RIVERS & WATERWAYS
Worcestershire’s Vale and Spa could easily stake claim to having one of the best provisions of waterways in the country, with multiple rivers and a fantastic canal allowing for fantastic exploration of the area by water.
The canal at Droitwich Spa
Opportunities for boaters and waterways-lovers were greatly enhanced back in 2011 with the re-opening of the Droitwich Barge Canal and Droitwich Junction Canal, creating links with the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. This significant infrastructure investment now allows for a new cruising ring for boaters and a weekend will allow ample time to complete the Mid-Worcestershire ring, passing through some beautiful picturesque villages too. For more on the history of the Droitwich Canal, visit the Canal & River Trust’s website.
Boaters – please note the Canal & River Trust states
“The navigable culvert under the M5 has exceptionally low headroom. Although the airdraught is nominally 6ft (1.8m), it can vary according to the flow from the Body Brook into the canal. Check the gauge at the culvert portal before trying to go through. The three locks descending from Hanbury Junction have working side ponds. Please use these to conserve water — follow the instructions on site. You can download a useful boating map for Droitwhich from the waterway routes webpage.”
Walking the canals
The Droitwich Canal is a haven for walkers with level footing (excluding the lock flights), beautiful scenery, and various opportunities to enjoy local food and drink at waterside pubs.
The quality towpaths allow for comfortable walking all year round allowing for chances to witness a mix of wildlife. Vines Park in Droitwich Spa is a lovely area to relax for a period where you can sit back, enjoy a picnic, or pop into the town centre, all before continuing your journey.
Cycling the canals
Like for walkers, the generally level surface is a significant contributing factor as to why over 21 million cyclist visits are made each year to canals and rivers.
Cyclists don’t require a permit to use their bikes on any of the towpaths although it’s recommended that Greenways Code for Towpaths is reviewed before setting off on your two-wheeled journey. The Canal & Rivers Trust have produced a handy guidance document for cyclists.
The source of the River Avon – the largest river to meander through Worcestershire’s Vale and Spa – is near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire. Near-by, the river flows through Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon before reaching our towns of Evesham and Pershore.
It continues it’s journey down to Tewkesbury where it joins the River Severn. From 2 miles upstream of Stratford-upon-Avon, then downstream to Tewkesbury, the River Avon is navigable by the construction of locks and weirs, providing they have a maximum length of 72ft (21.94m), beam of 13ft 6in (4.11m), height of 10ft (3.04m) and a draught of 4ft (1.18m).
Casual boaters may be encouraged to learn that the river traffic is now exclusively leisure oriented and overnight moorings are available within Worcestershire’s Vale and Spa at Harvington, Offenham, Evesham, Craycombe, Wyre, Pershore, Defford, Comberton, Birlingham and Eckington. Whilst meandering through the tranquil countryside, be sure to look out for the riverside villages of Fladbury, Cropthorne and Charlton – all best enjoyed at a gentle pace.
Canoeing and kayaking
If you’re keen to get closer to the action, perhaps experiencing the waterways by canoe or kayak would be appealing? You’ll struggle to find an activity that gets you closer to the water but also give you fantastic exercise at the same time. Within Worcestershire’s Vale and Spa, there area a number of clubs that will help those interested in starting their new adventure.
Upton Warren Canoe and Kayak Club
Aztec Adventure Limited - Upton Warren Activity Centre
Wychavon Kayak and Canoe Club
Fladbury Paddle Club
Recreation Ground Fladbury Pershore WR10 2QW firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoying the Waterways
For the more adventurous visitors, there are a variety of activities for water-lovers. Whether it be on the river or specialist lakes, there is plenty of fun to be had. Below are some of the opportunities available.
Aztec Adventure (Lower Moor)
Situated just off the A44 in the tranquil village of Lower Moor. Enjoy a wide range of watersports in a crystal clear, spring-fed lake. Perfect for both beginners and improvers.
The centre is officially accredited by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), for the teaching of windsurfing and sailing and British Canoe Union (BCU) Instructors for the teaching of paddle sports.
To talk to a member of the Aztec (Lower Moor) team please call 01386 860013. Or e-mail email@example.com
Aztec Adventure (Upton Warren)
Situation just off junction 5 of the M5 Motorway, in the village of Upton Warren. Enjoy water sports and land based activities. The 20 acre lake is perfect for both learners and improvers looking to develop their skills on the water. This centre is accredited by The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Canoeing and Adventure Activity Licencing Authority (AALA)
To talk to a member of the Aztec (Upton Warren) team please call 01527 861426 (Monday – Friday 9am – 4.30pm. Weekend office hours 10.00 – 16.00 on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from April till September only, Office closed from October till March on weekend) Emergencies / Out of office hours – 07796 986073 Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Aztec Adventure – The Aqua Park
Worcestershire Aqua Park is based at the Aztec (Upton Warren) Activity Centre. The Aquaglide Aqua Park can accommodate up to 100 guests at any one time, taking on the challenges on a floating Aqua Park. The Aqua Park will be open 7 days a week from Saturday 5th May 2018 until Sunday 30th September 2018, session times are available on the online booking page.
Pershore Riverside Youth Centre
Teaming up with local provider Bonkers Activities, the Riverside Youth Centre can provide a range of water-based activities including stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, katakanu, bell-boat and plenty more. In addition, Bonkers can arrange several options for trips on the River Avon around the Pershore area.
For more information, visit www.bonkersactivities.co.uk
Boat Trip and Hire
To gain a different perspective of our beautiful area, why not consider experiencing the district by river? Boat hire is available along stretches of the rivers, or for those preferring to remove any hassle, consider boarding one of the numerous trips instead. Information on all can be found below.
Avon Leisure Cruises
Operating from the east side of Workman Gardens, Evesham. www.avonleisurecruises.co.uk
The Handsam Boat Company
Operating from Abbey Park. Boat trips and boat hire available from the end of March through to mid October.