Wigrams Turn, situated in Napton, at the head of the Oxford Canal provides excellent bases to explore a large number of interesting routes.
The Warwickshire Ring, for the more energetic and experienced, contrasts the beautiful countryside around Warwick with city life and industry through Birmingham and Spaghetti Junction.
SNARESTONE & RETURN 106 MILES | 8 LOCKS
STOKE BRUERNE & RETURN 62 MILES | 60 LOCKS
THE WARWICKSHIRE RING 100 MILES | 95 LOCKS
OXFORD & RETURN 102 MILES | 78 LOCKS
Our favourite weekend cruising route from Wigrams is to Norton, via Braunston. It offers the fun of a Tunnel and Locks, with a sneaky visit to the Gongoozler’s Rest, a really quaint oating Café which serves a great breakfast Fry Up!
The start of the trip along the Grand Union Canal is a lock free, leisurely one taking approx. 2-3 hours with various moorings for picnics or BBQs on route; popular area for moorings is around Bridge 100. An overnight stop at Braunston offers four cosy pubs, two of which are on the canal side; The Boat House & The Admiral Nelson. There is also a Butchers, Fish & Chip and Spar Shop and two very well stocked Chandlers. A walk up to All Saints Church will offer some lovely views over the Northamptonshire skyline.
The next morning would be a more energetic one via 6 Double Width Locks before heading into the Braunston Tunnel, a two way tunnel measuring 2042 yards - there is no towpath through the tunnel, as before motored boats the boatmen would have “legged” their craft through the tunnel. An alternative path can be found over the top of the tunnel for those that wish to stretch their legs.
Just a little further along from Braunston Tunnel the Grand Union Canal arrives at Norton Junction which is where we turn around, returning to Wigrams. You could however continue your journey to either Leicester or Market Harborough, via the Foxton Locks on the Leicester Arm or on the Grand Union towards Weedon and Whilton via the 7 locks at Buckby.