Canal Holidays Cheshire 
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Cheshire canal holiday routes

Cheshire is located in the Southern part of the North West of England and borders North Wales, North Midlands, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Cheshire has many varied canal routes making it the ideal place for your holiday. Marinas in Middlewich, Northwich, Chester and Nantwich are just a few of the places you will find hire companies. Cruises into North Wales, North West England and the Midlands can be done on a weeks vacation or you could travel further if you book a longer canal holiday. Numerous canal routes offer a fantastic choice, choose one of the popular routes or you can even customise your own route to suit, your canal hire holiday company should be able to help you with this.

Whaley Bridge

This trip is the same route as the Cheshire Ring as far as Marple where a right turn takes you onto the Upper Peak Forest Canal which has been cut along the side of the Goyt Valley. The canal flows near the little village of Strines where there are the usual shops and inns. Again there are many interesting historical features in this area. The Peak Forest Canal terminates at Whaley Bridge, near Chapel-en-le-Frith. The natural beauty all around this area is well worth excursions.

Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring requires more effort than the other routes but is packed with interest. This is a circular route of 97 miles with 92 locks, a mix of quiet country scenery, industry and history. The Cheshire Ring runs along the Macclesfield Canal and takes in parts of the Trent and Mersey, Bridgewater, Rochdale, Ashton and Peak Forest Canals. This Canal holiday route can be done in one week, but you may want to consider a two week holiday for a slower pace and to visit some attractions, or to take a diversion along one of the other canal routes.
Don't miss a stop in the heart of Manchester to shop, maybe at the impressive Trafford Centre, visit the Lowry Art Centre and enjoy the many canal side restaurants. Other interesting stops on this route include the famous Anderton Boat Lift, Norton Priory Museum and Little Moreton Hall.

Four Counties

This 109 mile canal holiday route with 94 locks takes in the Counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands. This canal route has a great choice of starting points including Nantwich and Middlewich. You can follow the Trent and Mersey Canal near Sandbach. Travel south through rolling hills and meadows to the famous Harecastle tunnel, which is more than a mile in length and was cut by Thomas Telford in 1827.
The town of Hanley is suggested for shopping and the selection of nightlife. Stoke on Trent is the home to the excellent Gladstone Pottery Museum, Waterworld the indoor aqua themepark and at Barleston the Wedgewood pottery factory is well worth the visit. Pause a while in the ancient town of Stone before enjoying the splendid views of the Trent Valley. Penkridge just south of Stafford is a good place to moor before rejoining the "Shroppie" and heading north. Plenty of interest here with the Cowley Tunnel and Tyreley Locks lowering the canal into a remarkable sandstone cutting arched with overhanging trees. The old town of Market Drayton is a worthwhile stop before heading through Audlem and Nantwich. This route takes one week, but again you may wish to make this a two week holiday.

Chester Canal Shropshire Union

Opened in 1774, this section of the "Shroppie" overflows with interest. Bunbury Church contains the tomb of Sir George Beeston; Admiral of the Fleet who commanded Dreadnought against the Spanish Armada aged 89 and died aged 102 in 1601. Beeston Castle is also worth a walk and climb. Moor under the most complete Roman Wall in Britain at Chester and find interest for all the family. The Rows (two tear shops), Cathedral, guided tours and the famous Chester Zoo. Roman Britain, moor in Chester. A few minutes walk to the station gives you a day trip to Liverpool for the Maritime Museum, Tate Gallery or Beatles Tour. Highly recommended is to take the train along the North wales coastline to the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno.
The canal terminates at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum. This route has so many possibilities it can be extended from 3 days to a week.

Caldon Canal

The industrial City of Stoke-on-Trent is the start of one of the most scenic and attractive canal routes in Britain. Joining from the Trent and Mersey canal the Caldon Canal runs for 18 miles from Stoke to Froghall with an alternative route to Leek. Starting from the Potteries with its interesting industrial scenery you are soon traveling through spectacular moorland as this route follows the Churnet Valley and passes an area known as Little Switzerland. A visit to Alton Towers and the Churnet Valley Railway could be included in your holiday.

Bridgewater Canal

The Bridgewater Canal was the first canal to be built without following an existing water course, built to transport the Duke of Bridgewater's coal from the Worsley mine to the industrial Cities of liverpool and Manchester. This Canal starts at Preston Brook Runcorn where it meets the Trent and Mersey Canal and ends at Leigh where it joins the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. This canal forms part of the Cheshire Ring.
A separate section of this canal takes you to Castlefield Junction in Manchester Where it meets the Rochdale Canal. There are moorings next to the Museum of Science & Industry and a short walk takes you into the city centre.

Longer routes


Think about a trip to Stratford on Avon, cruising several canals, the River Severn and Avon. Return by a different route, perhaps a circular trip back. this holiday covers beautiful countryside with many places of interest and excellent mooring places. Or combine two of the above weekly cruises. if you prefer not to return on the same canal, combine the Cheshire Ring and Four Counties canal routes.

A two week holiday can incorporate the leeds and Liverpool canal.






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