Cheshire Canal Boat Hire

Begin your Adventure at Acton Bridge

Based near Northwich, our Cheshire Acton Bridge canal boat hire base is a great place for exploring this beautifully scenic area. Travelling north, you can cruise the canal where it all started – the Bridgewater Canal, which takes your narrowboat lock-free to Manchester. The canal is wide and relaxed, perfect for first timers and those that love getting away from it all in a pretty rural location.

More experienced boaters can continue their journey to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and visit the home of the Beatles, Liverpool, or complete the Four Counties Ring, an amazing trip over 141 miles. You can also enjoy cruises to the historic town of Chester or head south to the Llangollen Canal into Wales.

Routes from Acton Bridge Base

Acton Bridge canal route map

Cheshire Acton Bridge Hire Base

Bartington Wharf, Warrington Road, Bartington, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4QU


Wigan and Return – Nature Spotters Paradise

86 miles
6 locks
(for the total return trip)

Chester and return canal boat holiday

84 Miles
44 Locks
1 Week Cruise
6 hours per day

Four Counties Ring canal boat holiday

141 Miles
102 Locks
2 Week Cruise
5 hours per day

Liverpool & Return – Experienced Boaters Trip to Albert Dock

103 miles
8 locks
(for the total return trip)

Manchester and Return

68 miles
2 locks (stop lock)
(for the total return trip)

Lymm and Return – The Perfect Beginners Break

1 stop lock
13 Miles
2 Locks
(for the total return trip)

Acton Bridge Short Route

Locks: 16
20hrs return

Harecastle Tunnel

For boat hire guests departing from our Acton Bridge base and wanting to cruise the Four Counties Ring it is necessary to book slots for passage through the Harecastle tunnel. Slots are available for seven days a week, from 8 am until 5 pm. We will send you details on how to reserve your slot prior to your holiday.

Please note that the Cheshire Ring is currently unavailable to cruise due to a lock closure on the Macclesfield Canal (June 2024).

Narrowboats Available to hire from Acton Bridge

Below are the boat types that are available to hire from this base. When you start your holiday search all the boat options and dates that closely match your desired departure date and party number will be presented to you.

Narrowboat Availability


Princess 2Princess 4Duchess 4Shakespeare 4Princess 6 SignatureDuchess 6Duchess 8


Duchess 4Duchess 6


Holly Bush Inn, Little Leigh, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4QY Tel. 01606 853196
Double Room £48.50 Single Room £43.50 Breakfast £6.50

Happy Guests Lodge, Tarporley Road, Dutton, Cheshire, WA4 4EZ Tel. 01928 790824
Double Room £49.95 Single Room £44.95 Price includes breakfast and free WiFi

National Rail Enquiries: 08457 484950
www.thetrainline.comTel: 0871 244 1545

Nearest Airport:
Manchester International Tel. 0161 489 3000

Nearest Railway Station: Acton Bridge/Hartford


Mark Lacking, up to 7 passengers

Gemini Cars
01606 594020
07966 169920

Mike Eves, up to 4 passengers

01606 550355
07899 087320

Good shopping facilities and a petrol station are within a short distance to the base. The Leigh Arms is next to the swing bridge (see How to Find Us – Car) and offers lunches and evening meals.

From Heathrow airport get the London underground tube train to Euston station.
From Gatwick airport get the Gatwick Express to London Victoria station, then get a London underground tube train to Euston station.
From Stanstead airport get the London underground tube train to Euston station.
From Euston get a train to Crewe or Runcorn then change for Hartford.

Visit to plan your route on the London Underground.

Get a train to Manchester Picadilly station, then a train to Liverpool Lime Street, then change for Acton Bridge.

Acton Bridge is situated beside the A49 (Warrington to Whitchurch road). This is 4 miles south of Junction 10 on the M56 and 300 yards north of the swing bridge crossing the River Weaver.

Cheshire Acton Bridge Reviews:

Philip PricePhilip Price
11:40 14 Sep 22
Not an actual customer but we called in here overnight as we had a problem with internal flooding in the boat we had hired from Anglo Welsh at Tardebigge. The staff at Black Prince were very helpful, pumping us out as soon as they arrived in the morning, refilled our water tank, gave us kettles of hot water so we could wash up and refused to take any payment even though Anglo Welsh were going to reimburse us. They also looked after the person from Anglo Welsh who came to dry us out. Great people!
Nicola SutcliffeNicola Sutcliffe
08:41 09 Sep 22
Absolutely loved my first ever canal boat holiday with Black Prince Holidays. Really friendly team. Enjoyed the locks most 👍👍
Ziggy StefanovicZiggy Stefanovic
12:58 31 Aug 22
Absolutely love this stretch of the Canal..So calm.Their boats look fab!
Ian BaileyIan Bailey
19:07 12 Aug 22
Great Staff and procedures to get people on their way quickly. went canal barging during a Very hot week so planning of stop offs essential for liquid breaks
Trevor FieldTrevor Field
21:43 04 Jun 22
Brilliant hand over for our 2 week canal trip around the Avon ring. Beautiful boat too.
Lisa CrewLisa Crew
18:01 21 Apr 22
We took a 4 day break with Black Prince on one of their Duchess 4 narrow boats last week. Our welcome was very warm and the induction was informative and made me feel confident with the way that the boat needed to be maintained, how to tackle locks and our guide helped us to plan our whole route. The holiday was one of the most relaxing that I have ever known; keeping busy on the 46 lock route meant that I was tired in the evenings and slept better than I have I have in years, but the scenery and sedentary pace of the whole thing made me distress within hours of first setting off. The boat itself was very clean, well laid out and had everything that we needed, all in excellent order. I recommend this company as one that delivers on its promises.
Martyn StubbsMartyn Stubbs
18:06 09 Sep 21
Picked up boat small induction off we went no problem. Clean boat. Rudder came off we rang black Prince someone was with us in 15 mins 10 minutes fixed on our way no problem. We throughly enjoyed ourselves. We will be back thankyou.
Anthony MorganAnthony Morgan
17:04 02 Sep 21
This is the 5th time we have been away with Black Prince but the first time from Stoke Pior. Can't fault their service. This is the first time we have been given a map of our journey with advice on where to Moor and not Moor, pump outs etc. Really friendly and helpful staff. Definitely would recommend Black Prince if you want to try a canal boat holiday. Their boats are always clean and are very modern.
Proud British Vet-086Proud British Vet-086
11:18 12 Aug 21
I cannot Thank Black Prince at Stoke Prior enough. Especially Bob.These guys went above and beyond, to help me out of a sticky situation I found myself in, due to a breakdown, and waterpump drive belt failure.Without their very kind assistance I would have been somewhat stuck.It's people like this that really do make boating such a pleasure.My Sincere Thanks.Kind Regards Martin and DiNB Fragil
Gavin ParkesGavin Parkes
11:54 18 Jul 21
Recently returned from a narrowboat holiday. Cannot fault the service that Black Prince deliver. We had a small problem with the toilet on the first day and within an hour an engineer was with us on the canal to fix it. Brilliant. This is our first holiday after lockdown has been eased and Black Prince are showing true professionalism with additional cleaning and measures that made us feel very safe. Highly recommended.
jake cooperjake cooper
08:53 23 Oct 20
Great holiday experience. Good brief given for beginner narrow boaters, route planned with helpful pointers and tips.Narrow boat was modern and full of great amenities. WiFi was hit and miss, this was mentioned during the initial brief. Easy to pilot.
Martin MusgraveMartin Musgrave
15:55 18 Aug 18
We've just got back from a two week canal holiday using Black Prince narrow boats in Bromsgrove and had an amazing time belly laughing most days at or with other boaters. We turned up to be greeted by all staff and treated like royalty. Friendly and helpful staff showed us to our boat "Daisy", had our tour of boat and we were off. The boat was beautifully maintained, clean and very see worthy. On our return we were greeted with the same enthusiasm by staff and given a gift to remind us of our trip.Having used ABC on our other two trips, Black Prince was by far the best canal boat company we have used.Want a trip on a canal, you can't go wrong with these people.

Blog posts about Acton Bridge: