Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

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rmurphy195
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Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby rmurphy195 » 15 May 2019, 5:17pm

I'm looking for a cycle route from Earlswood - Stratford (on Avon!) avoiding the A3400.

The canal towpath is the obvious choice for (most of) the journey, however some section that I have tried recently (e.g. near Hockley Heath) are very poor compared to other sections (e.g. near Lapworth) which are very good.

I use a Tourer and mayhap sometimes a Brompton, I no longer have an MTB - and I'm simply no longer confident/competent ebough to deal with rougher sections.

So - given the above, anyone have any ideas of sections that I should bypass? (OS maps don't give much information about the state of the towpath!)

Thanks in advance - Richard
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robgul
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby robgul » 15 May 2019, 5:36pm

I ride around this area a lot (in fact have been today) - our club meets at Earlswood and I live at Stratford

My advice would be to stay off the canal towpaths as they are very variable with some "legal no go" sections and "reality no go" bits. I'd head for Hockley Heath, along the Warwick Road for a bit then R just beyond Lapworth and then to Lowsonford, Pinley Green, east of Claverdon, Wolverton, Snitterfield, Ingon lane and R onto the Warwick Road into SuA. The stretch of Warwick Road into SuA gets a bit busy but nothing frightening - the remainder of the roads are no problem.

Hope that helps - if you want to PM an email addy I'll send you a .gpx file.

Rob

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mjr
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby mjr » 15 May 2019, 5:47pm

https://cycle.travel/map?from=Valley+Ro ... -upon-Avon suggests a more westerly approach. What do you think of that?
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 15 May 2019, 5:53pm

I've cycled pretty much all the Stratford Canal - it tends to be fairly raw and rural. It's ok around Lapworth as far south as Lowsonford, and obviously this section past the locks is very pretty! The final stretch from Wilmcote into Stratford is part of NCN 5 and is good. Otherwise it's mostly singletrack and wouldn't be much fun on a Brompton or a hybrid.
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rmurphy195
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby rmurphy195 » 15 May 2019, 9:08pm

Thanks for the advice all, looks like the canal is more trouble than its worth - and you've already answered Plan B! I've explored some of the lanes (out to Henley/Lapworth) since moving the Wythall recently, and the info and resources you've pointed me to open up more possibilities thanks.

I didn't realise there were still Legal nogo stretches of canal these days, It was a relief (some time ago!) when I no longer needed the canal licence so I thought they'd all been opened-up to cycle traffic.

Back to the OS map methinks using your pointers (its half the fun).

robgul - I've sent you a pm, may give my eTrex a try, its much underused at present!
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robgul
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby robgul » 16 May 2019, 7:04am

rmurphy195 wrote:Thanks for the advice all, looks like the canal is more trouble than its worth - and you've already answered Plan B! I've explored some of the lanes (out to Henley/Lapworth) since moving the Wythall recently, and the info and resources you've pointed me to open up more possibilities thanks.

I didn't realise there were still Legal nogo stretches of canal these days, It was a relief (some time ago!) when I no longer needed the canal licence so I thought they'd all been opened-up to cycle traffic.

Back to the OS map methinks using your pointers (its half the fun).

robgul - I've sent you a pm, may give my eTrex a try, its much underused at present!


No problem - I'll get on the case this evening. The "no go" canal bit is very close to Stratford canal basin where narrow stairs beside the locks make it unrealistic for bikes.

Rob

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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby pwa » 16 May 2019, 11:31am

Regarding the legality bit, I have a feeling that some of the "canal" in the Stratford on Avon area is in fact canalised river and is under the control of a body separate from the Inland Waterways Association, and even canal boaters have to pay a fee (on top of the usual licence) to use it.
Last edited by pwa on 16 May 2019, 11:38am, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 16 May 2019, 2:24pm

All of the canal is administered by the Canal & River Trust, like most canals. Navigation on the River Avon is administered by the Avon Navigation Trust who do issue a separate licence for boats.
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robgul
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby robgul » 20 May 2019, 8:16pm

.gpx sent a few minutes ago for a cycle friendly route from Red Lion at Earlswood to Stratford Marina.

I would avoid the canal idea completely - today I was cajoled by a friend to ride from the aqueduct near Bearley to Stratford along the canal - the first section to Wilmcote was like a cyclo-cross track and the section from Wilmcote into SuA is OK to cycle BUT was closed for a section (with no warning until you got to a large fence about half way along blocking the whole path)

I now know why I don't ride on the canal paths.

Rob

rmurphy195
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Re: Canal Route Earlswood-Stratford - Towpath Surface

Postby rmurphy195 » 21 May 2019, 5:45pm

Looks good Rob, thanks.

When I've managed to expand my distance (getting back to some level of cycling fitness!) I'll have a go at this one, the route looks interesting. Might take my "usual" route to Hockley Heath or Lapworth and join the route there.

And might even tag onto one of the club rides when I'm confident about managing a decent average spped!

Thaks again - Richard
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and grey hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !