WITH the best of the summer months fast upon us, we explore some of the best canalside pubs to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a meal and a drink.

The Worcester and Birmingham Canal is a vital part of the gritty industrial heritage of the West Midlands but now it is increasingly a focus for leisure - walking, cycling and enjoying the waterside pubs and restaurants as the barges glide by in our post-industrial landscape.

Worcester News: HISTORY: Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) from Peaky Blinders - the show has generated renewed interest in the history of the region, including the Worcester and Birmingham Canal HISTORY: Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) from Peaky Blinders - the show has generated renewed interest in the history of the region, including the Worcester and Birmingham Canal (Image: Press Association)

Now the cargo is holidaymakers gliding along on narrowboats not the fruits of industry - a big change since it opened in 1815. There are plenty of places to stop for a drink and a bite to eat and take in the unique atmosphere of the canals.

Worcester News: CANAL: Festival of Water on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal CANAL: Festival of Water on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal (Image: Supplied)

The canal runs over 30 miles through some starkly contrasting landscapes - from the industrial core of Birmingham, through the green hills of Worcestershire to Worcester itself.

At its northern end, it joins the Birmingham Canal Main Line. The National Trust's Hanbury Hall can be reached from a walk across the fields from Astwood Bottom Lock while the Hanbury Junction marks the connection with the Droitwich Junction Canal, linked with the Droitwich Barge Canal which offers a route to the River Severn at Hawford.

Worcester News: HISTORY: The Anchor near Diglis Basin HISTORY: The Anchor near Diglis Basin (Image: Google)


The Anchor Inn

The Anchor Inn at Diglis Road, Worcester, is by Diglis Basin where the Worcester and Birmingham Canal meet. The Canal and River Trust describes the basin as a great starting point for exploring the canal and river.

The Anchor itself is open Monday to Saturday between 9.30am and 11pm and between 9.30am and 10pm on Sundays.

The pub is next to Diglis Basin and offers a range of starters such as Greek olives and salt and pepper calamari, salads including chicken caesar salad and baked camembert and main courses from fish and chips to ribeye steak. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about the Festival of Water coming to Worcester 

READ MORE: The Spry should come back to Diglis Basin says boat and ship enthusiast 

Worcester News: SCENIC: The Bridge at Tibberton SCENIC: The Bridge at Tibberton (Image: Google)


The Bridge at Tibberton

The Bridge in Plough Road, Tibberton, Droitwich, is described on TripAdvisor as a fantastic country pub on the edge of the pretty village of Tibberton.

The pub has a large beer garden which backs onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. A spokesperson for the pub said: "We have just undergone an extensive refurbishment and really pleased with how the pub looks."

The pub is dog and child friendly and serves food for lunch and dinner. There are vegetarian friendly and gluten free options.

Worcester News: LOCATION: Eagle and Sun by the canal in Droitwich LOCATION: Eagle and Sun by the canal in Droitwich (Image: Google)

The Eagle and Sun

The Eagle and Sun at Salt Way Hanbury Wharf, Droitwich, has been under New Management since November 2019.

The business offers a traditional Carvery and Steakhouse, 'good wine and fine real ales and a welcoming smile'. A spokesperson said on TripAdvisor: "Our aim is to bring you fresh, locally sourced, highest quality food from our kitchen direct to your table.

"Our Traditional Carvery has a choice of three meats and a variety of 14 fresh seasonal vegetables not forgetting our homemade Gravy and Yorkshire puddings." 

The carvery is served seven days a week Monday to Saturday with lunch between noon and 2.30pm and in the evenings between 6pm and 8:30pm. 

The Sunday Carvery is served all day between noon and  8.30pm. 

The Boat and Railway 

The Boat and Railway at Shaw Lane Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove offers 'great pub food and crisp, cool drinks'.

Dishes include hand-battered cod and chips and burgers such as 'The Ultimate Spicy Beef Burger' and grills and desserts.

The Queen's Head 

The Queen's Head pub and restaurant in Sugarbrook Lane, Stoke Pound, near Bromsgrove is located 'in a tranquil setting overlooking the water of one of Worcestershire's most beautiful canals'.

A spokesperson for the Queen's Head said on TripAdvisor: "As the sun sparkles on the water, kick back and relax with a glass of your favourite tipple and treat yourself to some gourmet fare." 

The Queens Head is described as a vibrant and welcoming space combining classic features such as Victorian floor tiles with beaten copper and the natural textures of wood and stone. The menu includes wood fired pizzas and barbeques and it is also a venue for live music.

Black Star

The Black Star at 1 Mitton Street, Stourport on Severn is a 'dog friendly pub serving an extensive menu of tasty food and a fine selection of real ales, local ciders and fruity gins'.

The Black Star reopened in October 2014 and now provides all the comforts of a traditional pub in a truly beautiful setting. It has a garden overlooking the canal and is just a short walk from the canal basin and Stourport town centre.