Beatrice uses two routes on the Caldon Canal, both through a beautiful part of the rural Staffordshire Moorlands. One is from the mooring at the Cheddleton Flint Mill (near Leek) to Consall Forge, and, if time allows, beyond to the end of the canal at Froghall; the other is to Denford and along the Leek branch. Both routes involve locks - four each way to Consall (and an extra one to Froghall), three through Denford - and passengers are encouraged to help with the locks.
School parties usually take the Leek branch route and often have their lunch in the playground of the Hollybush Inn, Denford - and as a special treat order some chips on the way there. If time allows (they have to be back at school in time to be picked up) they may get as far as the Leek Tunnel.
The shortest possible run is to the top of the Hazlehurst Locks and back, without a stop for a meal. This takes 2 and a half hours. More usual, for schools, is the trip to the aquaduct above the Hollybush, which takes (with a half hour break) about 3 hours. Tunnel pool and back can take 5 hours or longer, depending on the break.
Other parties may go towards Consall and Froghal - our longest run is a return trip to the end of the canal, through the Froghall tunnel, and this takes at least 6 hours. A trip to the Black Lion, Consall, and back takes 4 hours.
On both the Froghall and Leek routes there are a number of very attractive mooring points to take a break and stretch your legs.