A journey to the southern end of the Macclesfield Canal takes in some of the most gorgeous countryside in England. Travelling past Sandbach & Church Lawton and tackling the 31 locks of Heartbreak Hill, which rewards you with stunning views across the surrounding countryside. To finally arrive at Kidsgrove where you can be rewarded with a warm welcome and a cold beverage at one of its several good pubs, as well as take a stroll up to the Harecastle Tunnel entrance.
Kidsgrove from Middlewich
A lovely route to tackle over a long weekend or mid-week break to Kidsgrove. You can complete this route with a lot of intense boating in 2 days (approx 10 hours a day) or take it a little easier in a leisurely 3 to 4 days. Between Middlewich and Kidsgrove there are 31 locks that make up Heartbreak Hill, these are spread across 12 miles of the canal as it climbs to reach it’s peak.
As you proceed you will pass the towns of Sandbach and Church Lawton, however you never really cruise through the centre of the towns so the countryside is fairly uninterrupted for the whole route.
This is a route for some proper boating and lock wheeling, as well as getting away from it all and into the countryside.
At Kidsgrove you will meet Hardingswood Junction as well as Red Bull Services, where there is a shower block, toilet and rubbish facilities and a water point to refill the boat’s water tank.
From then on it’s a return to home, or you could continue to explore the Harecastle Tunnel and onwards to Stoke (continuing along the route of the Four Counties Ring) or the Caldon Canal to Froghall. The other option here or the route up the Macclesfield Canal towards the towns of Congleton, Macclesfield, Bollington, Poynton and Marple (this continues along the route of the Cheshire Ring).
If you are heading back to base form here though, prepare to tackle Heartbreak Hill in reverse!
Middlewich to Kidsgrove
26 Miles, 3¼ furlongs, 62 locks, 10 Aqueducts. Total cruising time approx 21 hours and 46 minutes.
- Tetton Bridge
- Beware of the change in bridge profile when heading south.
- Wheelock Botto Lock No 66
- Towpath side lock appears intact but is closed.
- Wheelock Lock No 61
- The towpath-side lock is open, but marked as “narrow” and unsuitable for boats with a beam of over 6’10”
- Lower Thurlwood Lock No 54
- The towpath side lock is narrow and not suitbale for boats with a beam of over 6’10”
- Church Lawton Bottom Lock No 48
- The lock opposite the towpath side is apparently intact but closed.
- Red Bull Lock No 45
- Offside lock is not operational due to paddle problems.
What People are Saying
Very nice People. No Problems. Wonderful holidays. Greetings from Austria. We will come again. ThomasThomas Schwed6/29/2019
“Brilliant Weekend by John Ford” Management brilliant. Nine adults had a great weekend on the canal as first time explorers. Boat clean and superb. Would... read moreJohnF25745/12/2019
“Pet friendly, Good holiday” Paul was very helpful, although the Weather was not so good we will be prepared for rain next time! Boat... read moreMAI8637/09/2019
Great weekend. A lot easier than you'd imagine. Beautiful scenery.. everyone is friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.Joseph Grundy5/29/2019
“Tranquil break” Had lovely experience boat lovely bed sooo comfortable Paul was a great host, narrowboat dog friendly ,had no issues but... read morekdew3368/23/2019
Absolutely beautiful stretch of canal from Poynton to Whalley Bridge. Would definitely do it again. Although I was with a... read moreJill Jenkins9/26/2019
“Lovely boat in wonderful scenery” Gerat tuition with a personal touch. Though at 69 feet not a short boat, it was easy to handle, a... read moreAndreas R7/11/2019
I’ve used the floating holidays for the last couple of years & had a fantastic time every time . Boats... read moredanny booth9/29/2019
Having fab short break on Gemini III - lovely n interesting trip up to Bugsworth Basin.Vicki Jones4/10/2019
“Great pet friendly narrowboat hire, lovely week :-)” The owner Paul was an excellent host, answering any queries before the booking and was very flexible in his approach... read moreClaratayS...3/05/2018
We have just come home from a lovely canal boat holiday booked with Floating Holidays. Paul couldn’t have been... read moreSue Hay5/04/2019
I spent the weekend on the boat for my mates stag do. We had Paul driving the boat for us... read moreMatthew Smith8/29/2019
“Brilliant weekend on Lady Sophia” We spent a weekend on Lady Sophia at the end of April 2019, for the wife’s birthday. Couldn’t be happier... read more115steven7/07/2019
Booking the boat was made straightforward and easy, the boat itself was really nice and Paul was laid back and... read moreGemma9/09/2019
“Really good fun” Neither of us had operated a large boat before. Paul was very helpful and made sure we were confident before... read moresimes3031/07/2019
A great boat for our two families, lots of fun for all -swing bridges, narrow turns and lovely country pubs.... read moreRachel1/02/2020
“Lady Sophia” This was our first experience of a narrow boat and so we only had a vague idea of what to... read moreianrC2760...7/08/2019
“Great experience” Picked up the narrow boat at Poynton and motored through to Whaley Bridge on our 5 day rental. Bed was... read morePat G7/07/2019
“Could not have found better for our purpose.” We are thinking of buying a narrowboat. We know what it is like when the weather is good and wanted... read moreC8750ALmi...2/23/2020
This is our 2nd holiday with them. 2017 on Gemini III their 4 berth. 2018 on Rakiraki the 10 Berth.... read moreAlison Darby8/21/2018
This was a most enjoyable time aboard the Gemini III, made possible by Paul's efficient and personal handling of our... read moreSandy5/02/2018
Enjoyed our break away last year so much we have re-booked - can’t wait.Cathy Smith5/09/2018
We decided to rent Paul’s floating home for the Easter weekend and we were not disappointed. As both of us... read morePeter4/02/2018
“Cosy narrowboat” We had a weekend on the Gemini III on a cold January weekend but still had a wonderful time! The... read moreing-ping1/31/2018
“Highly Recommended, the perfect canal boat company!!” This trip surpassed our expectations. It was the small touches that made it extra nice, the dog biscuits and dog... read moreHayleyHor...8/12/2018
Boat was clean and well equipped ready for use, easy to use and we had a really relaxed week sailing... read morePatrick Casken9/29/2019
I had a wonderful stay on Paul's narrow boat. It's a perfect, leisurely and relaxing way to spend a holiday... read moreJason9/20/2017
“A very sucessful week on Lady Sophia” We hired the Lady Sophia for a week because we are thinking of buying a narrowboat and wanted to see... read moreC8750ALmi...2/22/2020
Lovely boat, just the right size and with everything you need! We went in January but was warm and... read moreIngrid Ashton2/02/2018
The boat was clean and the beds were really comfy. Thoroughly enjoyed our family of 4 trip over 7 days.... read moreTina Begley9/29/2019
Paul excellent on the getting started , best sleep in the beds they are so comfy ,no noise but the... read moreSam Gordon8/29/2019
We spent 4 days on one of Floating Holidays' boats in end May 2019. I recommend them very highly: they... read moreHugh Everett6/06/2019
We had a lovely time on the boat and was pleased to say that we managed to do a couple... read moreAdri10/25/2017
Paul’s narrow boat did everything it was supposed to do despite us being complete novices! Had a wonderful time chugging... read morePeter9/07/2018
“Gemini weekend.” Wonderful weekend had on Gemini. Paul was fab and gave full instructions and demonstration for handling the boat. Luckily we... read moreDanielle2...2/18/2019
“Relaxing weekend.” We booked this boat at very short notice due to cancellation of our booked holiday and we had a lovely... read moreSiouxT578/27/2019
“We did this trip about 10 years ago 2009” This was a hoot. My wife and I rented one of the Narrow Boats. It was 40' long and just... read moreFred Q5/25/2019
“Cosy relaxing short break on Gemini III” Had a great short break on Gemini III (Mon-Fri). Paul was friendly and handover was quick and efficient. We cruised... read morefiona b3/13/2019
If you are a first timer on the canal then this is the ideal holiday for you. My wife... read moreste michaels5/29/2019
The boat was as advertised and Paul was a great host. We had a great time with lovely weather and... read moreLucy6/24/2019
Boats for all sizes of party
2020 cruising dates available
Drop Us a Line
Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!