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If you’ve never been on a canal boat before then this is the perfect opportunity for first-timers.
The homely 69ft canal boat has a guitar, games, honesty bar and an ipod dock. Hosts Mark & Ruth prepare delicious home-cooked food and look after the boat, so you can just relax and enjoy the experience. You’re welcome to have a go at steering, and to help out with the locks, but don’t feel like you have to do anything!
Note: If you cannot make the 7pm start time, please let us know. We are not actually cruising on the first evening, but we will be having dinner at 7.30-8pm.
2 Nights / 28 Miles / 6 Moveable Bridges / 7 Aqueducts
The “Rural Shires & Locks” trip is probably the most picturesque of our trips. There’s a nice set of locks to help out with, but also plenty of scenic lock-free canal – perfect for a few glasses of wine and a Social-Circle playlist on the ipod!
- Bosley Locks
- Lyme Park
- Torrs Riverside Park
- Bugsworth Basin
Meals included on the boat:
Friday - Dinner; Saturday - Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner; Sunday – Breakfast/ Lunch
We start from the Cheshire Market Town of Congleton. There is no cruising on the first evening, so we meet at 7pm for Dinner on the boat. After dinner there’s the option to head out to one of the nearby pubs.
Today we travel up through the Bosley lock flight, the most rural of lock flights on any of our trips, and we’ll need your help opening and closing paddles and heavy lock gates. From the top of the locks there is the opportunity for a stop at Sutton Hall, a lovely country pub. From here it’s another further 2 hours cruising, past Macclesfield, and on to the Happy Valley, mooring close to Clarence Mill in the village of Bollington. If time permits we can take a walk up to “White Nancy”, a monument on top of the Saddle of Kerridge.
Today is a nice easy cruising day with plenty of time to have a go at steering the boat. There is a choice of two walks today; the first being a walk in to Lyme Park, home to where a certain Mr Darcy met Miss Bennett in the BBC production of 'Pride and Prejudice'. (note: there is a charge for entrance to the house and garden).
From Poynton we continue on to Marple where the canal splits and we turn on to the Peak Forest Canal. Unusually we are nicely elevated on this section of canal which gives us great views across the Peaks. We’ll need your help through 3 moveable bridges on this section, before our second walking option at New Mills – the Torrs Riverside Park. Known as the Park Under the Town, the park is home to a spectacular suspended walkway, 200 year old mills, and a hydroelectric community project.
We then continue along the Peak Forest Canal with enough time for a final go at steering the boat, before arriving at our base at Bugsworth Basin. Bugsworth Basin is an important historical site, and was once the largest working port on the canal system.
Venture away from the canal in to Lyme Park, and perhaps take a stroll around the gardens and the Edwardian house.
Torrs Riverside Park & Millennium Walkway
The "Park under the town" is a superb gorge where the Rivers Sett and Goyt join; their power was harnessed for over 200 years by mills. Nearly 100 feet below the town of New Mills lies the Torrs Gorge, an area of fascinating geology and heritage. Discover mill ruins, weirs, cobbled tracks and archways of bridges towering dramatically overhead. As you walk along this impressive, but relatively little known natural feature you are surrounded by a rich industrial heritage spanning several hundred years of the history of New Mills.
Explore the Torrs and the Riverside Park from the spectacular Millennium Walkway. It is a 160m long walkway that links New Mills, the Torrs and the Riverside Park.
Getting there & away and parking
Nearest Railway Station: Congleton (2 minute walk)
Directions: From Congleton Train Station take the Platform 2 exit and walk down the steps under Park Lane bridge on to the canal. Turn right on to the canal towpath (the canal should now be on your left) under the bridge, and we will be moored up nearby.
Wandering Duck’s one-way trips will, wherever possible, start and finish within walking distance of good public transport links.
However, we appreciate that this is not always convenient for everyone, therefore if you prefer to drive then we would suggest parking in Congleton (You may park in the Railway Inn Car Park - 4 Biddulph Road. CW12 3JS, if you can’t find any street parking.)
On Sunday a shared taxi back to Congleton from Bugsworth Basin will cost £43 for up to 4 people, or £64 for up to 8 people.