The Rochdale Canal crosses the rugged heights of the Pennines from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge. The steep climb means lots of locks and an exhausting but exhilarating journey with stunning views.
For boaters, this canal is a peaceful place to escape the crowds. The towpath is probably the easiest walking route through the Pennines, taking you into the heart of the hills at a relatively gentle gradient. However, there is also plenty of access to more challenging routes for serious hiking.
The Rochdale Canal re-opened to boats in 2002 after an ambitious volunteer restoration project that brought an end to more than 50 years without through navigation. Obstacles had included a supermarket built on the line, two motorways, countless road blockages, and a scheme to fill the channel with concrete.