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
Our family of four just returned from a fantastic week on the “Our Time” boat on the Trent and Mersey... read moreCurt Chaffin10/18/2021
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
Very large spacious boat, had everything u need for a holiday. Extremely comfortable. Staff very friendly and helpful with whatever... read moreLorraine Smith5/28/2021
Great weekend. A lot easier than you'd imagine. Beautiful scenery.. everyone is friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.Joseph Grundy11/13/2019
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
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
We had a fabulous holiday on Casanova, doing the four counties ring. The team of Floating Holidays were really helpful,... read moreChristopher Brookes9/07/2020
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
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
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
Lovely boat, just the right size and with everything you need! We went in January but was warm and... read moreIngrid Ashton2/02/2018
FANTASTIC Experience enjoyed every minute of it.thanks to the crew at floating holidays middlewich for making this possible definitely booking... read moreSean Proudfoot7/25/2021
Neither of us had operated a large boat before. Paul was very helpful and made sure we were confident before... read moresimes3031/07/2019
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
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 excellent on the getting started , best sleep in the beds they are so comfy ,no noise but the... read moreSam Gordon11/13/2019
The boat was clean and the beds were really comfy. Thoroughly enjoyed our family of 4 trip over 7 days.... read moreTina Begley11/13/2019
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
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
Boat was clean and well equipped ready for use, easy to use and we had a really relaxed week sailing... read morePatrick Casken11/13/2019
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
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
We spent 4 days on one of Floating Holidays' boats in end May 2019. I recommend them very highly: they... read moreHugh Everett11/13/2019
I’ve used the floating holidays for the last couple of years & had a fantastic time every time . Boats... read moredanny booth11/13/2019
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
We booked this boat at very short notice due to cancellation of our booked holiday and we had a lovely... read moreSiouxT578/27/2019
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
Paul excellent on the getting started , best sleep in the beds they are so comfy ,no noise but the... read moreSam Gordon8/29/2019
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
If you are a first timer on the canal then this is the ideal holiday for you. My wife... read moreste michaels5/29/2019
Great weekend. A lot easier than you'd imagine. Beautiful scenery.. everyone is friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.Joseph Grundy5/29/2019
We called into the wharf for fuel one Sunday.Filled with fuel and discovered a fuel leak.Paul went out of his... read moreDENNIS LLEWELLYN10/19/2021
Having fab short break on Gemini III - lovely n interesting trip up to Bugsworth Basin.Vicki Jones4/10/2019
A great boat for our two families, lots of fun for all -swing bridges, narrow turns and lovely country pubs.... read moreRachel1/02/2020
Had the most amazing bank holiday weekend on the Casanova thanks to Floating Holidays. Super communication from start to finish.... read moreJoanne Jump9/05/2021
Enjoying a fabulous holiday on Casanova, a perfect narrowboat for 2. Regrettably halfway through our holiday now and getting ready... read moreSue Tucker9/20/2021
The boat was as advertised and Paul was a great host. We had a great time with lovely weather and... read moreLucy6/24/2019
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
I’ve used the floating holidays for the last couple of years & had a fantastic time every time . Boats... read moredanny booth9/29/2019
Booking the boat was made straightforward and easy, the boat itself was really nice and Paul was laid back and... read moreGemma9/09/2019
Had a great time on our first boating holiday, the boat (Casanova) was lovely, well equipped and clean and perfect... read moreSteven Davis6/11/2021
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
Enjoyed our break away last year so much we have re-booked - can’t wait.Cathy Smith5/09/2018
Management brilliant. Nine adults had a great weekend on the canal as first time explorers. Boat clean and superb. Would... read moreJohnF25745/12/2019
Had a fantastic week aboard Columbina which was perfect for our family of 5. We cruised down the Shropshire Union... read moreJo Elliott6/05/2021
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