Active Waterways Cheshire

Active Waterways Cheshire is a Sport England funded programme to get you up and about and enjoy the beauty of canals and rivers on your doorstep.

Walking by the canal Walking by the canal

We’ve teamed up with Sport England, through The National Lottery funding, to encourage people to get more active by offering an online programme and a guided walking programme.

What is the Active Waterways Cheshire project?

We know that life can be busy and complicated and we’re not always able to make the time to get active and look after our bodies and minds.

This is where we come in. We want to help everybody get active and feel better by water and so we’ve teamed up with Sport England to put on a three-year project to increase the activity levels of all Cheshire residents over the age of 55 who live near our canals and rivers.

There are two types of programme:

Online programme: We have small groups on our online programme for those who don’t feel comfortable going out in groups yet, or where local measures don’t allow mixing of households.

Guided walking programme: Small groups of five participants to one walk leader with safety measures put in place.

Some of you may have lost confidence with going out, you may need reassuring about attending, or your health conditions have been challenging and you may feel they prevent you from doing activity. We work with you before the programme starts to make sure the programme is right for you.

Online Programme

Our online programme is run by our staff and volunteers and is suitable for people who have access to a computer and have downloaded Zoom software, who want to access activities in a small group. We will be delivering more online programmes over the Winter and encourage you to join us to help increase your activity levels and improve your health and wellbeing in a supportive setting.

The online programme is 12 weeks in length, running at the same time and day every week, using the Zoom app. It gives you an opportunity to learn about health and wellbeing, history and nature of the canals, and encourages you to take part in group activities on the call and to go out walking in your own time. For those of you who are unable to get out, you can attend the online programme which would encourage you to become more active within your own home or garden.

Still unsure about what the online programme has to offer? Please see video below explaining a bit more about the online programme.

Guided Walks Programme

All of our programmes are run by our friendly staff and volunteers, many of whom have experience of working by the waterways or are boaters themselves, so they are very passionate about what they do. We are trained to lead group walking activities in small groups, and can include other activities as part of the programme. We have various locations spread across Cheshire, where we run the guided walks on a weekly basis.

There will be an opportunity to attend a taster session to see if it is suitable for you, before signing up to the programme. The programme runs for 12 weeks and gradually reintroduces you to gentle activity, giving you the support you need to start your journey, and an opportunity to meet new people in your area. Walks are suitable for people who want to build up to a maximum of 40 minutes of activity.
Guided walks are on hold over Winter, so we are now gathering a waiting list for our Spring 2021 programmes - please register your interest by filling in our online registration form.

If you would prefer to start a programme in the Winter, we would suggest you join the online programme which gives you a similar level of support and encourages group participation and a chance to get to know people locally.

How can I join the online or guided walks programme?

Please register your interest by filling in our online registration form.

You can also email us at or call us on 07990 612700 to find out more information. One of the Active Waterways team will contact you to discuss the programme.

Winter 2020 Online programme dates

Please note weekly sessions are one hour long and are run between the hours of 9.30am-2.30pm.

The winter programme runs from Monday 9 November 2020 - Friday 12 February 2021, with a two week break at Christmas.

Monday afternoons: Ellesmere Port residents

Monday afternoons: Chester residents

Tuesday mornings: Northwich residents

Wednesday mornings and afternoons: Nantwich/Crewe residents

Wednesday mornings: Macclesfield residents

Thursday afternoons: Macclesfield residents

Friday afternoons: Northwich residents

Last date edited: 19 October 2020