(for the total return trip)
Museum of Science and Industry | The Lowry | Old Trafford
Barton Swing Aqueduct
Wigan Pier and Museum | Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine
This one-week narrowboat holiday takes you to Wigan along the famous Bridgewater Canal. An easy run through the Cheshire countryside, it takes you through the heart of the Pennington and Wigan Flashes – former quarries that are now stunning nature reserves.
After your initial coaching session and 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.
After Moore you’ll come to Stockton Heath, a great spot to stock up on food or 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 to stretch your legs.
Just after Stretford on the outskirts of Manchester you’ll turn left (west) on the Bridgewater Canal towards Liverpool.
This canal route travels through the heart of Pennington Flash and the Wigan Flashes, two beautiful nature reserves. Created in an area that was once the heart of the mining industry these two special areas are now tranquil lakes, woodland and teeming with wildlife, including 5 RSPB red-listed birds and the protected water vole. The term ‘Flashes’ refers to the lakes on the site which were formed over time as a result of the mining subsidence.
There are two locks in the run up to Wigan and once at this northern town, it’s worth taking some time out to explore the wharf, the old ‘Wigan Pier’ which is due for redevelopment and take a short walk into the town centre to enjoy the shops, pubs and restaurants.
After a night here, it’s time to turn around and head leisurely back to your narrowboat hire base at Acton Bridge.