Canal Boat Escape – Congleton to Marple

Canal Boat Escape – Congleton to Marple

Travel from Congleton, Cheshire to Marple, Manchester

Tour Price:
Individuals – £145 for 2 Nights
Private Charters from £720

Escape to another world just outside Manchester, 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 approximately 24 Miles including 2 Moveable Bridges and 12 Locks.

This tour also runs in the reverse direction, please see Canal Boat Escape – Marple to Congleton for dates.

2 Nights

Starts: 5pm, Day 1

Finishes: 4pm, Day 3

We travel along the Macclesfield canal 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 a beer from our honesty bar. With great pub stops and optional activities, this is the ultimate canal boat chill-out experience.


£145 per person

– Max tour group size: 8
– Please note: children may only be booked as part of a private charter

Private Charters

From £720

– 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



Tues 28 March – Thurs 30 March
Fri 7 April – Sun 9 April
Sat 29 April – Mon 1 May (Bank Holiday Weekend)
Tues 9 May – Thurs 11 May
Tues 16 May – Thurs 18 May
Tues 20 June – Thurs 22 June
Tue 11 July – Thurs 13 July
Fri 28 July – Sun 30 July
Tues 29 Aug – Thurs 31 Aug
Tues 12 Sept – Thurs 14 Sept

Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct
Fri 6 Oct – Sun 8 Oct


Day 1

We start from Congleton in Cheshire. Even though we’re just a short train ride from Manchester you’ll instantly feel you’ve escaped the “real world” as we cruise along the inland waters through open countryside.

Day 2

Today we’ll need your help as we travel up through the 12 locks in the Bosley lock flight, the most rural of lock flights on our tours. At the bottom of the locks we are half a mile from the nearest road, deep in the Dane Valley. At the top of the locks we’ll take a well earned rest for lunch, then we’ll cruise a little further on in search of a good pub to moor by for the evening.

Day 3

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.
We cruise through the “Happy Valley” of Bollington, a small village 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. One of the easier walks today is into 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 for National Trust members).

We finish the tour in Marple, Manchester, which is on the outskirts of the city. The train station is a short walk away from where you can take a train into the centre of Manchester.



Right_Arrow_Green Accommodation on the narrowboat
Right_Arrow_Green Meals: Day 1 – Dinner: Day 2 – Breakfast, Lunch: Day 3 – Breakfast, Lunch
Right_Arrow_Green Breakfast of cereals, toast & condiments, fresh fruit, fruit juices
Right_Arrow_Green Dinner includes 2 courses of home-cooked food
Right_Arrow_Green Home-made cake
Right_Arrow_Green Tea, ground coffee, hot chocolate & marshmallows
Right_Arrow_Green Squash/Fruit Cordial



Right_Arrow_Green One pub meal over the course of the tour
Right_Arrow_Green Alcoholic / Non-alcoholic drinks from the honesty bar (help yourself and pay at the end of the tour)


Optional Activities:


Lyme Park
Venture away from the canal into Lyme Park, and perhaps take a stroll around the gardens and the Edwardian house.

White Nancy
Take a walk up to the peak of White Nancy for stunning views across the Cheshire Plains.

Gritstone Trail
A more strenuous 11km hike covering a part of the multi-day Gritstone Trail

Coarse Fishing

Fish for freshwater Roach, Perch, and Crayfish, or try spinning for the more aggressive Pike.

What To Bring:

Right_Arrow_Green Soft overnight bag (no bigger than airline carry-on luggage allowance)
Right_Arrow_Green Sturdy footwear with good grip
Right_Arrow_Green Towel
Right_Arrow_Green Torch (for walking back from the pub at night!)


Recommended But Not Essential:

Right_Arrow_Green Biodegradable toiletries (our grey water feeds directly into the canal)
Right_Arrow_Green Waterproof jacket
Right_Arrow_Green Gloves (some people find wearing gloves makes working the locks more comfortable)


Getting There And Away

Start Point:
Congleton: Macclesfield Canal, beside Congleton Train Station, Congleton, Cheshire. CW12 3DE
Take the train to Congleton from either Manchester Piccadilly, or you can arrive from London by changing trains at Stoke-on-Trent. Exit Congleton Train station via the platform 2 exit and walk down the steps under Park Lane bridge on to the canal. Turn right on to the canal towpath (the canal should now be on your left) under the bridge.

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:

Marple: Lockside, Marple, Manchester, SK6 7BJ
The tour finishes near the top of Marple Locks, a 15 minute walk from Marple Train Station. We will arrive in Marple just before 4pm in order that you can catch the train back to Manchester.

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 Congleton and Marple.