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Navigation from midlands to the south east

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to navigate from the Cheshire/Manchester area to my home town on the river stort?
I will be buying a boat next year to live aboard and there is not much choice in my home area but plenty in the midlands, if I could buy there and be sure I could navigate down to the lee/stort I would save on haulage and the trip would be much more fun. Also there is the question of size limitation, I would like to get a boat of around 57' x 10' but I believe that there are some narrow canals in places on the way so a wide beam may be the wrong choice for me. If anyone has made this trip or just parts of it and can help I would much appreciate some advice.

Asked by: Carole  | 9.24am, Sunday 11 November

WW says:

From Cheshire/Manchester to the Lee and Stort, the short answer is no. The narrow canals in thenetwork prevents transit across for a wide boat.. For more details pick up a copy of the WW Annual, which has a map of all UK navigations and their widths, which will give you a better idea of where you could stay from. Even on some of the wider beam canals, taking a wide boat along is not something that is always easy.

Mark Langley  | 10.21AM, Sunday 11 November

it would be possible to get from the Stort up the Grand Union to Birmingham with a wide boat. The tunnels would need to be booked, but not a difficult journey for an experienced boater, but probably not an easy experience for a novice.
A narrowboat would be easier to buy, since there is a wide choice available, and gives you access to much more of the connected network.

Rupert Smedley  | 9.48AM, Monday 12 November

Readers say:

Thank you Mark & Rupert for your helpful advice, on doing a little more research (with your help) We have decided to stick with a 6' 6" beam and are looking to go for a 45" to 55" NB all I need to do now is make sure the lock are long enough! I know lock 13 at Roydon and chat the the people in the old lock keepers cottage and they tell me that the ledge in the lock has caused a few problems in the past so will try and find more info on that.
Again thank you for your help and advice

Carole  | 7.27PM, Friday 23 November

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