The Boat Inn is an attractive 19th century pub at the heart of the tiny village of Catherine-de-Barnes on the Grand Union Canal. In rural surroundings yet with easy access to the M42 and the North Warwickshire countryside, this welcoming village inn is a delightful location for a delicious pub lunch.
With its prominent location at the heart of the village, alongside the cricket pitch and the village hall, The Boat Inn is a charming pub restaurant with an extensive beer garden close to the Grand Union Canal, the last chance of mooring up on the waterway from Napton to Birmingham’s Gas Street Basin.
While the present building dates back to the late 1800’s, parts of the pub are much older. The Boat Inn, which has been serving the residents of ‘Catney Barnes’ as it is known locally, for hundred of years, once boasted its own wharves and stables, and would have been a welcome sight for the navvies employed in building the canal, which was ceremonially opened on the 19th December 1799.
With roaring fires in winter and a large beer garden for the summer months, this delightful village inn is the ideal location for a relaxing Sunday lunch or a drink with friends after a walk along the canal towpath, or exploring the surrounding countryside. Once part of the densely wooded ancient Forest of Arden, Catherine-de-Barnes is named for the 12th century lord of the manor of Langdon, Ketelberne, and stands on leafy Hampton Lane, connecting Solihull with the pretty villages of Hampton-in-Arden and Meriden, the geographic centre of England. A medieval wayside cross on Meriden village green marks the spot. The 100-mile Heart of England Way crosses Meriden through rural Warwickshire, linking the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with the Cotswolds AONB.Read more...
Just three miles west of The Boat Inn stands the scheduled Ancient Monument of Hobs Moat, the moated remains of a medieval fortified manor house once inhabited by the de Odingsells, lords of the manor of what is now Solihull.
A short distance further afield, 7 miles south of Catherine-de-Barnes, lies Baddesley Clinton, a stunningly well-preserved 13th century Grade I listed moated manor house now owned by the National Trust. Home of the Ferrers family for over 500 years, this magnificent medieval manor has attractive courtyards and gardens, and the house features several priest holes where persecuted Catholic priests could escape detection. The surrounding estate offers lovely country walks, and is intersected by both The Heart of England Way and the Grand Union Canal, by means of which visitors can reach another National Trust gem in the area, Packwood House.
Lovingly restored in the 1930’s by the son of a wealthy Birmingham industrialist, Packwood House is a 16th century farmhouse extensively remodelled in Tudor style, boasting a magnificent Great Hall and Long Gallery with an outstanding Flemish tapestry collection. But it is the grounds that most visitors marvel at, famous for the 350-year-old Yew Garden, representing the Sermon on the Mount.
Less than 3 miles from The Boat Inn and Catherine-de-Barnes is the site of the National Motorcycle Museum, holding the world’s largest collection of British motorcycles, including many examples of historic bikes once manufactured nearby at factories like Norton in Birmingham and Triumph in Meriden.
With so much to see and do in the area, The Boat Inn at Catherine-de-Barnes is the ideal base from which to explore the historic houses, canals, countryside and pretty villages of North Warwickshire, or enjoy a shopping trip to Birmingham’s world-famous Bullring shopping centre and the Jewellery Quarter, with over 100 specialist jewellery retailers and workshops.
Whatever the reason for your visit to this historic part of the West Midlands, there’s no better way to start or finish a day out than with some delicious pub food, cask ales and fine wines at The Boat Inn. Relax with friends and family, and enjoy a sumptuous Sunday roast or a seasonal special in picturesque surroundings at this welcoming 19th century village inn.Show less...