An easy and relaxing trip with only one lock and three tunnels to navigate.
On your northward journey from our base there is a junction just beyond the motorway. This is the original route of the canal from Manchester to Runcorn. Your route is straight on through fine countryside with views over fields to the River Mersey. At Moore, there is a shop and post office. At Walton a pub serving meals and at Stockton Heath a pub, chandlery & shop by the bridge.
After leaving Stockton Heath we soon come to Grappenhall with two pubs near the canal and we are back in the countryside for two miles where we pass under the M6 and soon reach the town of Lymm. There are pubs and shops close by the visitor moorings (very popular in summer). Beyond Lymm we are back in the country and in two miles we reach Little Bollington.
There are visitor moorings by the old No.3 pub and a good place to turn just a little further on.
Going south through the Preston Brook Tunnel you reach Dutton stop lock. The lock was fitted to prevent one canal company “stealing” water from the other!
From here, the canal passes through woodland and emerges on the side of a hill overlooking the Weaver valley. There are fine views as you cruise along. At Acton bridge past the boatyard, there are moorings and down the hill, pubs that serve meals.
After more wooded sections we come to the two tunnels at Saltersford and Barnton. Both have bends in them and are difficult to see through so sounding the horn first is a must. Between the tunnels is a beautiful pool with moorings that overlook Saltersford Locks on the River Weaver. Beyond the tunnels, the canal hugs the hillside where the salt industry is evident from the chimneys – we are approaching Anderton and the boat lift.
Visitor moorings are just past the lift entrance. The visitor centre is well worth a visit; you can travel on a trip boat either up or down the lift and walk around it to admire this Victorian masterpiece. A little further just past the Anderton Marina there is water and rubbish disposal and a place to turn round.
It takes 3½ hours to get to Anderton and Preston brook to Bollington is 3¾ hrs. This does not include delays for tunnel times. Preston brook tunnel times are Northbound: On the hour to 10 past. Southbound: On the half hour to 40 minutes past. Saltersford tunnel Northbound: On the hour to 20 past. Southbound: On the half hour to 50 minutes past the hour