Wigan and Return – Nature Spotters Paradise
(for the total return trip)
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This easy narrowboating route, enjoyed over one week, allows for some time to visit some of the attractions in Manchester before turning and heading back the way you came.
It’s a recommended trip for families with older children, as the prospect of some shopping or a fun activity in Manchester is a good mix with the relaxing ambience of the countryside.
It’s also a perfect ‘first-timer’ route – easy cruising, just the one ‘stop-lock’ (almost a practice lock if you like!) and a nice mix of countryside and city landscape.
On your arrival day, you’ll meet a member of our team who will take you through a personalised coaching session on your designated boat. This boat induction will show you the complete workings of the boat, how to drive, steer etc plus a tour inside. This usually takes around an hour, longer if you need it.
After your boat handover at our narrowboat hire base at Acton Bridge you’ll head north and about one hour into your cruise, you’ll arrive at the Dutton Stop Lock. This is the only lock you will come across on your short break route.
A stop lock was originally used to control the flow between different canal company’s water and so is slightly different to a normal lock where you ascend or descend the terrain.
With gates and a chamber, it’s the perfect ‘practice’ lock. Depending on the water flow, there may be a couple of inches difference in water level, so you will go through the process of working the lock but without any of the normal risk of anything the boat catching a cill and up-ending itself!
Once you have successfully worked your way through the lock, your cruise continues through miles of pretty countryside, through pretty villages such as Moore, which is a good place to moor up on your first night.
Just past Moore you’ll reach the large village of Stockton Heath, which is well known for its specialist shops and boutiques, plus of course restaurants and pubs, a good spot to stretch your legs and perhaps enjoy a pub lunch.
Continue on through the woodland and farmland of Cheshire to Lymm. This picturesque Cheshire village dates back to the Domesday Book of 1066 and is a lovely place for a walk, with plenty of restaurants and pubs for a cosy meal in.
Heading towards Manchester, the scenery starts to change to as you approach Stretford and on the outskirts of the city. Carry on cruising adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal until you reach Castlefield Junction where you’ll find safe moorings at the basin. Here you can plan to take in some of the sights of this historic northern town, such as the fascinating Science and Industry Museum and Deansgate.
Old Trafford is the biggest football stadium in the UK, home to Manchester United, seating over 74,000 fans. The canal passes right next to it. Take the Stadium Tour, check out the Red Café and pick up a souvenir at the Megastore.
If the Trafford Centre is more your idea of fun then on your return trip turn west towards Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal (heading towards Liverpool) where you can cruise close to this shopping centre. If you have children or teenagers try out the Chill Factor for some skiing or sledging fun, Dino Falls for adventure golfing or even indoor ski-diving at iFly.
Also located near the canal is the Coronation Street Tour, at MediacityUK, at Dock 10 in Salford. Great for both kids and adults, you wander the cobbles of the north’s most famous TV street at the site of its original filming location.
After a couple of days exploring the area, it’s then time to turn and make your way back to our Acton Bridge hire base.
Acton Bridge to Manchester is approx. 2.5 days, 1/5 day to Worsely then cruise back to base.
Call today on ++44 (0)1527 575 115 and a Black Prince team member will be happy to help!