starting point for everything and “anything” you could wish for..

Just south of Birmingham may not be the first destination you search for, however, there are riches to be found in all directions to suit all tastes.

It’s possible to take no less than six different ring routes from Alvechurch Marina, each one sure to amaze with the added benefit of not having to track back along the same route.

You can kick off the challenge straight away by tackling the Tardebigge Locks (the longest flight of locks in the UK) comprising no less than 30 narrow locks on a two-and-a-quarter-mile (3.6 km) stretch of the Worcester and Birmingham Canalless than 4 miles from the marina. It raises the waterway an amazing 220 feet (67 m) and is sure to test the very hardiest of adventurers.

Stratford-upon-Avon (home of the Bard) dates back as far as the 7th century and is both a pleasure trip and cultural delight, rich with history and everything that is William Shakespeare. Check out the town’s website, here.

You may wish to cruise the beautiful countryside, taking in plenty of picture-postcard villages as you venture towards the Cotswold town of Tewkesbury – site of a famous and decisive battle in 1471 during the “war of the roses”. There are also many festivals and fairs throughout the year; check out this link and plan your trip.

If history, ancient battles and Shakespeare is not your thing, why not head to England’s second city, Birmingham.

With its rich industrial heritage, fabulous shopping and a myriad of dining and entertainment venues there is something to suit all the family.  And for the kids or chocoholics among you, be your very own Willy Wonka with a stop at Cadbury World (be sure to book in advance). There’s so much to see and do, it would be a real shame to miss out. Take a look at Visit Birmingham’s website for inspiration.