As you can see from the above, we will be traveling on parts of four different canal systems. The most "historic" is the Staffordshire and Worcestershire which was opened in 1772 and is one of the earliest canals to be completed.
Most of the ring is open rural countryside but there are the industrial parts, such as up near Stoke on Trent where Royal Doulton and other famous china and pottery is made. The industry here was closely linked with the development of the canals as a safer way of getting their fragile product to market than the rough and rugged road of the time. (We may have to stop there for some small amount of retail therapy. :)
North of Stoke on Trent we will be going through the Harecastle Tunnel which takes about 45 minutes to get through. That should be quite an experience for someone who is claustrophobic. I'll keep you posted.
We will also be cruising over a few aqueducts during our journey. That is always a special feeling knowing you are up there above everyone in a "fake" river.
As you can see from above there are 92 locks for me to do during this journey. From what I have read, the most that I will be doing at one time is a 15 lock flight at Audlem. Yep, 15. Can we say Brownie Points?
There's the Reader's Digest version. Details to follow. :)