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.
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.
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