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Canalside Walk, Alrewas

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published November 12th 2015
Enjoy The Boats and Breathe Fresh Air On Canal Trek
At more than 90 miles in length, the Trent and Mersey Canal clearly stretches too far to navigate in its entirety - unless you happen to be in a canal-boat.

Trent & Mersey Canal, Alrewas
A couple of boats on the Trent & Mersey Canal

So for those of us looking to explore on two legs, it is probably advisable to choose a less daunting challenge and concentrate on just a short stretch of this inland waterway that passes through the Midlands and North West England.

Alrewas, Trent & Mersey Canal
The view looking back towards Alrewas village

So it was that I found myself in the attractive Staffordshire village of Alrewas, which also has the added attraction of the River Trent alongside parts of the canal, and no shortage of excellent pubs to enjoy regardless of the weather.

Alrewas, Trent and Mersey Canal
One of the bridges over the waterway

The Trent and Mersey Canal, built to link the River Trent to the River Mersey, runs from Shardlow in Derbyshire to Preston Brook in Cheshire, with Alrewas situated some 23 miles from the Shardlow end.

The 10 mile stretch that takes in Alrewas passes between Burton upon Trent and Fradley Junction, which is also where the Trent and Mersey Canal meets up with the Coventry Canal.

Alrewas, Trent & Mersey Canal
The village gardens come right to the water's edge

Although originally built to transport freight, the only craft seen on the canal nowadays are pleasure boats, of which plenty are regularly moored at Alrewas, perhaps attracted by the pubs or possibly the numerous old houses and 14th century church.

Trent and Mersey Canal, Alrewas
The Trent & Mersey Canal with Alrewas church in the background

Parking up in the centre of Alrewas, I decided to join the canal towpath close to the impressive parish church after enjoying a brief stroll through the older part of the village.

Alrewas, Trent & Mersey Canal
Why way shall I go?

I headed off in the direction of Preston Brook, but had more limited goals in mind rather than the near 70 mile distance to Cheshire.

The mile or so stretch takes you past the back gardens of houses bordering the canal, and there is also a lock just outside the village - with a couple of benches from which to enjoy any passing water traffic.

Alrewas, Trent and Mersey Canal
The main lock on the Alrewas stretch

Further along is a pedestrian bridge which passes over the river and where you can look for birds among the vegetation along the riverbank.

Alrewas, Trent and Mersey Canal
An artificial barrier ensures boats avoid the weir

And a little further beyond that was a cordoned-off weir ensuring that boats steered left to both avoid the danger and continue their journey north to Cheshire.

It also seemed an appropriate place to turn round and head back to Alrewas and one of those welcoming pubs.
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Why? A Beautiful Canalside Walk In Delightful Village
When: All year
Where: Kings Bromley Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7DB
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Beautiful photos! I'll definitely put this on my 'to do' list when I next visit the UK.
by Carolyn Hopping (score: 2|962) 2386 days ago
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