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Metal plaque with bridge and bargeCheshire Ring Canal Walk

Cheshire, Gtr Manchester, Staffordshire

158 km / 98 miles
A route following the towpaths along six historic canals of various ages and character, this Walk offers the solitude of quiet countryside, the hustle and bustle of city streets and views of the Cheshire Plain and Peak District hills. The canals are, anticlockwise from Macclesfield, Macclesfield Canal to Marple; Peak Forest, Ashton and Rochdale Canals into Manchester to join the Bridgewater Canal at Castlefield to follow it to Preston Brook; Trent & Mersey Canal to Hardings Wood Junction near Kidsgrove; Macclesfield Canal back to the start.

Opened on 17th July 1761, the Bridgewater Canal was the first in Britain to be built without following an existing watercourse and began a revolution in transport in the canal era lasting for about 70 years. Francis Egerton, third Duke of Bridgewater, built the Canal to transport coal from his mines at Worsley to the industrial areas of Manchester and it was known as the 'Dukes Cut'.

The waymarked Middlewood Way (11 miles and on OS mapping) offers a mostly level and traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists and horseriders on the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway between historic mill towns, running parallel with the Macclesfield Canal, providing easy circular walk options.


Waymark: Metal plaque with bridge and barge
Path Type: Paths Marked on OS mapping
Waymark: Metal plaque with bridge and barge
Attributes: Easy
Industrial History
Start and Finish: SJ962884 - Marple, Gtr Manchester View on StreetMap
Web Sites: Canal & River Trust - Cheshire Ring Pennine Waterways - Cheshire Ring Cheshire East Council - Middlewood Way

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

External download Cheshire Ring  (Visit Cheshire ) Download
General Interest Book North West & the Pennines: Waterways Guide 5 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)  (HarperCollins  - 2023 )
Guidebook Cheshire Ring in circular canal-side walks : volume 2  (Sigma Press  - 2017 )
Guidebook Cheshire Ring in circular canal-side walks : volume 1  (Sigma Press  - 2015 )


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
OS Landranger 108, 109, 117, 118
OS Landranger Active 108, 109, 117, 118
OS Explorer 1, 24, 257, 258, 267, 268, 275, 276, 277
OS Explorer Active 1, 24, 257, 258, 267, 268, 275, 276, 277

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Walkers are Welcome
4 km
2 km
Walkers are Welcome
2 km
5 km
Walkers are Welcome
< 1 km
13 km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
132 km

Connected Paths:


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Route Profile:

155.4 km (96.6 miles)
1,148 m (3,766 ft) ascent
174 m (571 ft)  maximum height

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