Trips on Beatrice usually start around 10 in the morning from our mooring at the Cheddleton Flint Mill. School trips last at least two-and-a-half hours but will be back at Cheddleton in time for the bus back to school. Just tell the skipper when you need to be back. Non-school runs can last up to seven hours. Beatrice does not operate in the colder months so we have traditionally worked between April and October. But if the boat does not need to go for its winter hull treatment we can arrange for trips in March or November.
Groups can choose which direction to take:
- Froghall and back (including Froghall tunnel) taking up to 7 hours, with a break
- Leek, nearly, and back (including Leek tunnel) taking up to 5 hours, again, with a break
Shorter runs include, on the Froghall branch, a trip to Consall. Or, the other way, perhaps to the Denford Aqueduct. Schools normally opt for the Leek Branch run but both directions offer the opportunity for passengers to help to work the locks. This is particularly popular with the children. The Leek route involves 6 locks (3 up, 3 down) and a trip to Froghall includes 10 (5 up and 5 down) but only 4 each way to Consall. Evening trips in June and July can be arranged.
The galley has a kettle, a small microwave and a fridge, so groups can prepare and serve their own drinks and snacks. There is a toilet equipped for those with disabilities. A lift is provided for those who find steps difficult. Up to four wheel chair users can be accommodated on each outing. Group numbers are restricted to a maximum of 12, including teachers/support staff. We have no rubbish facilities, so groups are asked to take their’s home with them.
Groups taking the Leek route can arrange for a stop at the Hollybush at Denford. In the other direction the Black Lion at Consall is popular, as is Hetty’s Tea Shop at Froghall.
Non-school trips make a valuable contribution to the cost of running and maintaining Beatrice, so that she can continue to serve people, particularly children, with disabilities. School trips take priority and so school-days between Easter and the summer holiday are not usually available for other bookings. Schools take up most of September but some days are usually free in October.
A contribution of at least £130 on weekdays (and £150 at weekends) is suggested for each outing. There is no charge for school trips. And donations are always most welcome.
Please note that Beatrice is always hired out with our crew to operate the boat. This is essential to ensure her safety and availability for school trips. She is not available for self-drive hire.
This includes Contact Details, Joining Arrangements, Facilities, Conduct of Parties, Safety Matters and a Risk Assessment
Our mooring is in Cheddleton, on the A520 between Leek and Wetley Rocks. The postcode is ST13 7EE. At the bottom of the hill on the main road, follow the sign into the small entry for Cheddleton Flint Mill. On the right coming from Leek, on the left coming from Wetley Rocks. Follow the track to the left of the large former mill building, along the canal side. Please take care. This is narrow and shared by walkers. The car park is at the end of the track, adjacent to the the Flint Mill buildings. Our crew will be on hand to unlock the gate if it is not already open.