Travelling through five counties, the Cheshire Ring contrasts the highest waterways in England on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals with the cityscape of Manchester and its historic canal engineering.
Cruising the Ring
From our bases in the Northwich area pass the Anderton BoatLift, cruise along the hillside above the River Weaver and onto the Bridgewater canal. The first British canal, it is wide, deep and lock-free for the run to Manchester.
A mooring at Castlefields will allow you to explore the city, its shops, museums and art galleries.
The following canalside environment under and through inner-city Manchester is not to everyone's taste, and is often tackled early in the day.
Leave Manchester behind, climbing the Ashton canal to its highest point at Marple with its picturesque flight of locks and character cottages. Join the Macclesfield Canal for a scenic 26 mile lock-free section skirting the edge of the Peak District through small stone built towns.
The 12 Bosley locks then lower the canal 118 feet to the Cheshire Plains.
In the distance can be seen the half-timbered Little Moreton Hall before the canal joins the Trent and Mersey Canal at Kidsgrove. Travel down the locks of 'Heartbreak Hill' to reach Middlewich and its old salt mines.
Please note that we have been advised that there is damage to the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, so it is not possible to access the Four Counties Ring from the North West, or access the Llangollen Canal at present.