Just a short distance from Manchester and escape to another world, travelling through rural Cheshire countryside by canal boat. Work the locks, steer the boat, walk, or relax with a beer from our boat’s honesty bar.
This tour travels over approximately 24 Miles including 12 Locks and 2 moveable bridges.
This tour also runs in the reverse direction, please see Canal Boat Escape – Congleton to Marple for dates.
Starting just outside Manchester, we travel through beautiful rural Cheshire countryside on our 69ft narrowboat. The UK has a network of 2000 miles of canals, rarely explored by international tourists. Feel a true sense of escape as we hug the edge of the Peak District National Park for much of the journey. Help out with locks, have a go at steering, or simply relax with beer from our honesty bar. With great pub stops and optional activities, this is the ultimate canal boat chill-out experience.
– Max tour group size: 8
– Please Note: children may only be booked as part of a private charter
– Minimum charge: £720 (includes 4 guests)
– Max group size: 8 (if you wish to book for 9 or 10 people please contact us)
– Under 12’s = FREE
Fri 24 March – Sun 26 March
Tues 4 April – Thur 6 April
Tue 25 April – Thur 27 April
Fri 5 May – Sun 7 May
Fri 12 May – Sun 14 May
Fri 19 May – Sun 21 May
Fri 16 June – Sun 18 June
Fri 7 July – Sun 9 July
Tues 18 July – Thur 20 July
Sat 26 August – Mon 28 August (Bank Holiday Weekend)
Fri 8 Sept – Sun 10 Sept
Fri 15 Sept – Sun 17 Sept
Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct
We start from Marple, a suburb of Greater Manchester. Within minutes you’ll feel you’ve escaped the “real world” as we cruise along the inland waters through open countryside.
Today there’s plenty of time for walking or fishing. However, there’s no pressure; if you’re feeling in need of relaxation, simply stay on the homely boat with a book, some tunes, and a glass of wine.
One of the easier walks is in to Lyme Park, home to where a certain Mr Darcy met Miss Bennett in the BBC production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. (Note: there is a charge for entrance to the house and garden. Free to National Trust members). We cruise through the “Happy Valley” of Bollington where you’ll have the chance to go on a brewery tour or take a walk to the top of “White Nancy”, a monument on top of the Saddle of Kerridge.
From here we continue on to either Macclesfield or Sutton, depending on your preference of evening pub (there’s great options in each!)
Today we’ll need your help as we travel down through the 12 locks in the Bosley lock flight, the most rural of lock flights on any of our tours. At the bottom of the locks we are half a mile from the nearest road, deep in the Dane Valley which makes for an ideal place for a leisurely lunch. From here we have just 2 hours further to cruise before finishing the trip in Congleton at around 4pm.
Congleton Train Station is a few minutes walk from where we finish. From here you can take a train back to Manchester, or head south via Stoke-on-Trent to London or Birmingham
|Accommodation on the narrowboat|
|Meals: Day 1 – Dinner: Day 2 – Breakfast, Lunch: Day 3 – Breakfast, Lunch|
|Breakfast of cereals, toast & condiments, fresh fruit, fruit juices|
|Dinner includes 2 courses of home-cooked food|
|Tea, ground coffee, hot chocolate & marshmallows|
|Squash / Fruit cordial|
|One pub meal over the course of the tour|
|Alcoholic / non alcoholic drinks from the honesty bar (help yourself and pay at the end of the tour)|
Venture away from the canal into Lyme Park, and perhaps take a stroll around the gardens and the Edwardian house.
Take a walk up to the peak of White Nancy for stunning views across the Cheshire Plains.
A more strenuous 11km hike covering a part of the multi-day Gritstone Trail
Fish for freshwater Roach, Perch, and Crayfish, or try spinning for the more aggressive Pike
|Soft overnight bag (no bigger than airline carry-on luggage allowance)|
|Sturdy footwear with good grip|
|Torch (for walking back from the pub at night!)|
|Biodegradable toiletries (our grey water feeds directly into the canal)*|
|Gloves (some people find wearing gloves makes working the locks more comfortable)|
*Biodegradable toiletries are available from the Body Shop or Boots.
Start Point: Lockside, Marple, Manchester, SK6 7BJ
Take the train from Manchester Piccadilly to Marple (ticket can be purchased at the station on the day). Exit Marple train station onto Station Road and turn right. Walk up the hill. You will reach the canal, and see lock gates with number 9 written on. Walk past these and immediately turn left up the footpath. Walk along the canal up hill. You will get to lock 16, the last lock (you will have to go underneath a road). At lock 16, walk up over the bridge and immediately turn right.
You shouldn’t miss the 69ft long green narrowboat which will be moored up in the basin. Wandering Duck does not have a designated mooring space, so if you cannot see the boat please just contact us on 07584 122614.
Finish Point: Macclesfield Canal, beside Congleton Train Station, Congleton, Cheshire. CW12 3DE
The tour finishes in Congleton, a 2 minute walk from Congleton Train Station. From Congleton there are trains back to Manchester or South to Stoke on Trent for onward connections.
We recommend using public transport where possible, however we know that sometimes this is not practical. Therefore you may park your car at one end and take a taxi between the start and finish points for around £45.
There is free street parking in both Marple and Congleton.