The Cheshire Ring

Ring Stats

102 miles
approx. 55hrs

Celebrate the re-opening of the Trent & Mersey Canal following the canal breach last year, and go on a boating holiday on the Cheshire Ring.  This two week cruising ring takes your boat crew onto several canals, floating through Cheshire countryside, and the Peak National Forests, past the Anderton Boat Lift and through Manchester City.

Which Canals make up the Cheshire Ring?

  • Bridgewater Canal
  • Ashton Canal
  • Rochdale Canal
  • Macclesfield Canal
  • Trent & Mersey Canal

    Anderton Boat Lift
    Anderton Boat Lift

Although not the most lock heavy ring route, we would recommend two weeks to navigate to allow time for exploring the various attractions on route.

Commencing on the Trent & Mersey Canal you can choose to travel south, and complete the Cheshire Locks first before navigating onto the Macclesfield Canal, or you can choose to cruise north onto the Bridgewater Canal cruise into Manchester City.

We will start by cruising south and stopping off for a quick detour onto the River Weaver via the Anderton Boat Lift. A very popular attraction on the waterways, built by Edwin Clark in 1875, an amazing piece of engineering which lifts your hire boat over 60ft from the Canal onto the River running alongside. This is something not to be missed if you have the time, a unique Victorian experience, giving the whole crew a chance to take a tour through iconic British history.

Cruising down the Trent & Mersey Canal you will pass several towns such as Middlewich and Sandbach, this area is home to an impressive collection of garden landscapes and historic halls, such as Little Moreton Hall, one of the most famous Tudor Halls in England. Cruising Cheshire, you can expect to see salt mountains along the waterways on the Trent  & Mersey Canal, remains from the Roman salt sites.  Passing these you will reach the Cheshire Locks before navigating onto the Macclesfield Canal.  The Cheshire Locks are a flight of 26 locks dating back to the 1770′s. The lock flights, often called ‘Heartbreak Hill’ raise the canal to the Summit Level at Kidsgrove through the Cheshire Plains.

Rural Trent & Mersey Canal
Rural Trent & Mersey Canal

Joining onto the Macclesfield Canal travelling North you begin to run near the Peak District National Parks, enjoying quite a lot of lock free cruising, once past the Bosley Locks of twelve. The canal will lead you past the Gawsworth Mill and Paradise Mill Museum where you can stop to see experts demonstrating the process of weaving on the traditional handlooms, and then into Macclesfield town centre, here you will find plenty to see and do with various eateries and the Macclesfield Silk Museum & Heritage Centre. Leaving the town centre after spending the evening you will benefit from 4 hours or so of lock free cruising.

Cruising into Manchester you will float past Marple, a cobbled stone village with the marple locks and aqueduct, running alongside the River Goyt. There are plenty of pubs if you wish to stop off here for a spot of lunch before commencing onto the Ashton Canal to reach Manchester. Manchester City Centre has plenty to offer if you have time to spend the afternoon off your hire boat. Home to a selection of eateries and interesting shops, you can dine out here, spend time shopping or exploring Manchester’s rich Heritage, before returning to you canal boat hire. After departing Manchester, your hire boat will make its descent to the Trent & Mersey Canal via the Bridgewater Canal, built for the transportation of coal during the Industrial Revolution.  The navigation is completely lock free, so perfect for catching up your cruising, especially if you have spent a touch too long exploring the sites!

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