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You can do this route from :
Nantwich Marina.

Nantwich Marina



There are fine views of the distant Pennines to the north before the canal makes a very pleasing passage through the heart of Lymm, where the streets come right down to the waters edge.

Cruise through the lovely Cheshire countryside to Timperley and catch a 15 minute tram ride into Manchester city centre where there is a wealth of culture, restaurants and cafe's.

Through the lovely Roman towns of Northwich and Middlewich and Nantwich where Rock salt mining that has gone on since Roman times.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 38.50 hours

Total Distance : 98.00 miles

Number of Locks : 18

Number of Tunnels : 6

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

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

Read our cruising notes.


Download the Cruising Notes

We also have the cruising notes available for download in PDF (acrobat Reader)

Download our cruising notes.





Cruising Notes

Day 1

You are only travelling for an hour today before the 1st stop, so just enough time to get the hang of the boat, and stow your belongings, and not have to feel that you are rushing, as you are about to slowwww right down!!

You may even want to spend your first night in Nantwich and not move off until tomorrow, as you have plenty of time, and Nantwich is a beautiful town, adorned with boutiques, antiques, cafes, pubs and restaurants and steeped in history, it is a medieval market town famous for the black and white timbered buildings dotted around the town.

Nantwich also hosts the International Cheese Awards, a prestigious event that celebrates the finest cheeses known to man.
If moving off tonight then turn right from the marina turning north towards Chester.
There are no locks on this stretch, so your crew can relax and put the kettle on!

You pass the Llangollen Canal off to your left at Hurleston Junction , and at the next junction you can moor- Barbridge Junction, there is a pub canalside at the junction with moorings, also a pub in Barbridge with access from Bridge 100.
Buses frequently go from Barbridge from the Jolly Tar Pub into the city of Chester.
It is an hours cruising to here.

Day 2

Turn right along the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, this is an attractive and wonderfully tranquil canal, with some rural moorings.

The canal crosses the River Weaver over an aqueduct as it approaches the village of Church Minshull which can be accessed by bridge 14.

Moor by Bridge 14 and walk into the village on Church Minshull, to your left, the Badger Inn is in the village and serves lovely food and ales.

Continue along the Middlewich Branch to the town of Middlewich and the junction with the Trent & Mersey Canal.

The canalside area of Middlewich is a haven of peace below the busy streets. The town has been extracting salt since Roman times, and there is an interesting town trail north of Bridge 172. There are shops and pubs in the town and some interesting listed and historical buildings.
There are several salt works, which shows this areas industrial heritage. The Rock salt mining that has gone on since Roman times has resulted in severe local subsidence, and the canal has had to be banked up in some stretches, which makes it much deeper than normal

There are pleasant moorings with picnic tables & BBQ just before Bridge 176 or moor in the town, perhaps before Midlewich Big Lock which is 5.75 hours from Barbridge Junction.

You move out into fine open country on a beautiful stretch of canal, often overhung by trees following the delightful valley of the River Dane.

Soon Northwich is reached, there is a chemist, grocer & other shops.
The Old Broken Cross Pub is by Bridge 184 canalside and has moorings.
Moor here for the night if you didn't moor in Middlewich, it is 8 hours to here

Day 3

By Marston Bridge 193 there is a pub and late opening stores.

Away on your right you will see Marbury Country park which has woodlands carpeted with bluebells in the springtime, or relax under the shade of the lime avenues. Wander along the mere with splendid views over the water to the church at Great Budworth, or explore the arboretum and community orchard. Children will enjoy the play area, close to the picnic area.

Anderton Boat lift is on your left and it is worth mooring up here and looking round the Visitor centre, and even take the boat trip that goes down the boat lift , It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. There is a nice cafe at the top.
With the re-opening of the Anderton boat lift in Spring 2002, a whole new navigation is open for exploration . A stunning feat of 19th Century engineering, the lift carries two boats at a time hydraulically, one up and one down between the Trent & Mersey canal and the River Weaver 50 feet below.

Leaving Anderton, you will be heading towards Barnton Tunnel, which emerges onto a hillside overlooking the River Weaver, with a fantastic view down to Saltersford Locks. Do make sure before you enter the tunnel, that there are no boats coming from the other side, as it is only wide enough for one boat at a time.

At the east end of the tunnel, you will see some handy shops, so maybe a good time to stock up, if you have not already done so.

Moving on, you will now enter Saltersford Tunnel, Tunnel entry is as follows:
Northbound (Saltersford Tunnel to Preston Brook) - Entry on the hour until 20 minutes past the hour.
Southbound (Saltersford Tunnel to Barnton) - Entry 30 minutes past the hour until 10 minutes to the hour.

Again, two boats cannot pass in this tunnel, so do take care when entering and leaving it.

Once through the tunnel, you will again be in open countryside . You might like to have a meal in The Holly Bush Inn. Food is served at lunchtimes and evenings, along with traditional ales. There is a large beer garden with children's play area.

You will soon enter some woodlands, just prior to Preston Brook Tunnel which is 1239 yards long. From the North end of the tunnel, you will see a sign announcing that from here onwards, you are now on the Bridgewater Canal.
Tunnel times are as follows:
Northbound: open on the hour, and remains open until 10 past the hour.
Southbound: open at half past the hour, and remain opens until 20 to the hour.

You will notice that the canal now splits into two, where you will need to bear right. If you have the time, and want to visit Runcorn, then bear left for the 1½ hour cruise to the end of the canal, otherwise, keep left and make for Stockton Heath, a suburb of Warrington.

Runcorn (if you chose this route), has a really impressive road bridge, called the 'Silver Jubilee Bridge'. It links Runcorn to Widnes and is around 1,082 feet long, and it really is worth taking the detour to Runcorn just to see it.

Back towards Preston Brook Marina, bear left on a rural stretch until you reach Higher Walton, which is a pretty estate village, with local shops and amenities. A nice place to stop for lunch is the Walton Arms in Higher Walton. Children are welcome here, but only if they are dining with adults.

If you have time, you might like to visit Walton Hall in Higher Walton. This beautiful house and its gardens makes a nice day out for all the family, with play area's for the children.

And moving on, towards Stockton Heath, it becomes more urban and is a popular area for walkers and fishermen. Stockton Heath is North of London Road Bridge No. 15, and is a suburb of Warrington. This side of the canal is quite built-up, but on the South side, it is still very much unspoilt and open.

Next, you will pass by Grappenhall and Thelwall, where there is a pub called The Penny Ferry Inn. You can get a drink and maybe a snack here whilst waiting for the Penny Ferry to transport you across the Manchester Ship Canal, for a minimal fee.

Once back on your boat, you will cruise towards Lymm.

Lymm is a pretty little town with the streets tumbling down to the canal side. If you want to stop here and have a look around, there are 24 hour moorings, which is handy for the fish and chip shop! In the town centre is Lymm Cross, built in C17th, and the centre-point of the town.

Moor here for the night it is 8 hours to here

Day 4

You will now pass through some small villages – Oughtrington, Bollington and Dunham, to name but a few. The Swan With Two Nicks is a nice pub in Little Bollington, near the canal, and not far from Dunham Massey Country Park.

As you leave here, you will notice it becoming more built-up as you approach Sale.

From Timperley Bridge 33 , you can get the Metrolink tram into Manchester, where there is a wealth of culture, restaurants and cafe's. On the canal side, you will find The Waterside Arts Centre and The Robert Bolt Theatre. In the Waterside Plaza, you might like to eat in The Waterside, a modern bar serving food all day, with a patio area overlooking the canal. They have a strict dress code, so do check first.

You might also like to take the tram as far as Stretford, if you have time.

If you cruise past Timperley Bridge 33 to Whites Bridge 36 you can turn here and go back to Timperley if you wish to catch the Tram into the city of Manchester for the afternoon and evening. It is 3 hours from Lymm for this cruise

Day 5 Day 6 day 7 Day 8
Cruise the 18.75 hours back to Nantwich, about 6 -7 hours per day.


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.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)
Adele Marie Canal Boat
Class : Dreams5
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).


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.