STONE AND RETURN FROM POYNTON
You can do this route from :
Lord Vernon's Wharf.
Poynton to Stone is a pretty route, taking you through Staffordshire's industrial hertitage, closely linked to the canal.
You will cruise through Etruria and The Potteries, made famous by Josiah Wedgewood, and through Harecastle Tunnel, which at 2,926 yards long, make it one of the longest in the UK.
There is a profusion of wildlife en route, as well as spectacular views of the hills as you wend your way around them.
Summer opening hours
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.
For any enquiries call 03030 404040 during office hours.
Winter opening hours
By appointment only – Telephone 03030 404040 giving at least 48 hours notice.
Mondays & Wednesdays - 8.30pm to 12pm (last passage 11.15am)
Fridays - 11.30am to 3.00pm (last passage 2.15pm)
Saturdays - 8.30am to 12.30pm (last passage 11.45am)
Closed: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Christmas day, Boxing day and New Years day.
Leaving the marina, you will go south along the Macclesfield Canal, en route to Clark's Change Bridge, about 5 miles away.
Just down the hill from Brownhills Bridge, No. 15, there is a pub called the Boar's Head, which has moorings. There is a garden, with children's play area, and real ale and food are available.
The canal here is quite wide, this is due to subsidence from an old, disused coal mine. There are quite a few bridges as you make your way to the outskirts of Bollington, a small town with local amenities. You can moor for the night near here if you wish, or travel a little further down the canal where it might be quieter. East of Greens Bridge is a monument called White Nancy, which is thought to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo, and was erected in the C19th by the Gaskell family.
Just west of bridge 27 is a pub called the Dog and Partridge, which has a garden, and children are welcome. Also, there is the Holly Bush, with an outdoor area; a traditional pub serving real ale and food. And in the town is The Plaice, a very welcome fish and chip shop.
You will have cruised around 5 miles in 2 hours.
When you leave the mooring today, you will continue south towards Macclesfield, on your way to Pearson Bridge No. 64, 10 miles away.
The area you are now cruising through is predominantly industrial, and much evidence of this is seen in the restored mills, in particular The Hovis Mill, built in the 1820's, and original home of the famous flour.
Macclesfield will mostly be to your right, and if you want to stop and look around, there is plenty of mooring. The town has much to offer, with shops, pubs, museums and a leisure centre. For more information, visit http://www.visitmacclesfield.co.uk/macclesfield-visitor-information-centre/. Some of the pubs en route are the Dolphin Inn, west of bridge 40; the Navigation, south west of bridge 38; Puss In Boots, canalside at bridge 37.
Leaving the suburbs of Macclesfield, you will cross an aqueduct, Gurnett Aqueduct, as the canal wends its way around the hills and flat expanse of Danes Moss to your right. Soon you will reach Oakgrove and the Royal Oak Swing Bridge, which is now easily opened. Time was, when it took two strong people to open it!
The canal is now more remote and you will go down through the 12 Bosley Locks. The countryside is pretty, and by Bridge 54 there is a facilities block, should you need to use them. The Dane Aqueduct soon crosses the River Dane, and then continues through the countryside, until you reach a small village called Buglawton on your right.
You can moor up along here, and there is a pub called the Robin Hood, south west of bridge 61. The pub used to be an old court room and is said to be haunted. . . Real ale and food are served daily, and there is a large garden
You will have cruised for around 6 hours, and navigated 12 locks over 10 miles.
As you leave Buglawton, you will soon reach the outskirts of Congleton. This is a busy market town, with lots to see and do. For more information visit http://www.visitcheshire.com/places/congleton-p33561.
There are a variety of pubs in Congleton, including Egerton Arms; Wharf Inn; Moss Inn, and Queen's Head Hotel, all of which children are welcome in.
Leaving Congleton, the canal straightens out and flows through a series of bridges, past Scholar Green and Hall Green, and on to Hardings Wood Junction.
At the junction, you need to bear left, towards Kidsgrove Bridge. Just a little way beyond here is Harecastle Tunnel, 2926 yds long, which you must not enter unless it is manned (see Navigational notes, above). According to legend a young woman was decapitated in the Telford Tunnel in the 1800s and her body thrown into Gilbert's Hole, a coal landing stage within the tunnel. The man had hacked the woman's head from her shoulders with a piece of slate until it was removed. It is believed that she now haunts Harecastle Tunnel, either in the form of a headless woman, or a white horse, and her appearance used to forewarn of disaster in the local mines. It takes around 30 – 40 minutes to cruise through the tunnel. You need to find out the opening times.
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.
Not far from the end of the tunnel, past Westport Lake and near bridge 126, are two pubs called The Pack Horse Inn, which has some outdoor seating, and children are welcome; the other is The Railway, with a garden, real ales and food. Children also welcome here.
You will now be entering the suburbs of Stoke on Trent, and Etruria, The Potteries district of Stoke on Trent, where Josiah Wedgewood opened one of his pottery businesses. There is also an industrial museum there: http://www.etruriamuseum.org.uk/. The Royal Doulton shop is near bridge 119, with moorings nearby.
There is a Toby Carvery, canalside at Stoke Marina, Etruria, and also two pubs – The New Rendezvous and The Bird in Hand.
You can moor up just beyond Etruria, past the junction, near bridge 115, which is past Stoke Top Lock No. 40. You will have cruised 13 miles in about 6 hours, and navigated 4 locks.
You still have time to visit Stoke on Trent if you wish.
Leaving your mooring, there is much to see as you cruise alongside busy roads on the right and the railway line on the left, and through industrial areas, and also past Stoke City football club's ground, to your left.
The next point of interest is Trentham Gardens, developed by Capability Brown and Sir Charles Barry, who is responsible for the Italian Gardens there. There is an adventure playground, lake, woodlands, monkey forest and tea rooms. For more details visit http://www.trentham.co.uk/trentham-gardens.
Again, the railway line accompanies the canal for some miles, until you reach Stone.
There are many pubs and restaurants here, among them The Star Inn; La Dolce Vita; The Crown Hotel; The Red Lion; The Swan, and Hatters Restaurant.
Stone is a busy village and has a strong connection to the canal, it being an industrial town. There are plenty of shops in Stone, and an impressive canalside which includes old industrial buildings, dry docks and wharves. For more information on things to do and see, visit http://www.enjoystaffordshire.com/ideas-and-inspiration/explore-our-destinations/stone-p738031.
You can either moor up now and turn the boat in the morning, or turn then moor up. You will have cruised for 9 miles and navigated 11 locks in around 6 hours.
From tomorrow you will retrace your journey, back to Poynton.
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.
Maps and Guides
Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.