Teddesley Boat Company Ltd

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4 Counties Ring

Teddesley is the perfect starting point for the Four Counties Ring (the counties being Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and (briefly) the West Midlands). This delightful cruise offers and interesting contrast between the 'contour' Brindley canals of the Staffs and Worc's and Trent and Mersey canals and the more modern (1835) Shropshire Union canal. The 'Shroppie', as it is affectionately known, was built by Thomas Telford and rather than twisting and turning, takes a more direct route with impressive cuttings and embankments. This ring may be completed in a week for the more energetic (100 miles and 90 locks) but can be combined with a visit to the picturesque Caldon canal or Llangollen for a fortnights cruise.

The ring is predominantly rural, but there is a fascinating gllimpse into the canal's original purpose at the famous 'Potteries' of Stoke-on-Trent. Here, for a few hours you can appreciate the industrial archaeology as you survey old bottle kilns and creep past old wharves and warehouses. There are several pottery outlets beside the canal as well as an opportunity to visit the Wedgewood factory at Barlaston.
The famous flight of 'Cheshire locks' enables you to feel a sense of achievement as you cruise through lush Cheshire pastureland. As its name suggests, Market Drayton offers an opportunity to do some country shopping, perhaps tasting the delights of its famous gingerbread. Stone is another market town alomg the route, famous for its connection with the canal, being the historic headquarters of the original Trent and Mersey Canal Company. Its pedestrianised high street has a wealth of gift shops and some great places to eat if you want a rest from the galley.