CALDON CANAL FROM POYNTON

 

Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide

 

You can do this route from :
Lord Vernon's Wharf.

Lord Vernon's Wharf

Cheshire

 

The Caldon Canal takes you from Stoke-on-Trent to picturesque Staffordshire and the Churnet Valley.

It is still steeped in history, with fascinating industrial buildings visible along the Stoke section. Further along, you may see a steam train chugging along where the Churnet Valley Railway passes close to the canal.

The outstanding scenery along the route means there is lots to see for boaters, walkers and cyclists. The unusually low Froghall Tunnel may be a challenge for boaters, but beyond it, you will be rewarded by arriving at the tranquil and secluded Froghall Wharf.

With an unrivalled heritage and very bright future, Stoke-on-Trent (affectionately known as The Potteries), is officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics. - Wedgwood, Portmeirion, Aynsley, Emma Bridgewater, Burleigh and Moorcroft to name just a few produced here.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00 to 11.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 48.00 hours

Total Distance : 91.00 miles

Number of Locks : 62

Number of Tunnels : 4

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.

 

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Cruising Notes

Day 1


Leaving the marina, you will soon be at Bridge 18, where there is a convenient pub called the Miners Arms, where you can moor up if you wish. There is a beer garden and children are welcome.

Cruising south, the canal meanders through wooded areas, small villages, and a few pubs en route, where you can stop if you wish. Soon you will reach the outskirts of Bollington, a suburb of Macclesfield. Bridge 29 is just south of Bollington, so if you moor along this stretch, there are some pubs – Dog and Partridge (garden, children welcome); Holly Bush (beer garden), and The Plaice (licensed fish restaurant).

If you want to moor up and go into Macclesfield, the best place to moor is near Bridge 37, where you will see a vast old converted mill overlooking the canal. Built in the 1820's, it is the Hovis Mill, where flour was milled. It is now luxury apartments. Pubs in Macclesfield include Dolphin Inn, Navigation, Puss In Boots, and Britannia. All have a garden and children are welcome.
It is 3 hours to here and a good place to moor for the night.

Day 2


As you leave Macclesfield, you will soon reach the Gurnett Aqueduct, with a pub nearby, the Old Kings Head, with a garden, children welcome.

A little further on is Royal Oak Swing Bridge in Oakgrove, you will see the foothills and mountains of the Pennines, tumbling down towards the canal, which is now quite remote and quiet. Shortly, you will reach your first locks, Bosley Locks, a flight of 11. At the end of the flight is another small aqueduct, Dane Aqueduct.

Round a large curve, then under the railway viaduct, and soon you will reach the hamlet of Buglawton, a suburb of Congleton, to the right of the canal. There is a pub near here called Robin Hood, which it is claimed, is haunted! It dates from 1787, and was the Court Room, and is south west of bridge 61.

Moving on, you will soon be in Congleton, a busy market town. Moor up and have a look around if you wish. There are shops, restaurants, walks, cycle routes, and Mow Cop Castle to see. For more information, visit http://www.visitcheshire.com/places/congleton-p33561. Some of the local pubs are Wharf Inn and Moss Inn, both with gardens, and children and welcome.

Leaving Congleton behind, Watery Lane Aqueduct is next, then the canal runs straight, through a series of bridges, and you can moor up along here for the night if you wish, perhaps near Scholar Green, to your right. This is a small village, again with some pubs – Travellers Rest and Rising Sun, both welcoming children and have gardens.

If you stop here, at the visitor moorings, you will have cruised around 7½ hours.

Day 3
Leaving Scholar Green, you will soon approach the junction of the Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch. You will turn left here , onto the Trent and Mersey Canal, and over the Red Bull Aqueduct, and then right towards the start of the 1.75 mile long Harecastle tunnel.

The Harecastle tunnel is only one boat wide, so you need to consult the friendly lock-keeper before you join the convoy of boats through the tunnel. The Tunnel will open for passage daily between 8.00am and 6.00pm. To be guaranteed a passage, craft must arrive by 4.00pm.

Last craft in the Tunnel at 5.15pm if the Tunnel is free both ways.

Once you reach daylight again you soon pass the Middleport Pottery on your left, with its attractive red brick & slate buildings. There are a few pubs just before at Bridge 126.
Signs of the pottery industry still survive as you pass the heart of Stoke on Trent, which was the centre of the potteries, the 30 foot high brick furnaces still stand, and although they are no longer used, they are being preserved.

At Etruria near the marina there is a useful Toby Inn with its lovely carvery on offer, and within a short walk is a retail shopping park, including Waterworld an indoor tropical aqua park, a cinema, & Ten pin bowling & many high street stores. Also Pizza Hut & other eateries.

Just past the British waterways Yard you turn left up the Caldon Canal.

At the Junction is Jesse Shirley's Etruscan Bone & Flint mill
It is open 11-4.30pm every day, and the beam engine and mill are in steam at various times during the day.

This is a Victorian steam powered millers works built in 1857 and which ground bone, flint and stone for the pottery industry, and there are plenty of moorings here.

Soon you cruise past a statue of James Brindley, the builder of the Trent & mersey canal. The first 2 locks you reach are combined to form a staircase. There are shops & pubs close to Planet Lock, and at Hanley park are good moorings.

There are a few lift bridges along this stretch so you will need your BW key, also be aware that some of the other bridges are very low, so if you have bikes on the top of your boat you may have to take them off.

Walk north from Bridge 8 along Lichfield street and you will find the Potteries Shopping Centre, with over 80 shops it is the premier shopping destination in the heart of Staffordshire.

To the left off Potteries Way you will find The Potteries Museum & Art gallery where the history of the area is brought to life. Just north of Bridge 8 is the Bridegwater factory shop.
Further on the village of Milton is on the side of a hill to your left, there are a couple of pubs here, & stores & take-aways.
The Fine Feathers farm shop near bridge 28 offers tea & coffee & some supplies, and the Spar mini supermarket here sells BW swipe cards which are needed for the Park lane bridge showers, pump out and laundrette.

5 locks at Stockton Brook raise the level 484 ft above the sea.

The Five locks here have a charming position with views back down the headwaters of the River Trent. There is a splendid Victorian waterworks at the bottom of the flight, and pubs and shops near the middle.

It is 7.5 hours to here

Day 4


Five locks at Stockton raise the canal up to 484 ft above sea level to the summit.

There is a friendly farm shop near Bridge 28, and shops 250 yds north west of bridge 28 .

At Hazelhurst the canal divides and the Leek branch goes away to the right before crossing the mainline on an aqueduct and going away to your left. You can make the small detour up here if you wish to its terminus about 2.5 miles away carrying on up to Leek and visiting the Antique shops (approx) a mile from the mooring point at bridge 9.

Carrying along the main line along the Churnet valley accompanying the River.

Deep Hayes Country Park is off to your right, access from Bridge 39. It is a delightful mixture of woods and meadows, and was orignially an industrial area where coal and clay were extracted.
Another 2 locks bring you down to the village of Cheddleton and you can moor here for the night, it is 6.5 hours from Hanley Park.

There is a charming flint mill by the canal, and you can watch 2 water wheels driving the flint grinding pans in a picturesque setting.
The Red Lion pub is back at the locks by Bridge 43, The Boat Inn is canalside at bridge 44.

Churnet Valley railway is by bridge 44- a preserved standard guage railway running steam trains along the 10.5 mile of track .The Churnet Valley Railway takes you on a journey back to the classic days of railway travel on a rural line that passes through beautiful countryside known as Staffordshire's "Little Switzerland". It runs weekends and bank holidays, but look on their website for full details.

Deep Hayes Country Park is off to your right, access from Bridge 39. It is a delightful mixture of woods and meadows, and was orignially an industrial area where coal and clay were extracted.
Another 2 locks bring you down to the village of Cheddleton and you can moor here for the night

To Cheddleton Flint Mill 6.5 hours cruising from Planet Lock

There is a charming flint mill by the canal, and you can watch 2 water wheels driving the flint grinding pans in a picturesque setting.
Ring 0161 408 5083 for a recorded message giving opening times.
The Red Lion pub is back at the locks by Bridge 43, The Boat Inn is canalside at bridge 44.


Churnet Valley railway is by bridge 44- a preserved standard guage railway running steam trains along the 10.5 mile of track .The Churnet Valley Railway takes you on a journey back to the classic days of railway travel on a rural line that passes through beautiful countryside known as Staffordshire's "Little Switzerland". It runs weekends and bank holidays, but look on their website for full details.

The canal continues its pretty journey and the canal shares the same course as the River Churnet for some distance.
At Consoll Forge by bridge 49 is a hand thrown pottery & craft centre & ceramics, especially tea pots.

The Black lion pub here is in a splendid setting with a fine garden.

Beyond Consall Forge the canal gets very narrow , so make sure nothing is coming from the other direction as you may have to reverse. The Canal is enclosed by steep and thickly wooded hills, almost untouched by mankind. You pass old limekilns on the way to Flint Lock, the last lock before the end of the canal. As you exit the tunnel there are plastic strips which mark as a gauge to let you know whether your boat will fit through Froghall tunnel or not.

The dimensions of the tunnel are only 4ft 4in high and 5ft 6 inches wide and the water levels can fluctuate so all of our boats should turn just before the tunnel and moor up and walk to the very pretty village of Froghall.

Froghall these days comprises almost entirely of factories and dwellings associated with Thomas Bolton's copper works.
The tea rooms at Kingsley & Froghall station are worth a visit.

Froghall basin just beyond the tunnel has a picnic area and shop and limekilns.
Once a hive of industrial activity, this old canal-side wharf is a lovely tranquil picnic spot alongside the terminus of the Caldon Canal and Uttoxeter Canal Basin. There are way-marked walks that lead from the site onto the rights of way network and canal towpath. This is a popular spot for walkers to begin exploring the Churnet Valley and there are grade 2 listed Lime Kilns on the site and other remnants of the industrial past can be found in the wooded valley beyond.

It is 6 miles from here to Alton Towers, see here for local taxis companies http://www.thomsonlocal.com/Taxis/in/Froghall-Staffordshire/

Turn your boat at Froghall basin, it is 6 hours cruising to here, and if doing this trip over 7 nights, you need to do another 2 hours cruising today ,leaving 22 hours or 3 days cruising left , or you can moor for the night here and cruise 8 hours a day for 3 full days

 

NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.

Boats

The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)
Casanova Canal Boat
Class : Casanova
(Sleeps a maximum of 2 People).

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Gemini III Canal Boat
Class : Gemini
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

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Lady Sophia Canal Boat
Class : Sophia
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

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Columbina Canal Boat
Class : Columbina
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

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Raki Raki Canal Boat
Class : Raki
(Sleeps a maximum of 10 People).

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Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.

 

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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.