A quick look at ideas for routes - all the routes below are based on a cruising time of 5 hours per day over continuous days. Allow more days/nights for the hire time if you want to explore areas away from the boat such as when you are in Liverpool or if you decide to take some days off from the boat on the Cheshire Ring route for example.
All routes start and finish at our base at the Bridgewater marina/Boothstown Basin (postcode M28 1YB).
1 to 2 days/nights - Our base to Castlefield in Manchester city centre, you get to travel over the Manchester Ship Canal along the Barton Swing Aqueduct, past Old Trafford football ground and into the heart of Manchester's canal hub - Castlefield. Everything that Manchester has to offer is within walking distance from the boat (or a short bus/tram or taxi ride). Add this option if you want to extend a trip on the way back from Dunham or Lymm (no locks).
Castlefield, Mary Thompson
2 to 3 days/nights - Our base to Dunham, Lymm, Grappenhall, Stockton Heath - rural walks, country pubs like the Axe and Cleaver in Dunham or the Swan With Two Nicks. More pubs and restaurants in Lymm where you can also pick up supplies from the bakery, butcher and a general grocery shop. A relaxing and varied cruise and especially good for total beginners (no locks).
3 days/nights – Our base to Appley Bridge in Lancashire - it's you that gets to stop the traffic and operate the lift bridge at Plank Lane (locks and lift bridge).
Plank Lane Lift Bridge, Hester Cox
5 days/nights - Our base to Anderton Boat Lift Bridge (Northwich) and back (locks and tunnels). Take the Anderton Boat Lift onto the River Weaver and spend more days exploring the river.
Anderton Boat Lift, Hester Cox
6 to 7 days - Our base to Middlewich Junction where the Bridgewater canal meets the Trent and Mersey canal (locks and tunnels).
9 to 11 days/nights - Our base to Liverpool - if you have always fancied a trip to Liverpool then arriving by narrowboat has to be one of the most unique ways to visit (locks, assisted locks and tunnels). You must book passage through the assisted locks and book your mooring in Salthouse Dock so a bit of planning is needed.
8 to 10 days/nights - Our base to complete the Cheshire Ring. This route takes in sections of 6 canals and is made up of 92 locks and 97 miles (156 km). The scenery is really varied and the route includes a day passing through Manchester city centre. A few people who have hired with us have stopped off at the Anderton Boat Lift and taken the boat onto the River Weaver for a night or 2 of adventure on the river (locks and tunnels and possiby the Anderton Boat Lift).
10 days/nights – Our base to Audlem (near Stoke-on-Trent) on the picturesque Shropshire Union canal (locks and tunnels).
18 days/nights – Our base to Llangollen including passing over the famous and impressive Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (locks, swing bridges and tunnels).
Photo courtesy of http://www.chirk.com/