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
Boats for all sizes of party
Check out our available cruising dates
Drop Us a Line
Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!