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Gateway to gorgeous rolling Cheshire countryside

First in our series about interesting things you’ll come across while cruising out of our marinas – first up, Worcester

The Worcester & Birmingham Canal (or W&B as it’s fondly known) packs a lot of holiday punch for a relatively teeny waterway. 30 miles long, with 58 locks and 4 tunnels, this exciting channel also features Tardebigge Locks, all 30 of them, which makes for an energetic morning’s work!

The city of Worcester itself has a fine cathedral dating from 1074 and some lovely Georgian buildings too, while at the other end of the canal is Bournville, aka chocolate central.

One of the most popular routes out of Worcester is the Stratford-on-Avon Canal, straight to the home town of the bard himself. The countryside is just lovely although with 54 locks, you’ll need a few days to get to your destination. Meander near villages with quaint names like Wootton Wawen where the unique layout of the Bearley Aqueduct means you look up at boats as they pass you by.

Moor up in Stratford Basin alongside the River Avon and treat yourself to an evening of culture at the Royal Shakespeare Company. If culture isn’t your thing, then head over to the MAD Museum, described as “a mixture of Wallis and Gromit, Heath Robinson and Scrapheap Challenge”. This museum (Mechanical Art & Design) offers the whole family a chance to experience and interact with all kinds of machines, from robots to marble runs. Or if you fancy a bit of magic in your life (don’t we all!), then “Magic Alley” in the Bell Court Shopping Centre offers wands, spells, Butterbeer and dragons’ eggs, plus ‘potions to go’ from the Golden Broomstick – go on, you know you want to!