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Gailey Wharf in Staffordshire

Gailey, Near Stafford. ST19 5PR

Things to do from Gailey Wharf

Gailey is an ideal base for cruising routes including the Black Country Ring and The Four Counties Ring.

Stourport Basins - discover the historic heart of Stourport-on-Severn and its unique origins as a canal town. The Stourport Canal Basins are made up of five historic basins and are home to nearly 100 beautifully painted and colourful narrow boats.

Tardebigge - the thirty locks in the Tardebigge Flight make it the largest flight of locks in Britain and raise the Worcester and Birmingham Canal up 220 feet through some delightful countryside. Complete this feat of engineering and get a real feeling of satisfaction as you look back on this magnificent flight of locks.

Gas Street Basin - the hub of Birmingham's canal system and well worth a visit for its range of waterside pubs and to see the pretty canal boats moored there.

Cadbury World - at the world famous chocolate factory take a tour and see the your favourite chocolate being made. Visit the museum and learn the history of chocolate from the Aztec's to present day.

Black Country Museum - see the historic building brought to life and meet the characters who lived and worked in bygone times. There will be a warm welcome awaiting you at the Bottle and Glass where you can try a traditional pint of Black Country Real Ale.


By Road : If you are approaching by the M6 motorway or from the east, exit the M6 at junction 12.Take the A5 westbound, heading towards Telford. After 1/2 mile you will pass a lay-by on the left followed by a speed camera.

The boatyard entrance is on the left immediately after the speed camera road markings. If you miss it, continue 1/2 mile to the roundabout and back track. If you are approaching from the West take the A5 heading eastbound towards the M6 from the Gailey roundabout (the A449/A5 junction).

After 1/2 mile you'll pass a petrol station on your left, look right for a round tower house. The boatyard entrance is on the right immediately after the canal bridge.

By Rail: The nearest main line rail stations are Wolverhampton (from the South) or Stafford (from the North). Both have taxi ranks and the boatyard is about 8 miles distance. The village of Penkridge has a local branch line rail station with infrequent connections from either Wolverhampton or Stafford, but there is no taxi rank. There is a taxi service in the village centre. The boatyard is 3 miles distance. For information about train timetables and ticket costs for all mainline rail transport please go to

By Air : From Birmingham International and East Midlands take a National Express coach or train to either Stafford or Wolverhampton then taxi the last 7 miles to the Marina. Taxis should be waiting outside stations / coach depot. Please see for details on national coach travel.

Gailey Cruising Map


Shropshire Union Canal & Return | The Four Counties Ring | The Caldon Canal & Return | The Black Country Ring | Stourport & Return

Shropshire Union Canal & returnShropshire Union Canal Cruising Route Map
7 nights, 6 hours per day, 58 locks

If this is your first time out or if you are just looking for a relaxing and easy time away from it all, this trip is ideal. Leaving Gailey, you head south down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to Autherley Junction, where you join the start of the Shropshire Union Canal (Shroppie).

You soon get to appreciate the contrast between the earlier ‘contour’ canal that you have just left and the gem that is the ‘Shroppie’. Your journey northwards towards the Cheshire Plains through the rural Shropshire countryside, takes in impressively deep cuttings, dramatic embankments and splendid architecture.

Market Drayton, Audlem and Nantwich are all delightful places to visit along the way, either on the way out or on the return leg of your journey. Finally though, you need to turn around and head back to Gailey, retracing your steps and enjoying the new perspective that cruising in this direction brings.

Four Counties RingThe Four Counties Ring Cruising Route Map
7 nights, 8.5 hours per day, 94 locks

A fascinating voyage of discovery and well worth the extra bit of effort! The journey takes you along the wonderfully rural Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to Great Haywood Junction where, passing under a distinctive roving bridge, you join the Trent and Mersey Canal heading north towards the Potteries and Peak District. The rolling Staffordshire countryside leads you to Stoke-on-Trent, the
Wedgewood Visitors Centre and the impressive 2926-yard long Harecastle Tunnel.

Beyond Harecastle the 13 miles to the salt town of Middlewich sees the canal descend 31 locks to the Cheshire Plains.

The short Middlewich arm links the Trent and Mersey Canal to the Shropshire Union Canal again through more glorious countryside. The scenery on the climb up ‘Heartbreak Hill’ to the summit at Kidsgrove is fantastic.

As well as sights of the potteries such as the Bottle Kilns at Etruria, the Wedgwood Pottery Centre at Barlaston is not to be missed. 01782 204218
The National Trust’s Shugborough Hall is a short walk from moorings at Great Haywood. 01889 881388


Caldon Canal and return The Caldon Canal Cruising Route Map
7 nights, 8 hours per day, 78 locks

As an alternative to the four counties ring, but equally energetic, you could follow the above route as far as Stoke-on-Trent where you branch off onto the Caldon Canal which must rate as one of the most delightful waterways in the country.

You will head up towards the Peak District and enter the Churnet Valley with its stunning countryside.

The canal terminates at Froghall where you turn and retrace your steps.

The Black Country RingThe Black Country Ring Cruising Route Map

7 Nights, 7 hours per day, 76 locks

This route is packed with options for family activities and also includes a rich mixture of canal scenery. Birmingham centre boasts the NIA, Symphony Hall and Brindley Place, all with canal frontage.

Encounter life as it was when the canals were built for commercial use at the Black Country ‘Living Museum’ at Tipton. 0121 557 9643

Amongst other attractions on the route are Dudley Zoo & Castle 01384 215313, Drayton Manor Park 01827 287979

Stourport & returnThe Stourport and return Cruising Route Map
7 Nights, 6 hours per day, 58 locks

This is a comfortable one week cruise to Stourport and back, along what is almost certainly one of England’s prettiest waterways. Throughout its length, this historic canal follows the local land contours as it winds its way south towards its junction with the River Severn at the unique inland port of Stourport. Along the way you pass the entrance to the Shropshire Union Canal, which heads northwards through Shropshire towards the Cheshire Plains.

As you continue south you soon reach Bratch Locks, which is a distinctive and unusual flight of three locks, together with an octagonal toll office. From here the canal adopts an even more rural aspect: secluded woodlands with rocky cliffs of red sandstone, give way to an area of quiet water meadows as you approach the outskirts of the carpet-manufacturing town of Kidderminster.

Kidderminster also hosts the southern terminus of the Severn Valley Steam Railway, which is well worth a half-day trip. Finally, you reach Stourport with its intriguing combination of engineering features and fine period buildings.

Customer Testimonial

I had to write and tell you what a wonderful time we had on one of your boats. We went from Union Wharf and found the whole experience fantastic. The standard of service shown by your staff and the quality of boat was amazing. None of us had ever been on a narrow boat before but by the time the training was over we felt confident to hit the canal. We had such a good time that even the weather did not matter. Will we be doing it again? Definitely YES! Will we go with you again? You Betcha!. Best regards, Tony Whitmore

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