narrow boats at great haywood junction
canal locks
Great Haywood Junction Canalside Cafe 2017-10-06T22:24:28+00:00

Canalside Boating

Our Local Waterways

Canalside Farm, Shop and Café is located on the banks of the Trent and Mersey Canal, where it meets the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, at the historic Great Haywood Junction (Britain’s busiest canal intersection!). The mighty River Trent, which winds its way north to join the Humber Estuary 185 miles away, also runs close by.

Together these waterways have played a major role in shaping the history of Staffordshire and Britain’s rise as an industrial nation. Today they offer a wonderful way to explore the beauty and tranquility of our countryside and its wildlife, a far cry from their hectic past and the stresses and strains of modern day life.

The Trent and Mersey Canal is one of Britain’s oldest and most loved waterways. It runs 93 miles through some of the region’s most breath-taking scenery, historic architecture and magnificent engineering feats including the impressive Anderton Boat Lift and Harecastle Tunnels.

The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal forms part of the inland waterways most popular canal rings, The Four Counties Ring’ and ‘The Black County Ring’. These picturesque cruising routes include a total of 175 locks and run through the county’s most celebrated areas – Cannock Chase and the Potteries.

The River Trent, Britain’s third longest river, has a long and colourful past. Evidence suggests it was navigated as far back as the Bronze Age, whilst the Danes and Anglo-Saxons used it to invade England! Today it is the focus of fishing enthusiasts and conservationists whose tireless work has seen the return of many species to its waters including salmon and otters.

Things To Do

We are often asked by visitors how they can explore the local area by boat, so would like to give you a few ideas which have also been recommended by our customers!

Hire a narrowboat for a day, weekend or week

It is hard to think of a more unique and exhilarating way of experiencing the English countryside than from a traditional narrowboat. Their origins go back to the 18th century when they were specifically built for carrying goods on the narrow canals where locks and bridge holes had a minimum width of 7 feet (2.1 m).

Today’s narrowboats are built for comfort and offer a relaxing home from home from which to discover the Staffordshire countryside. Anglo Welsh are our friendly neighbours who are specialists in narrowboat hire for a holiday or a day!

friends canoeing on river

Discover our local waterways by your own steam!

It is possible to explore Staffordshire’s waterways in your own boat, canoe or kayak however a licence is required. One can be obtained from the Canal and River Trust, or if you are a member of Canoe England you are already entitled to paddle on 4,500 miles of the country’s waterways!

Once you have your licence and have planned a route, you can park your car on our Farm and in seconds carry your boat down to the Canal to begin your adventure! Alternatively, you can visit us during your journey as you take a well deserved rest and refuel at our Café! We have easy access into/out-of the Canal and you can store your boat safely on our premises whilst you are visiting us.