The reopening of the Droitwich canals in 2011, 70 years after they were abandoned, has created a new 21-mile circular route. This route, the only ring on the network that can be comfortably negotiated in a weekend, takes in the River Severn, Droitwich Barge Canal, Droitwich Junction Canal and the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
Starting in Worcester, often thought of as one of England's finest 'shire' towns, you’ll get the chance to visit heritage attractions including a cathedral, Tudor House Heritage Centre, and Greyfriars - a 15th century merchant's house preserved by the National Trust. The city is built on the banks of the Severn, which then travels north, joining the Droitwich Barge Canal at Hawford, a sleepy hamlet notable for its crooked dovecote, the last remnant of a former medieval monastic grange.
The Droitwich Barge Canal then travels alongside the River Salwarpe and passes through Porter’s Mill, Ladywood and Salwarpe before arriving in Droitwich. The Droitwich Barge Canal originally opened in 1771 to carry the salt which has been extracted at the town since prehistoric times. Planned by the great canal builder James Brindley, the canal was constructed to provide a more reliable route than the River Salwarpe - which it runs almost parallel to.
Just past Droitwich you’ll Join the Droitwich Junction Canal and travel about a mile and a half before reaching the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
Leaving the Droitwich Junction Canal you’ll then travel southwest along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal for nine and a half miles back down to your start in Worcester. On the way you will pass through Dunhampstead Tunnel and pass the picturesque villages of Tibberton and Oddingly.