Top 5 most impressive stately homes accessible from the waterways

29th March 2023

Built during the industrial revolution, canals in the UK are steeped in history. Many of the canal routes built during this time cut through the land of wealthy landowners, meaning that many of the country’s most opulent palaces and stately homes are easily accessible via the waterways. In this guide, we’ll take you through some of our favourite stately homes you can visit from the canal.

5. Westwood Manor

Set in the sleepy village of Avoncliff in Wiltshire, Westwood Manor may be the smallest residence on our list, but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in charm. Dating back to the 15th century, the manor house has been carefully restored and includes an impressive collection of musical instruments such as the Spinnet which dates back to the 16th Century. Other highlights include the immaculate topiary garden and tea rooms next door to the manor.

Westwood Manor by Canal

The village of Avoncliff is served by the Kennet & Avon Canal and is just a short distance away from Hilperton Marina. You could visit Westwood Manor on a number of our routes including Bristol and Return, Bradford on Avon or Bath and Return.

4. Baddesley Clinton

Baddesley Clinton is a Tudor house which belonged to the Ferrers family for over 500 years. The house is famous for its moat and parkland. During the Reformation, the house was used to hide Roman Catholic priests in priest holes located in the moat room and even in the privy!

Baddesley Clinton is packed full of history and character, with beautiful wood panelled rooms. In the summer, the house blooms with gorgeous Wisteria. The gardens aren’t to be missed either, with a recently restored kitchen and walled garden.

Baddesley Clinton by Canal

Located near the village of Lapworth, Baddesley Clinton is a short distance from Kingswood Junction, you could visit Baddesley Clinton on the route to Lapworth and Return from Alvechurch Marina.

3.Packwood House


Packwood House is another beautiful historic property set in the Forest of Arden, within walking distance of Baddesley Clinton. The Tudor property is famous for its collection of tapestries and 17th Century Yew Gardens. The house was lovingly restored to glory by its previous owner Graham Baron Ash, who donated the house to the National Trust in 1941.

Although the house has been standing since Elizabethan times, the character of the house has been described as Jacobean meets Edwardian.

Packwood House by Canal

As Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton are within walking distance of each other, they’re accessible from the same canal route, Lapworth and Return from Alvechurch Marina.  

2.Shugborough Hall

The impressive Shugborough Estate and grounds are full of treasures including a working farm, ancient woodlands and well-kept gardens. The house itself was home to the 5th Earl of Lichfield, Patrick Lichfield, a close friend of the royal family and fashion photographer known for his portraits in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Lichfield took photos of celebrities such as Jane Birkin, Yves Saint Laurent, Britt Ekland, Joanna Lumley, Mick Jagger and Kate Bush. In the 1960s the house was given to the National Trust however, Lichfield continued to hold an apartment in the house until his death in 2005.

The hall features luxurious state rooms that are beautifully decorated, perfectly preserved servants’ quarters and glamourous 20th century apartments. Outside you’ll marvel at the Georgian architecture, including the Chinese House, Doric Temple and romantic Follies.

Shugborough by Canal        

Shugborough Estate is set on the edge of Cannock chase and is accessible via the Trent and Mersey Canal just past the junction for the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. This is a short distance from Gailey Marina and Kings Orchard Marina. You can visit Shugborough on a number of routes including the Caldon Canal and Return, Tixall Wide & Return from Kings Orchard Marina  

1. Blenheim Palace

Arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in the UK, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. The ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is steeped in over 300 years worth of history, fantastic art work, sculptures and exhibitions.

But, the venue isn’t just home to historic artefacts. The palace holds a number of events throughout the year including food festivals, flower shows and concerts.

Blenheim by Canal

Only a short distance from Oxford, the Oxford Canal passes close to Blenheim Palace, making it a worthwhile stop on your canal boat holiday. You can visit Blenheim easily on the route to Oxford and Return trip from Gayton Marina or The Grand Ring from Aldermaston Wharf.

Cruising along the canal network you’re guaranteed to experience the history of the waterways, to embark on your own canal adventure, check out some of our featured routes or for more information contact our helpful team today.

< Back
Close Congrats You've Won! Congrats You Already Won! Spin to Win

We just need a few details to begin!

Use the code below to redeem your great savings at the checkout

Code expires 31st October 2024

Terms & conditions apply

Call 0808 1899 518 to redeem your prize