Canal ring


Canal ring

A canal ring is the name given to a series of canals that make a complete loop.

Origin of the Term

Whilst there have been canals which formed a ring for centuries, the ring terminology was unknown before the 1960s, when it was coined by the Inland Waterways Association as part of its campaign to save the Ashton Canal and Peak Forest Canal from closure as part of the Cheshire Ring.

Working boatmen of old were concerned with getting from A to B as fast as possible, or for the lowest toll, rather than in visiting more of the system, and what we now know as rings were simply alternative routes to them.

However, with the growth in the use of canals for leisure purposes, circular routes offered the leisure boater an opportunity to see twice as much of the system as was possible with an out and back cruise. Hire companies are keen to promote their proximity to Popular Cruising Rings.

Since the Cheshire Ring was born, ever more rings (and variants of them) have been created. The best known are those that can be completed in one or two weeks, although some three week rings (such as the Outer Pennine Ring) have been given names, and there are innumerable other possibilities to cruise the canals so as to never cover the same water twice that are unnamed.

Notable rings

The Netherlands

*Ringvaart

England

"See also Canals of Great Britain"
*Cheshire Ring
** Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal, Peak Forest Canal, Macclesfield Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal, Bridgewater Canal
*Four Counties Ring
** Trent and Mersey Canal, Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, Shropshire Union Canal
*Warwickshire ring
** BCN Main Line, Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal, Coventry Canal, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, Coventry Canal, Grand Union Canal
** The "Pure Warwickshire" (it isn't really) version omits last two, heading directly into Birmingham from Fazeley
* The Thames Ring / Great Ring
** River Thames, Oxford Canal, Grand Union Canal
*South Pennine Ring
** Rochdale Canal, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Huddersfield Broad Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Ashton Canal
*North Pennine Ring
** Rochdale Canal, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Aire and Calder Navigation, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Bridgewater Canal
*Outer Pennine Ring (Combines the North and South Pennine rings, omitting the section of the Rochdale canal that they share)
** Calder and Hebble Navigation, Aire and Calder Navigation, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Huddersfield Broad Canal
*Yorkshire Ring (Currently incomplete)
** Aire and Calder Navigation, Dearne and Dove Canal, Barnsley Canal, River Don Navigation, New Junction Canal
*Stourport Ring
** River Severn, Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, Stourbridge Canal, Dudley Canals, Birmingham Canal Navigations (Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal and Birmingham New Main Line), Worcester and Birmingham Canal
* Avon Ring
** River Avon, River Severn, Worcester and Birmingham Canal and Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
* Leicestershire Ring
** Trent and Mersey Canal, River Soar, Grand Union Canal, Coventry Canal, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, Coventry Canal (isolated section)


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