Kidsgrove

A journey to the southern end of the Macclesfield Canal takes in some of the most gorgeous countryside in England.  Travelling through Bollington, Macclesfield, Bosley flight of 12 locks with stunning views, over the Gurnett Aqueduct and through Hall Green Stop Lock and eventually over the Pool Lock Aqueduct which goes above the Trent and Mersey Canal at Kidsgrove.  Kidsgrove is home to the northern entrance to the Harecastle Tunnel.

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Introduction

Kidsgrove via Bollington, Macclesfield, Congleton & Bosley Locks

The southern section of the Macclesfield Canal through to the junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal at Kidsgrove, travels through some spectacular English countryside and visits the historic towns and villages along the route. 

Bollington is dominated on the canal by two large Mills which are vibrant and full of life, currently being occupied as a mixed business premises and apartment accommodation. Bollington is a lovely village comprised mainly of homes built from local stone. There are also plenty of high calibre pubs to visit and sample the local beers.  Loki the dog and I are still working our way around the town’s public houses there are that many!

Further along the canal after some more stunning scenery the large town of Macclesfield, home of the silk men, is reached.  Although no longer a centre of the textiles industry, the town is a nice place to stop and just near the Puss in Boots pub which is right next to the canal are a couple of shops and take aways, handy for stocking up on those essentials!  Just after Macclesfield Marina and Hovis Mill one quickly arrives at Gurnett Aqueduct which is a picturesque place to stop overnight.  Here the two favourite haunts for guests are Ye Olde Kings Head as well as Sutton Hall which get good reviews for food and drink when boats are returned to us.

Bosley Locks are arrived at after a cruise from Gurnett Aqueduct and tackling the two swing bridges along the way.  

Bosley is a flight of 12 locks with short pounds in between.  Along the way do take time to appreciate the lovely views. Half way down there is an example of the side pounds that originally where used with the locks to save water which is rather interesting.

Congleton is the penultimate town on this route also known as “Bear Town” after it’s historical connections with Bear Fighting unfortunately.  The canal runs under a train bridge here and the Queens Head is right next to the tow path and accessible directly up steps to it. Down the road from the Queens Head is a nice Fish and Chip Shop.

Hall Green Stop Lock briefly delays cruising before you arrive into Kidsgrove over the Pool Lock Aqueduct. Once over this you turn around to the left and join the Trent and Mersey Canal. This is a convenient point to turn around. However if time permits do explore Kidsgrove, a short walk will bring you to the Harecastle tunnel entrance which is just to the south (right out of the junction), whilst to the north (left) there are a few pubs and also a service point with showers, waste point, water point and other Canal and River Trust facilities.

Route to Kidsgrove & Harecastle Tunnel.

47 miles, 6¼ furlongs, 26 locks, 4 moveable bridges & 22 aqueducts. Total cruising time approx 23 hours and 31 minutes.

Starting our Higher Poynton location and heading south the first major town that you reach will be Bollington. On the first evening depending on your arrival time you may wish to stop over at either Bridge 24 (Whiteley Green & Windmill Pub) or Bridge 18 (Lyme View Marina & Miners Arms Pub).

From Bollington we proceed through Kerridge, Macclesfield and over Gurnett Aqueduct before arriving at our first obstacle to tackle which is a manual swing bridge operated by the Canal and River Trust facility key.  This bridge needs to be unlocked and physically pushed out of the way by a member of the crew who then closes the bridge once the boat has passed through and re-boards.  The next bridge at Oakgrove is electrically operated and also stops traffic over the road.

Bosley locks are a flight of 12 with short pounds in between the locks, they are reasonable in size and drop the canal around 120 feet over the 1 mile stretch.  At the top of the locks is a facilies station with showers, toilets, waste drop off and water point.  If there is a queue ahead then why not top up with water whilst waiting for your turn!

After the locks the canal crosses a large aqueduct called Dane Aqueduct with some great views, thereon its further stunning countryside till Congleton and onwards to Kidsgrove. 

Hall Green Stop Lock will cause a short delay in your journey and you may wonder why such a small lock that appears pointless is located here. The reason for this obstacle is two fold we understand. It gave the toll keeper the opportunity to collect a fare from boats travelling along the canal (canals were originally privately owned) and also prevents a neighbouring canal owned by another company from removing water from a stretch of canal that did not belong to them.

Once through Hall Green Stop Lock it is a short journey on to Kidsgrove. The canal goes over Pool Lock Aqueduct and then turns to join the Trent and Mersey Canal. At the junction turning right will take you south to the Harecastle Tunnel, Stoke, towards Birmingham or the Caldon Canal. Going North (turning left at the junction) goes up the Trent and Mersey towards Middlewich, Northwich, Anderton and eventually joining the Bridgewater Canal if one was to do the Cheshire Ring.

If just completing an out and back journey to Kidsgrove then here is the point to turn around and enjoy the return trip!

 

Detailed Route:

Macclesfield Canal
From Higher Poynton Winding Hole to:

Kerridge Bridge No 27

Bollington
4 miles, ¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Woods Bridge No 30 [see navigational note 1 below]1 mile, 3¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Higherfold Bridge No 33 [see navigational note 1 below]6 furlongs, 0 locks
Buxton Road Bridge No 37 A good place to moor [see navigational note 2 below]1 mile, ¼ furlongs, 0 locks
The Hovis Mill¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Swettenham Wharf Toilet pump-outChemical toilets can be emptied here

Also known as Macclesfield Canal Centre
¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Royal Oak Swing Bridge No 493 miles, 1 furlong, 0 locks
Bosley Top Lock No 1 toilets for boatersWater pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here1 mile, 6½ furlongs, 0 locks
Bosley Bottom Lock No 12 A good place to moor Having passed through Bosley Locks (rise of 110 feet)1 mile, 11 locks
Congleton Bridge No 611 mile, 1¾ furlongs, 1 lock

Congleton Wharf

Also known as Congleton
3 miles, 2½ furlongs, 0 locks
Watery Lane Aqueduct1 mile, 3¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Ramsdell Hall1 mile, 4¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Hall Green Stop Lock Water point

Junction of Macclesfield Canal and Hall Green Branch – Trent and Mersey Canal
1 mile, 2¼ furlongs, 1 lock
Trent and Mersey Canal (Hall Green Branch)
From Hall Green Stop Lock Water point (Junction of Macclesfield Canal and Hall Green Branch – Trent and Mersey Canal) to:
Red Bull Aqueduct4 furlongs, 0 locks

Hardings Wood Junction

Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch
1 mile, 0 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Main Line – Etruria to Hardings Wood)
From Hardings Wood Junction (Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch) to:

Harecastle Tunnel (North end) Water pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Kidsgrove. Also known as Kidsgrove
2¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Turn round here

Hardings Wood Junction

Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch
2¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Trent and Mersey Canal (Hall Green Branch)
From Hardings Wood Junction (Junction of Trent and Mersey Canal and Hall Green Branch) to:
Red Bull Aqueduct1 mile, 0 locks

Hall Green Stop Lock Water point

Junction of Macclesfield Canal and Hall Green Branch – Trent and Mersey Canal
4 furlongs, 1 lock
Macclesfield Canal
From Hall Green Stop Lock Water point (Junction of Macclesfield Canal and Hall Green Branch – Trent and Mersey Canal) to:
Ramsdell Hall1 mile, 2¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Watery Lane Aqueduct1 mile, 4¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Congleton Wharf

Also known as Congleton
1 mile, 3¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Congleton Bridge No 613 miles, 2½ furlongs, 0 locks
Bosley Bottom Lock No 12 A good place to moor1 mile, 1¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Bosley Top Lock No 1 toilets for boatersWater pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here Having passed through Bosley Locks (rise of 110 feet)1 mile, 11 locks
Royal Oak Swing Bridge No 491 mile, 6½ furlongs, 1 lock

Swettenham Wharf Toilet pump-outChemical toilets can be emptied here

Also known as Macclesfield Canal Centre
3 miles, 1 furlong, 0 locks
The Hovis Mill¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Buxton Road Bridge No 37 A good place to moor [see navigational note 2 below]¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Higherfold Bridge No 33 [see navigational note 1 below]1 mile, ¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Woods Bridge No 30 [see navigational note 1 below]6 furlongs, 0 locks

Kerridge Bridge No 27

Bollington
1 mile, 3¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Higher Poynton Winding Hole4 miles, ¼ furlongs, 0 locks

 

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