Pershore is a traditional market town in the Vale of Evesham situated on the banks of the River Avon. There is a train station at Pershore, on the ‘Cotswold Line’ which enables direct travel into Oxford, Reading or Paddington (London).
Pershore is known for it’s 11th century Abbey which was plundered during the reign of Henry VIII and the town itself boasts some elegant Georgian architecture. The annual Pershore Plum Festival is held in August and a ‘Plum Princess’ is crowned every year. Just outside the town, Pershore Old Bridge spans the River Avon, originally built in 1413 by monks after their Abbot was drowned falling from stepping stones across the River.
Starting at this boat base gives you easy access to the lovely River Avon and to some of the most historic towns and villages in the United Kingdom such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester, Evesham and Tewkesbury, where in 1471 one of the decisive battles of the War of the Roses was fought. Here are some suggested routes:
Pershore to Stratford-upon-Avon & return (1 week – relaxed)
55 miles, 14 locks each way, approx. 21 hours in total*. From Pershore, the Avon takes you north-east through the rich and fertile countryside of South Worcestershire. Along the way you can visit the delightful market towns of Evesham and Bidford-on-Avon before finally arriving at Stratford-upon-Avon itself (birthplace of Shakespeare and home to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre). On your journey to Stratford you will almost certainly have earmarked places for exploration on the way back – something to look forward to as you embark on a return journey that will open up new perspectives of the delightful Warwickshire and Worcestershire countryside. *Travel down to Tewkesbury first for a visit to this interesting and historic town (add 9 hours to total cruising time, 3 locks each way). *Or maybe continue past Stratford-upon Avon and travel north up to Wilmcote a small village, which is listed in the Doomsday Book and where you will find Mary Arden’s house – home of Shakespeare’s mother. (add 8 hours to total cruising time and an extra 17 locks each way).
The Avon Ring (10 / 11 nights recommended, or an active 1 week route / leisurely 2 weeks)
109 miles, 131 locks, approx. 60 hours in total. This trip follows a route via the Rivers Severn and Avon to Stratford-upon-Avon, then north up the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal through the Lapworth Locks to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, where you will find some lengthy tunnels and the Tardebigge Flight. The Stratford-upon-Avon canal is characterised by its unique split bridges and barrel roofed cottages. The Worcester Birmingham Canal brings you towards Worcester through the rolling open countryside of North Worcestershire. Worcester is home to the Porcelain Museum, Cathedral and home of ‘Worcestershire Sauce’. From Worcester you join the River Severn, through the pretty town of Tewkesbury and back along the Avon to Pershore. This route gives you a bit of everything and is an excellent choice for the full narrowboating experience, with lots of interesting towns and villages thrown in. Please call us for a quote if you would like to hire this boat for 10 or 11 nights, thank you.
Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (1 week)
108 miles, 22 locks each way, approx. 43 hours in total. Passing through Tewkesbury, join the River Severn for a leisurely cruise past the historic City of Worcester, home to Royal Worcester Porcelain, English composer Sir Edward Elgar and Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire Sauce factory) then up to Stourport-on-Severn with it’s large canal basin, where you join the pretty Staffs. and Worcs. Canal. Here you will appreciate the contrast between the wide river and the more intimate atmosphere of the canal, which threads its way unobtrusively through the landscape, encouraging you to stop at will. This canal takes you past dramatic sandstone rocks and through narrow locks, past the bright face of Kidderminster Cathedral and to the pretty town of Kinver. You will probably want to turn at Stourton Junction, just after Kinver, in order to make the most of the return journey, which apart from opening up new views of the countryside, will give you a chance to visit some of the attractions you may have missed on the way up, such as the Severn Valley Railway, or the sandstone caves at Austcliffe.