WINTER OPENING HOURS
From Monday 1st October we will be reverting to our winter opening hours, meaning the marina office and services will be available 6 days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday. The marina office will be closed on Mondays until April. Please see below for a complete listing.
NEW MINI CHANDLERY
We now have a mini chandlery in the mrina office, stocking boating essential such as Elsan blue, fenders, shackles, oil & coolant, absorbant mats, grease & more.
|Hours:||50 - 60|
The Cheshire Ring offers the boater a great variety of landscapes and scenery, taking in the Macclesfield Canal, the Trent & Mersey, the Bridgewater Canal, the Rochdale Canal, the Ashton Canal and the Peak Forest Canal. It edges the peak district and Pennine hills, crosses the rolling Cheshire plains and journeys through the bustling city centre of Manchester.
From Aston Marina, the first leg of your journey takes you northwards, out of Stone and across the potteries, passing Etriria and through the Harecastle Tunnel to Hardings Wood Junction, and the southern end of the Macclesfield canal. Here you can choose the direction of your route around the Cheshire Ring. Our guide follows a clockwise direction.
Immediately after Hardings Wood Junction, you being your gruelling descent through the 31 locks of "Heartbreak Hill", passing under Poole Aqueduct which will later mark the end of your tour of the ring. Continuing north, the town of Middlewich offers many amenities as well as a wide choice of shops, pubs and restaurants. Following Middlewich the descent onto the Cheshire plains continues, but at a rather more leisurely pace! A lengthy lock free pound passes the impressive sight of the historic Anderton Boat Lift which provides access to the River Weaver. You then journey through a series of tunnels and along the short Preston Brook Branch to meet the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook.
Turning right the wide canal leads through some rural and urban scenery, past Waters Meeting where the Stretford and Leigh Branch heads northwest to join the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, before reaching the outskirts of Manchester. Joining the short Rochdale Canal, a flight of nine locks rises through the bustling city centre before turning right at Ducie Street Junction and joining the Ashton Canal, toward Dukinfield. The canal climbs through a further 18 locks, leaving the city centre of Manchester behind and working toward Dukinfield Junction and the Peak Forest Canal. Turning right and joining the Peak Forest Canal toward Marple, the scenery begins to become more rural, following the valley of the River Tame. Two short tunnels break away from the Tame Valley, leading to the Marple Aqueduct across the River Goyt, before climbing up the 16 locks of the Marple Flight.
From Marple to Macclesfield, the scenery is some of the most beautiful on the network, offering some stunning views across the Peak District. A long lock free pound passes some great country pubs and is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace! Following Macclesfield, another beautiful rural stretch of canal leads to the picturesque Bosley locks, the flight of 12 dropping down towards Congleton. The canal skirts the town and crosses the Dog Lane Aqueduct by Congleton Wharf. At Bridge 86, a footpath is accessible which leads to the National Trust owned 16th century Tudor house, Little Moreton Hall, which is open to the public.
After another two miles of cruising you reach Hall Green Stop Lock, which marks the end of the Macclesfield Canal. Here you join the Hall Green Branch of the Trent & Mersey, which leads across the Poole Aqueduct under which you passed at the start, before re-joining the main line at Hardings Wood Junction to complete your orbit of the Cheshire Ring.