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Metal plaque with bridge and bargeCheshire Ring Canal Walk

158 km / 98 miles

Cheshire, Gtr Manchester, Staffordshire
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.


Path Type
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Waymark: Metal plaque with bridge and barge
Metal plaque with bridge and barge
Easy; Canal; Heritage; Industrial History
Start and Finish
SJ962884 - Marple, Gtr Manchester
View on StreetMap

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Walking the Cheshire Ring (John Merrill Foundation - 1990)
Middlewood Way (Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council - 2004)
External PDF
Cheshire Ring (Visit Cheshire)

Click to show 3 more Publications, Badges and Certificates


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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):
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OS Explorer
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Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

From Path
Along Path
Walkers are Welcome
4 Km
2 Km
Walkers are Welcome
2 Km
5 Km
Walkers are Welcome
< 1 Km
13 Km
Kerridge End Holiday Cottages  (bookable online)
1 Km
16 Km
Acorn Cottages  (bookable online)
< 1 Km
27 Km
Best Western Manor House Hotel  (bookable online)
2 Km
45 Km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 Km
132 Km

Click to show 5 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:


Route Profile:

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