The Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring is a magnificent route through charming villages, bustling towns and the heart of the big city.

The Cheshire Ring heads north from Preston Brook and you pass through the village of Grappenhall and the pretty town of Lymm, slowly making your way towards the hustle and bustle of Manchester. At Waters Meeting junction you turn right for the Cheshire Ring towards the regenerated Castlefields Basin passing Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium along the way. Here you can stop and enjoy all that Manchester has to offer, with many bars and restaurants close by. Or visit the Science Museum, just a short walk from the canal.

The 9 Rochdale locks take you to Dulcie St junction and a right turn here takes you onto the Aston Canal where 18 locks lift you 166ft to Portland basin and the Peak Forest Canal. Here you cross the impressive Marple Aqueduct, 100ft high over the River Goyt.

The 16 locks approaching Marple lift the Cheshire Ring up 208ft to the junction with the Macclesfield canal and here a detour can be made to Whaley Bridge and the complex of old wharves at the historic Bugsworth Basin.

For 14 miles the Macclesfield canal is lock free taking you along the edge of the Peak District National Park to the silk town of Macclesfield, with its picturesque medieval market place and church. There are fine views of the hills to the left and the Cheshire plain on your right. A set of magnificent locks at Bosley lowers the canal 110ft and you wend your way past the two superb National Trust properties of Little Morton Hall and Mow Cop (pronounced to rhyme with cow), to the junction with the Trent & Mersey Canal at Kidsgrove.

Turning North onto the Trent & Mersey, you descend the Cheshire locks (as the old boatmen called them) to the Roman town of Middlewich and along the Weaver valley past the Anderton boat lift back to Preston Brook.

97 Miles · 50 Hours Approx · 92 Locks

Marple Locks Cheshire Ring
Cheshire Ring
Peak Forest Canal at Marple
Macclesfield Canal
Canal scene along the Cheshire Ring
Mow Cop
Trent & Mersey Locks