places. This made it even more beautiful than usual with lots of birds walking over the ice. Then lots of crocus too! Always a lovely spot to have...  more »

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