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Canal Boating Article: Macclesfield


Visit Macclesfield from the following marina(s)

Anderton Marina

Length: 26 miles - Locks: 12 - Aqueducts: 8 - Swing Bridges: 2

Linked to: Peak Forest Canal, Trent and Mersey

Part of the Cheshire Ring linking Trent and Mersey CanalBridgewater Canal and Ashtonand Peak Forest Canal.

 

Completed in 1831 The Macclesfield Canal was one of the last canals to be built in Britain and at 518 feet above sea level is one of the highest canal levels on the canal system. The canal is noted for its fine stone bridges and in particular snake bridges where the towpath changes sides of the canal. These bridges were designed to allow the horse to move over without having to be untied from the boat.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST ON ROUTE

Originally the home of the silk industry the ancient town of Macclesfield is full of character with old mills and sloping streets. The steepest street of all is formed by 108 steps which lead to the town’s medieval church. Visitors can learn the complicated procedure of silk production and about the history of the industry at the town's Paradise Silk Mill.

 

With the Bosley Cloud, a 1125 feet fell, dominating the landscape the 12 flight of locks at Bosley Locks must be one of the most scenic in the country. The locks lift the canal for 110 feet as it's make it way towards Marple.

 

An aqueduct links the town of Marple to the Peak Forest and Macclesfield canal networks. Built by Benjamin Outran the aqueduct lies just beyond Marple Bottom Lock. The three arch structure spans the River Goyt and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

 

The Middlewood Way runs close to the Macclesfield Canal and there are many opportunities for walkers from an easy ramble or for the more adventurous a hike reaching into the Peak District FoothillsThe Nelson Pit Centre provides visitors with information about the Macclesfield Canal and the surrounding countryside.

 

A fascination attraction The Anson Engine Museum is recognised as one of the country's leading specialist museums. This award winning museum houses a unique collection of gas and oil engines and tells the story of the engine from the cannon to the sophisticated electronically controlled engine of the future.

 

Owned by the National Trust, Lyme Park is a magnificent estate and is probably one of the most famous country-house images in England as it's backdrop  was used for 'Pemberley' in 'Pride and Prejudice' when Darcy met Elizabeth.

 

PLACES TO VISIT

Bollington is known locally as Happy Valley and nestles in the foothills of the Pennine range and is a gateway to the Peak District National Park. Bollington’s skyline is dominated by White Nancy, a Grade II listed landmark built as a summer house by the Gaskell family around 1815. The town offers plenty of great pubs and cafés and there are a good range of shops if you need to stock up on fresh provisions. 


Macclesfield is an ancient Market town nestling on the edge of the Peak District and is a town with a rich silk tradition. There is a wealth of interesting independent shops and boutiques selling antiques, jewellery and clothes. There are also a number of smaller shops and galleries selling beautiful work by national and regional artists. Visit the market on Castle Street or the indoor market in the Grosvenor Centre and once a month the Marketplace and Chestergate throng with bustling crowds at the Treacle Market.

 

Known locally as Beartown the pretty market town of Congleton is perfectly placed to moor your canal boat for the day. Congleton has its own museum with collections of books, photographs and objects about the area. Capitol Walk, a quaint undercover arcade, derives its name from the cinema which formerly occupied the site. In this arcade you will find a diverse range of pretty shops offering a unique range of products. The town has a number of shops, supermarkets and there is also an interesting collection of retail businesses in the former Victoria Mill site along Foundry Bank known locally as Green Island

Manchester

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