Whaley Bridge & Bugsworth Basin

 Whaley Bridge is a small quaint town recently made famous for the damaged slipway at the Toddbrook Reservoir.  The town has so much to offer and is at the terminus of the canal.  Bugsworth Basin is a world heritage site. Originally built to load quarried stone from the hills which was brought down to the canal on horse drawn trams, there is so much to explore here! After a busy day cruising, you can relax and unwind with great food and drink from the Navigation pub located right next to the canal at Bugsworth Basin. 

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Introduction

Whaley Bridge & Bugsworth Basin

Bugsworth Basin (or Buggy Basin or just Buggy) is located in the small village of Buxworth.  Bugsworth basin was once the busiest inland port on the narrow canal water ways and is the only large inland port on the narrow system that still survives to this day.  The area is a World Heritage Site and features the wonderful Navigation Pub and a lovely walk along the Tramway Trail (which was used to bring quarried stone for loading onto the boats in it’s hey day).  

Around the corner, not far away, can be found the other terminus at this end of the Peak Forest Canal: Whaley Bridge. Whaley is a larger village than Buxworth and has an array of shops, restaurants and bars to explore. The surrounding countryside also includes the Toddbrook Reservoir and the beautiful Derbyshire hills.

This end of the Peak Forest Canal makes a wonderful short break with Floating Holidays, and can be comfortably completed over a weekend or midweek break.  Being lock free and with only a few swing bridges to tackle, it is also a great introduction to canal boating, and gives you an opportunity to pick up the basics of boating, before taking on a more challenging itinerary.

Route to Whaley Bridge & Bugsworth Basin.

22 miles, 4¾ furlongs, 0 locks, 8 moveable bridges & 14 small aqueducts.  Total cruising time approx 10 hours and 30 minutes.

From Higher Poynton head north along the Macclesfield canal towards the junction of the Macclesfield Canal and the Upper Peak Forest Canal at Marple.  As you depart on your right you will be able to see Lyme Park, a National Trust Park. 

Further on at the sharp turning at Bridge 11 is High Lane village. This is a convenient place to stop for any supplies as there is a small convenience store just on the A6 near Bridge 11. There are also some takeaways and a post office here as well.

At the Marple Junction take a right hand turn onto the Upper Peak Forest Canal.

Along the Peak Forest canal there are four swing bridges that you will encounter. The first is operated with the windlass and the other three by using the Canal and River Trust Facility Key.  These take a little bit of team work and are great fun.

You will pass through Disley, New Mills & Furness Vale. At New Mills the canal passes by the Swizzle Matlow confectionary factory which abuts straight up to the canal before the canal takes a turn under a bridge and passes New Mills Marina.

After Furness Vale there is a fork in the canal. Going left takes you into Bugsworth Basin and going right goes into Whaley Bridge. Each of these forks are around 15 minutes of cruising before you reach the end and at the end you are able to turn the boat to make the return journey back to base in Higher Poynton.

 

Detailed Route:

Macclesfield Canal
From Higher Poynton Winding Hole to:
Junction with High Lane Branch A good place to moor 1 mile, 5¼ furlongs, 0 locks

High Lane Bridge No 11

High Lane. Also known as High Lane
¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Marple Junction Water pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Junction of Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals
2 miles, 2½ furlongs, 0 locks
Peak Forest Canal (Upper)
From Marple Junction Water pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here (Junction of Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals) to:

Thornsett Road Bridge No 28

New Mills
3 miles, 7½ furlongs, 0 locks

Furness Bridge No 31

Furness Vale. Also known as Furness Vale
1 mile, 1¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Whaley Bridge Branch Junction

Junction with Whaley Bridge Branch
7¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Peak Forest Canal (Whaley Bridge Branch)
From Whaley Bridge Branch Junction (Junction with Whaley Bridge Branch) to:

Whaley Bridge Transhipment Warehouse

End of navigation. Also known as Whaley Bridge
4 furlongs, 0 locks
Turn round here

Whaley Bridge Branch Junction

Junction with Whaley Bridge Branch
4 furlongs, 0 locks
Peak Forest Canal (Upper)
From Whaley Bridge Branch Junction (Junction with Whaley Bridge Branch) to:

River Goyt Aqueduct A good place to moor

Also known as Buxworth Aqueduct
¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Bugsworth Upper Basin 5¼ furlongs, 0 locks
Turn round here

River Goyt Aqueduct A good place to moor

Also known as Buxworth Aqueduct
5¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Whaley Bridge Branch Junction

Junction with Whaley Bridge Branch
¾ furlongs, 0 locks

Furness Bridge No 31

Furness Vale. Also known as Furness Vale
7¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Thornsett Road Bridge No 28

New Mills
1 mile, 1¼ furlongs, 0 locks

Marple Junction Water pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here

Junction of Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals
3 miles, 7½ furlongs, 0 locks
Macclesfield Canal
From Marple Junction Water pointRubbish disposalChemical toilets can be emptied here (Junction of Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals) to:

High Lane Bridge No 11

High Lane. Also known as High Lane
2 miles, 2½ furlongs, 0 locks
Junction with High Lane BranchA good place to moor ¾ furlongs, 0 locks
Higher Poynton Winding Hole

1 mile, 5¼ furlongs, 0 locks

 

Testimonials

What People are Saying

Wonderful weekend had on Gemini

Wonderful weekend had on Gemini. Paul was fab and gave full instructions and demonstration for handling the boat. Luckily we had great weather and sailed upto Whaley Bridge. This was our first overnight aboard a narrowboat and we definitely recommend!! The boat was well stocked with everything you will need. We will definitely be returning soon. Thanks Paul.

Danielle – Trip Advisor

“I recommend them very highly”

“We spent 4 days on one of Floating Holidays‘ boats in end May 2019. I recommend them very highly: they have an excellent mixture of friendliness, efficiency, pragmatism, politeness, service and helpfulness in the right amounts. The boat was clean, comfortable and well-provisioned. Their advice was useful, well-judged and required. The hand-overs were done well, and they responded quickly and efficiently to our text/phone questions.”

Hugh Everett – Google review

“Beautiful setting & steeped in history”

Really nice place in a beautiful setting & steeped in history. There’s a very good pub (the navigation arms..) at the top, there’s a little shop, toilets & the usual boaters facilities. Everyone seemed really friendly & helpful especially the basins warden. Great place to moor or just to start a stroll along the peak forest canal… well worth a visit.

Squirrelsdrey – Google review

“Great weekend… beautiful scenery”

Great weekend. A lot easier than you’d imagine. Beautiful scenery.. everyone is friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.

Joseph Grundy – Google review

Boats for all sizes of party

2020 cruising dates available

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