This is an easy trip with no locks and, despite the final destination, for much of the route in open countryside. It takes 7 hours to reach the center of Manchester at Castlefield Basin where there are good moorings right in the centre of the city.
From our base traveling north we join the original route of the canal just past the motorway. There are fine views of Halton Hill and the Mersey estuary across the intervening farmland.
At the village of Moore there is a post office and shop. At Walton Gardens a large pub serves carvery meals whilst at Stockton Heath there is a pub and shops, with further shops down the hill.
On the outskirts of Stockton Heath is Grappenhall with two pubs near the canal and from there we are in countryside again until reaching the M6 which we pass under just before it crosses the Manchester Ship Canal at Thelwall. We now enter the picturesque town of Lymm where there are popular visitor moorings with shops and pubs close by.
Beyond Lymm the canal becomes rural again with several pubs by the canal at Agden Wharf and Little Bollington. Continuing north, the canal passes through Dunham Massey before reaching Sale. Here the canal runs in a straight line with boats moored on the offside. Trees line the straight and the canal is in its own green corridor. At Stretford, industry and housing now enclose the canal. There are two pubs with visitor moorings. A short way further is Waters Meeting where we turn right for Manchester. The left leg taking the canal to Leigh and eventually Wigan. From Waters Meeting it is about a mile to Castlefield Basin with views over the Manchester Ship Canal.
At Castlefield there are moorings close to the Museum of Science & Industry and you are on the edge of the city centre with metro trams and buses linking the main shopping areas.