Canal Boat Holiday Hire On The Macclesfield Canal
38 Miles, 13 Locks, 1 Week Canal Cruise from our Festival Park Marina base in Etruria, Staffordshire
The Macclesfield canal, or “The Macc”, as it is affectionately known by the local inhabitants along its banks and by the hundreds of canal narrow boaters who cruise The Macclesfield Canal's peaceful waters every year, runs from Kidsgrove to Marple. The unpromising start of the rusty coloured canal waters at its junction with the Trent & Mersey canal is soon forgotten as the Macclesfield Canal flies high above its neighbour on a brick built aqueduct. Canal boat holiday hirers can be forgiven for thinking that they are going uphill in their narrow boats when they leave the Trent & Mersey Canal but it is all a vey clever optical illusion as the only way water can ever go uphill, or down hill for that matter, is by the use of locks or, on rare occasions, by canal boat lifts. In this case the famous Thomas Telford, who surveyed the route of the Macclesfield Canal in 1825, produces surprise after surprise, like a conjurer produces rabbits out of a hat, as you glide along this truly breathtaking waterway on your canal narrow boat holiday.
Shortly after the small stop lock at Scholar Green with its quaint and original lock side cottage your eyes are treated to a feast of picture postcard views, especially when the canal opens out onto the Congleton embankment beyond the town. On your right is the towering railway viaduct striding across the valley and on your left the first sight of The Cloud, a hill that will accompany you on your canal boat holiday for some time. Ahead of you is one of the most attractive lock flights on the canal system at Bosley where there are 12 locks in one mile. The linings of local gritstone blocks in perfect symmetry are another fine example of British engineering at its very best. The views here are dramatic with the locks twisting and turning as they claw their way up out of the valley of the River Dane. At the top of the flight there are very good British Waterways facilities before you carry on to the automated lift bridge at Fools Nook which also boasts good canal boat moorings and a great pub, albeit across the quite busy Leek Road.
The deer park that your narrow boat passes on the right of the canal shortly after is part of Lyme Park, the stately home filmed by the BBC in “Pride and Prejudice” as Mr Darcy’s residence, “Pemberley”. The deers are visible but, for you ladies, I am afraid that neither the house nor Mr Darcy can be seen from the canal. However, Lyme View marina is a great place to moor your narrow boat overnight with the nearby pub offering obvious attractions to the hungry and thirsty canal boat hirer. Macclesfield itself is quite unremarkable but can be used as a shopping stop and the canal here is dominated by the huge Hovis Mill now used for office accommodation. Other former mills along your canal boat holiday route are The Adelphi Mill and The Clarence Mill at Bollington and The Goyt Mill near Marple, all bearing testimony to the importance of the canal and its carrying trade in the 19th and 20th century. As your narrow boat passes over the small Goyt aqueduct you might care to glance to your right at a small, insignificant cottage down below. It was here that the 17 year old James Brindley was apprenticed as a millwright in the 18th century. I wonder if his canal dreams ever envisaged the impact his ideas and labours would still have almost two hundred years later. At High Lane there are canal boat moorings near Bridge 11, a high street of shops and The Bull’s Head canal side pub.At the end of the canal Marple offers limited canal boat moorings but the local Ring ‘O Bells pub holds its own attractions while the very picturesque junction with the Peak Forest Canal and the Marple flight of locks to your left is a photographers paradise. With its sweeping views, roving stone bridges, magnificent locks, old mills and ample supply of canal side hostelries The Macclesfield Canal is a very comfortable, easy and enjoyable week’s canal boat holiday from Crest Narrowboats Festival Park hire base.
More Informative Canal Guides, Route Maps and DVD's can be purchased from the Waterway Routes website.