The Four Counties Ring is a canal ring that links the English counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands and is ideal for boaters with some experience. The ring traverses parts or all of five canals. These canals are listed below, in anti-clockwise order from Middlewich Junction.
The Four Counties Ring offers a wide variety from easy lock free days to the challenge of negotiating Harecastle tunnel (2670metres long and said to be haunted!) and the aptly named 'Heartbreak Hill's' flight of 26 locks from Wheelock to Hardingswood Junction. It takes in the traditional industry of the Potteries, the majestic Shugborough Estate at Great Haywood on the Trent and Mersey and the picturesque towns of Market Draytonand Nantwich.
The route is some 110 miles long, including 89 locks and 2 tunnels. Allow two weeks cruising to complete the Avon Ring (although experienced boats cruising for 8 hour days could do it in one week).