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 have taken various walks along different parts of this canal in different seasons. The countryside around is lovely at any time of year and it is very quiet apart from the odd train in parts.  more »
  • My trip to Stratford was quite last minute. I needed to drive my friends to Birmingham (long story why) and then realised that Stratford was only 45 mins by train from Birmingham. So, I decided to mak...  more »
  • A decent place to come even when it's pouring with rain. Nice and quiet, swans swimming around, and only a few yards from the town centre. What's not to like about that?  more »

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Where to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, has a wealth of hotels, guesthouses, country inns, and self-catering apartments. For big-name hotels, look no farther than the historical town center, where most of the area's big attractions are located. Stratford is also famous for its range of comfortable B&Bs, conveniently located in and around this compact town. If you're looking for something a little closer to nature and prefer the open air, consider exploring family-run hostels and working farms in the nearby countryside.
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