The Canal Boat Experience (3 Nights) by Wandering Duck
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Travel by Canal Boat from Manchester to the Peak District National Park over 3 nights. Help out with Locks, have a go at steering, or help yourself to the honesty bar!
- Departs from: Departure: 18.00 Arrival:11.00
- Departure times: Varied
- Duration: 4 Days
- Starts in: Manchester
- Ends in: Peak District
- Boat Cabin
What to bring:
- Comfortable Footwear
- A torch is handy but not essential.
Included in price:
Wandering Duck - The Canal Boat Experience
3 Nights / 20 Miles / 34 Locks / 6 Moveable Bridges / 5 Aqueducts / 2 Tunnels
Meals:Day 1 - Dinner; Day 2 - Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner; Day 3 - Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner; Day 4 - Breakfast
The "Locks, Tunnels & City Lights" trip starts at Piccadilly Basin in the trendy Northern Quarter of Manchester's city centre. We travel out to Bugsworth Basin on the edge of the Peak District National Park.
-Manchester's Northern Quarter
-Manchester City Football Stadium
-Hyde Bank Tunnel
-Marple Lock Flight
-Torrs Riverside Park
We start in Piccadilly Basin in Manchester's Northern Quarter. There is no cruising on the first evening, so we simply meet up for Dinner on the boat. After dinner there is time to explore the bars of the Northern Quarter, or you may prefer to stay onboard the boat.
On the first morning we have a bit of work ahead, climbing through 18 locks on the Ashton Canal, out of Manchester city centre, via Sport City, the Velodrome, and Manchester City Football Club's Etihad Stadium. We travel through the Eastern suburbs of Beswick, Clayton & Droylsden. We moor at the start of the Lower Peak Forest Canal, close to Portland Basin Museum. Time permitting, feel free to have a look around the museum which gives insight in to the history of Greater Manchester and includes a mock 1920's street. Time permitting we continue a couple of hours on to Romiley, where we moor close to a nice pub!
This morning we travel out of the sprawl of Greater Manchester. There is an opportunity for a short walk to Chadkirk Chapel, before carrying on through Hyde Bank Tunnel, a 300m tunnel which would have originally been "legged" through; using manpower alone to take the old working boats through the tunnel.
The highlight of this mornings cruise is Marple Aqueduct; a 94m long aqueduct which carries us high above the River Goyt. This stunning 200 yr old aqueduct is one of the engineering feats of the canal, and we have plenty of time for photo opportunities on and off the boat.
Immediately after the aqueduct is the Marple lock flight; a tough but picturesque series of 16 locks, which lifts us 63 metres in around 1 mile, and, assuming you're up for the workout, takes us approximately 3 hours.
At the top of the locks in Marple, we continue along the Upper Peak Forest Canal. Locks over, we can relax on this beautifully scenic stretch of canal which includes 3 moveable bridges.
We moor up in Disley or New Mills and after a boat-cooked meal there's plenty of time for drinks at a nearby pub.
This morning there is the opportunity to visit the Torrs Riverside Park (the "Park under the Town"). This little-known area includes a spectacular suspended walkway, and the remains of New Mills rich industrial past.
From New Mills we cruise a further 2 hours to Bugsworth Basin, and it's your last opportunity to have a go at steering "Rakiraki", our 69ft narrowboat.
Our trip finishes at our home mooring in Bugsworth Basin. This was once the largest working port on the canal system, and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Torrs Riverside Park & Millennium Walkway
The "Park under the town" is a superb gorge where the Rivers Sett and Goyt join. Nearly 100 feet below the town of New Mills lies the Torrs Gorge, an area of fascinating geology and heritage. Here the Rivers Sett and Goyt come together; their power was harnessed for over 200 years by mills. Discover mill ruins, weirs, cobbled tracks and archways of bridges towering dramatically overhead. As you walk along this impressive, but relatively little known, natural feature you are surrounded by a rich industrial heritage spanning several hundred years of the history of New Mills.
Explore the Torrs and the Riverside Park from the spectacular Millenium Walkway. It is a 160m long walkway that links New Mills, the Torrs and the Riverside Park.
Take a walk through the woodlands to the beautifully restored Chadkirk Chapel which dates back to the 14th Century.
What Next: Bugsworth Basin and the Peak District National Park
It's worth spending some time at Bugsworth Basin to have a look at this fascinating piece of history that has been brought back to life by volunteers over 3 decades. At weekends the visitor centre is open which features a scale model of how the working site would have looked back in the early 19th century.
From Bugsworth Basin it's a 20 minute canal side walk to Whaley Bridge. The train from here is 25 minutes to Buxton, from where you'll find the Visitor Information Centre and a wealth of information for visiting the surrounding Peak District National Park, the first and most visited National Park in England.
Activities on offer here include walking, cycling, paragliding, and the Go Ape treetops adventure among plenty of other possibilities.
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