Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The Macclesfield Canal passes through mostly green and rural surroundings, with Victorian mills and warehouses along the way adding a distinctive character.
8th Jan 2018 8:00am to 20th Apr 2018 5:00pm
Extensive Washwall repairs throughout the Bosley Lock Flight. A window for navigation has now been planned on 3rd/4th February during this and all closures in the area, in response to customers' comments.
We offer a comprehensive engineering service for narrowboats and cruisers covering breakdowns, routine servicing, engine, gas, plumbing and electrical repairs. Boat Safety Scheme examinations including...
We are Roving Traders travelling the inland waterways on our narrow-boat Islonian trading as Flavoursfloat.
We sell a wide selection of interesting antique and collectible items with an emphasis on nautical, wooden and canal bygones. We always have a selection of Meashamware teapots available!
Two fabulous locations for your narrowboat holiday or canal barge break. Great prices, great escapes. Wonderful cruising opportunities.
Relax and unwind on a magical journey along the beautiful canals of Shropshire and Cheshire. When you hire a boat from Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays you are assured of a warm welcome, and the first-class...
Bridge 93 Hall Green Footbridge to Hardingswood Junction
Bridge 66 Townfield to Bridge 68 Buxton Road
Bridge 68 Buxton Road Bridge to Bridge 72 Porters Farm Bridge
Bridge 72 Porters Farm Bridge to Bridge 77 Lamberts Lane
Bridge 80 Henshalls Bridge to Bridge 85 Simpson Bridge
Bridge 86 Rownes to Bridge 93 Hall Green Footbridge
Bridge 77 Lamberts Lane to Bridge 80 Henshalls Bridge
Bridge 85 Simpson to Bridge 86 Rownes Bridge
Bridge 61 Congleton to Bridge 66 Townfield
We are very proud that in 2015 the Macclesfield Canal was awarded a prestigious Green Flag in Keep Britain Tidy's Award Scheme, the first canal in the country to achieve this.
As a place to visit, this puts the canal alongside the best parks and other public spaces in the country, and is a huge testament to all the hard work done by volunteers and Canal & River Trust colleagues in keeping the canal in a great way.
See our Green Flag awarded canals.
We believe that to make our plan more robust and inclusive we need as many comments and thoughts from those who use the Macclesfield Canal and towpath, please provide your feedback to us at Enquiries.firstname.lastname@example.org
For boaters, it forms part of the Cheshire cruising ring. It is a tree-lined canal that follows the natural curves of the land, with only one lock flight on it.
For walkers, the towpath is a lovely place for a gentle stroll. If you are looking for a more ambitious hike, the Cheshire Ring Canal Walk follows the cruising ring – an impressive 97 miles in total.
Bollington Discovery Centre tells the story of the industrial history of the area.
Find stoppages, restrictions and other navigational advice for this waterway.
Cotton once ruled in this area. Discover the bustling past at Clarence Mill and Adelphi Mill. We've put together some free family guides to days out at these must-see historic destinations.
Download your guide
The Macclesfield Canal runs from Marple in Cheshire to Hall Green, near the northern end of Harecastle Tunnel on the Trent & Mersey Canal - a distance of 26 miles. The additional 1.5 miles of the Hall Green Branch that connects the two was built by the Trent & Mersey company, but is also now considered to be part of the Macclesfield.
The Macclesfield Canal was designed as a direct link between Manchester and the Midlands, and following its Act of 1826, the canal opened five years later. It was one of the last narrow-gauge canals (locks 7ft wide) to be built, and the audacious 'cut and fill' techniques, high embankments and ambitious cuttings are all indicative of Thomas Telford's hand. As this was a late canal, the lessons of earlier works were incorporated: locks, for example, are all grouped closely together for efficiency of operation. Consequently today's leisure users will find that a few hours' burst of energy is rewarded with miles of lock-free cruising either side of the flight.
It was hoped that the Macclesfield Canal would decrease journey times, and therefore reduce costs, between Manchester, the Potteries and the Midlands. It also served mills, quarries and mines around Macclesfield, Congleton and the Peak District. However, it was not very successful, and the canal passed into railway ownership in 1846. Although suffering the effects of competition, it was still being used for freight carriage until the 1960s. Fortunately, a local cruising club had by this time already been using the waterway for many years - and so, its leisure potential established, it remained navigable despite some of its near neighbours falling into dereliction.
It is now part of the popular 'Cheshire Ring' and is oft-remembered by holidaymakers both for its elegance, particularly the roving or turnover bridges that allow a horse to transfer from a towpath on one side of the canal to the other without the need to unhitch; its spectacular views; and its architectural follies.
2017 Green Flag award winners
Has the 'Mac' Canal retained its Green Flag award? Find out the latest canals to win this prestigious award
Manchester, Pennine & Potteries Waterways
Discover the canals and rivers that make up the Manchester, Pennine & Potteries region