Canal & local information

We like the canal route planner from CanalPlan AC it will help you work out how many hours per day to travel, where to stop for the night - a great tool for say the Cheshire Ring or the Four Counties. When using the route planner the start and end place you should enter is Boothstown Basin.

The Boaters Handbook - Please have a look at this if you are planning a trip on the canals. It is a very useful resource to help you master how to do some basic manoeuvre's and make sense of canal etiquette and it will help you feel confident about using a boat on the canals. Here is a link to the Boaters Handbook DVD on YouTube - recommended if you are hiring a narrowboat in the UK but remember the Bridgewater canal has no locks.

Star Narrowboat Holidays has gained QAB status.In October 2016 Star Narrowboat Holidays achieved QAB status! As a member of the British Marine Federation we have been assessed on our handover competence and customer service. British Marine run the scheme with licence from VisitEngland, they say 'the Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme is not a star rating scheme, it's an accreditation, that offers reassurances of safe and legal practices together with good customer service. The assessments are carried out every three years with random inspection during the 3 year cycle.' As the business who has the QAB we say where it reads 'Boatyard' please read 'Business'.


Cruise to Liverpool  You can cruise our boats to Liverpool from our base - ask us for more info if you are interested or book your passage online.

A great website useful for canal boat holiday planning, excellent for info on routes, culture and history of the canal system in the UK.

The Cheshire Ring - a narrowboat holiday route for the serious holiday hirer! This is a 7 day minimum trip through Manchester, the Peak District, the Cheshire Plains and back to base at the Bridgewater marina - 97 miles and 92 locks. Really varied scenery and stunning views.

The Anderton Boat Lift

As a side trip from the Cheshire Ring you could experience the Anderton Boat Lift, built in 1875 it is one of only 2 working boat lifts left in the country. You could take 'Gloria' or 'Queenie' on the boat lift down onto the River Weaver. There is now an online booking system for you to book your own passage.

Dunham Massey park is within close walking distance to the Bridgewater canal as it passes towards Lymm, there are deer in the park and the house is a place that Haile Selassie 1 spent time when he was exiled from Ethiopia in 1936!

Atrincham Market  The Altrincham Market is very near the Bridgewater canal - read about it in our blog.


Manchester International Festival   Every other year the Manchester International Festival comes to town - the next one will be this summer - 2019.

pontcysyllte aqueduct world heritage site   The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a World Heritage Site - findout more - it can be reached in a comfortable 3 week (return) cruise from our base. The image has been taken for the Canal and River Trust website.

For information about the evolving Bridgewater canal - the canal from which Star Narrowboat Holidays operates. The Bridgewater canal is a canal with no locks.

Narrowboatinfo 'An independent guide to the canals and rivers of the UK'.

 Sonia Rolt campaigner for the Inland Waterways Association (IWA).   Findout more about Sonia Rolt who campaigned for the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) until she died in 2014.

Formerly the 'Cornerhouse' now Manchester's centre for film, theatre, arts and events a short walk from Castlefield (the canal hub). From 6th July to 29th September 2019 there will be a big David Lynch season hosted by HOME - more info here.

The Campaign for Real Ale - find real ale pubs along the canal network.

Sustrans provide information and resources about the 13,400 miles of the National Cycle Network (and walking routes) in the UK many of which run along or near the canal network.

The home of the Halle Orchestra  - the Bridgewater Hall, a 5 minute walk from Castlefield (the canal hub in Manchester city centre). 


Kings Arms provide comedy, live music, great beer and food and a friendly, easy going atmosphere...then only a 10 minute walk back to the boat.


China Town Manchester   China Town in Manchester is the second largest in the UK, it's a 10 minute walk from Castlefield where you can moor. Ho's Bakery has been popular (with us) for years - their honey buns!

The Band On The Wall is a legend for live music in Manchester.


The official destination website to Salford.

The official destination website to Manchester.

If you have any ideas for other links to useful information please let us know by email



narrowboat hire manchester