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


You can do this route from :
Bollington Wharf.

Bollington Wharf



Short Cruise through villages and towns on the fringe of the Pennines with memories of past Industry like Coal, cotton and Weaving, with shorter cruising days allowing you time to spend dawdling on the canal boat, or getting off and exploring.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 29.00 hours

Total Distance : 47.00 miles

Number of Locks : 58

Number of Tunnels : 8

Number of Aqueducts : 0

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Read our cruising notes.


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Cruising Notes

Day 1

There is open countryside around Bollington, and there is a good view of this stone built town from the huge canal embankment that cuts across it.
From the Wharf turn north.

From here it is only 1 mile to the boundary of the Peak District national park. West of bridge 27 is a sociable village pub.

As the canal leaves Bollington it enters an isolated stretch through quiet countryside, there are pubs:- Windmill Inn 250yds west of bridge 25, Miners Arms near bridge 18- there are good moorings here. Also a picnic area of Hag Footbridge 16.

Higher Poynton is a pretty place to moor up and its only 2 hours cruising to here, and the canal is wider here too. There are ducks and swans, and nearby is a recreation ground, also a pub just near Bridge 15 (Brownhills Bridge), called the Boar's Head. Children are welcome, and there is a garden with play area for the children.

Nelson Pit Visitor Centre is one of Poynton's hidden gems and is perfectly situated near to Poynton Marina for a relaxing afternoon.
Built on the site of a former colliery, this bijoux centre features displays about Poynton's mining history, the origins of the Middlewood Way and the local canal network.

Anson Engine Museum is also just a short walk from the Marina- it houses a unique collection of over 250 gas and oil engines, also a fantastic display showing the development of the internal combustion engine. The museum has a collection which tells the story of the engine from the cannon to the sophisticated, electronically controlled engine of the future.
The museum also has a steam section with two Robey engines; an A frame and a beam engine. Pride of place goes to the Stott engine that used to drive a cotton wadding mill in Hazel Grove.

Day 2

The Macclesfield Canal wends its way through largely unspoilt countryside, with little villages and occasional pubs along the way. You will very soon encounter a tall aqueduct over a railway. Looking to the west, you may glimpse the suburbs of Stockport and Manchester. Close to Eccles Bridge 3 at Goyt Mill, there is a fish and chip shop.

The village of High lane is soon reached and a useful stop for supplies if there is anything you have forgotten! There are moorings between the High Lane Arm (branch of the canal) and bridge 11, with shops close by.

Marple is a busy boating centre, and there are some excellent walks in this area where the stunning scenery combines with often unexpected remains of early industry. It is 1.5 hours to here from Higher Poynton and you have a leisurely cruise today so I would recommend having a look around.

Soon you have to turn left to ascend the Marple flight of locks.
By the bridge is the Ring O' Bells Pub. It has a canalside patio and garden, and children are welcome.

On the Peak Forest Canal after turning left at Marple Junction the 1st lock is just after you turn so get your crew ready. The first four are quite close together, the rest spaced further apart, making the total distance around a mile long. At this point, the canal is 500ft above sea level.

Not far from the canal, to the left, is the town of Marple. Ludworth Moor is quite nearby, where there are ruins of an old Celtic Druid's temple, known as 'Robin Hood's Picking Rods'.

Once through the locks, it's not far to Marple Aqueduct, a three-arched ancient monument, over the River Goyt. It stands at almost 100ft above the River. Then you will go through Hyde Bank Tunnel, which is 308yds long, continuing northwards, then over a couple of minor aqueducts, and cruising through Romily, Bredbury and Woodley, where you will cruise through the narrow Woodley Tunnel, 176yds long.

There are a couple of pubs in Romily -the Duke of York, east of Bridge 14; children welcome and outside seating, and the Friendship Inn, also east of Bridge 14; children welcome, but only until early evening.
Moor for the night here its is 5 hours to here

Day 3

Continuing northwards, as you make your way to Dukinfield Junction, the canal becomes more suburban, and to the right, beyond the M67 Bridge, you can see the industrial town of Hyde, which is in Greater Manchester. There is a pub at Dunkinfield called the Globe Hotel, near Bridge No. 2, with an outdoor patio and children welcome.

Ashton under Lyne is at the junction, and if you have time you might like to moor up and have a look around.

At the junction, bear right onto the Huddersfield Canal, towards Stalybridge. The canal is the focus of this bustling town, and there are many colourful boats moored along the canal. There is plenty of mooring space between locks 4W and 8W. In the distance, above the rooftops, you can make out the Pennines.

Pubs are plentiful in Stalybridge – Station Buffet Bar; Q Inn; Old Fleece Hotel; White House; Bridge Inn, and Bull's Head. The town is around 8 miles from Manchester city centre, and has its own football club.

For more information about Stalybridge, visit their website. (useful links below)
The town of Stalybridge was the creation of the Industrial Revolution. In 1776 came the event that was to lead to the development of Stalybridge as a town - COTTON!
Cotton manufacture in the village was growing rapidly, and more water-powered mills were being built along the local steams as well as along the river.
Moor for the night here, it is 4 hours to here

Day 4

The Pennines beckon from over the rooftops of Stalybridge as you continue your climb towards the short Scout Tunnel.
The canal passes though leafy glades with occasional views of past industry, the coal mining in this area. There are attactively sited picnic areas along the route.
Impressive mills although sadly now derelict, line the canal, reminding us of its past history as this was the centre of the cotton and weaving industy in the 18th century.
Mossley was a prosperous cotton town in the 19th century and Mossley Industrial heritage Centre brings the old industry back to life in this old cotton spinning Mill. The centre is very small but has a collection of old photographs for visitors to browse through as well as some artifacts from the town's history of cotton spinning. The centre is usually open from 2.00 to 4.00 pm from Wednesday to Saturday. please phone first to check opening times.

Turn just after Woodend Lock and moor back in Mossley, it is 5 hours to here

Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
It is just over 14 hours back to the Marina so just under 5 hours per day leisurely cruising, and time to explore those places that you didn't have time for on the way.


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)
Norton Priory Canal Boat
Class : Norton
(Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).


Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Bollington More Info
Duke Of York SK6 3AN Full Details
Friendship Inn SK6 3AA Full Details
Old Fleece Hotel SK15 2AL Full Details
Q Inn SK15 2AL Full Details
Ring O'bells SK6 7AY Full Details
Roaches Lock OL5 9BB Full Details
Station Bar Buffer SK15 1RF Full Details
The Duke Of York Stockport Road SK6 3AN Full Details
Tollemache Arms OL5 9BG Full Details
Boar Boar's Head Shrigley Road North, Higher Poynton SK12 1TE Full Details

NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.


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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.