100 locks, 117 miles, around 60 hours
Probably the most popular ring on the inland waterways, The Four Counties mixes rural scenery and pretty villages the industrial architecture of the Potteries. There are visitor attractions for all age groups.

Three canals form the Four Counties – Trent & Mersey, Staffs & Worcs and the Shropshire Union. The “Shroppie” was one of the last canals to be built and advances in engineering allowed it to be cut into the sandstone and on raised embankments. The cuttings abound with arched trees over the canal and the embankments allow great views over quiet grazing land.

Some of the many attractions:

  • Etruria, near Stoke – Ski World, China Gardens and Waterworld
  • Kidsgrove – Harecastle Tunnel. 2670 metres in length, taking 45 minutes to navigate
  • Stone – billed as the Canal Town. It offers pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes
  • Market Drayton – the home of gingerbread

Cruising for eight hours a day, the Ring can be completed in a week, but to take in the many attractions a two week trip is recommended bringing your daily cruising down to a more relaxed five hours.