This page.    
A detailoed description of our boats, Oak and Ash.    
Where we will be going in 2004.  

Your floating hotel

on the Canals and Rivers of the UK

How to book a cruise, prices, discounts, booking form.    

Our guide to the waterways of the UK in detail.

The Macclesfield Canal.


This canal is quietly spectacular. It is a rural canal running for twenty-eight miles along the foothills of the Peak Forest linking together the well spread out former mill towns of Congelton, Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple. They have huge Victorian reused mill buildings, at times towering over the canal, spectacular reminders of the area's past. The canal is built in the 'modern' style of cut and fill, however the cutting are shallow, but the embankments and aqueducts repeatedly soar across deep valleys. One classic feature is the 'snake bridges' to give them their local name. They are elegantly built stone turnover bridges, built to carry the tow path over the canal.

The canal leaves the Trent and Mersey at Kidsgrove by an aqueduct over the main line. For the first ten miles the canal cuts through the countryside except for a quick and fascinating passage through Congelton with its aqueduct.

Then comes the flight of twelve locks at Bosley. Immediately below the locks the canal crosses the River Dane on a spectacular aqueduct and embankment to give a beautiful mooring. Apart from the initial stop lock at the start of the canal all the locks on the canal are in this one flight. They are in one of the most pleasant settings for any flight of locks in the UK as they lift the canal 118 foot in just one mile.

The canal now continues on the level for another sixteen miles to Marple. Passing through the mill town of Macclesfield with its stone lined cuttings and the huge Hovis mill. The mill town of Bollington after passing Adelph Mill has another spectacular aqueduct adjacent to Clarence Mill. Apart from the two towns the canal is again out in the country cutting across the foothills, with the Cheshire plain spread on far below to the West and the moorlands of the Peak Forest towering above to the West. We pass below stone bridges, and over other aqueducts at intervals. .

The canal finishes by joining the Peak Forest canal at the top of Marple locks close to the centre of the town of Marple, again passing a former mill on the way in.

It is a canal all too often over looked. Yet it provides a spectacular journey for all of its twenty-eight miles.


Unfortunately we will not be on this canal in 2012 during our cruises.

However we are cruising on other canals and rivers in 2012, details of these cruises can be found at

routes for 2012.


Some pictures of this canal?

Pictures of the Macclesfield canal.


More information from Reed Boats about this canal.

A history of this canal.


Find our information about other canals on the canal index page.


If you have any questions then do ring us on 07977 229103
or email us at

Where do you want to go now?
The Boats. Questions & Answers. Cruise Routes. How to book.
All our news. Home Page. Site Map.