The “Locks & Tunnels” trip travels from Hyde on the outskirts of Manchester, through to Bugsworth Basin on the edge of the Peak District National Park. The trip covers so many highlights in such a short trip and is deservedly our most popular route.
We start in Hyde, 5 minutes walk from Hyde Central train station. We cruise for around 1.5 hours this evening along the Lower Peak Forest Canal. Moving away from the industrial and suburban sprawl of Greater Manchester, we moor in Romiley for the night. From here we are conveniently placed for visiting a nearby pub after dinner.
Those who wish can take a short walk to nearby Chadkirk Chapel this morning. This little known 14th Century Chapel is just 5 minutes walk from the canal and is well worth the stroll.
Not much further along is the Hyde Bank Tunnel, a 300 metre tunnel which would have originally been “legged” through; using manpower alone to take the old working boats through the tunnel.
Shortly after the tunnel we’ll come to Marple Aqueduct. This stunning 94m long aqueduct is over 200 years old and carries us high above the River Goyt. This is one of the engineering feats of the canal, and we have plenty of time for photo opportunities on and off the boat.
Once we have crossed the aqueduct we’ll stop for a cuppa and a lock briefing. We will spend around 3 hours travelling just 1 mile through 16 locks with an overall elevation of 64 metres. Feel free to help out as much or as little as you want as we open and close the 2 tonne lock gates.
After a well deserved lunch at the top of the locks in Marple, we continue along the Upper Peak Forest Canal. Locks over, we can relax on this beautifully scenic stretch of canal which includes 3 moveable bridges.
We moor up in Disley or New Mills and after a boat-cooked meal there’s plenty of time for drinks at a nearby pub.
This morning there is the opportunity to visit the Torrs Riverside Park (the “Park under the Town”). This little-known area includes a spectacular suspended walkway, and the remains of New Mills rich industrial past.
From New Mills we cruise a further 2 hours to Bugsworth Basin, and it’s your last opportunity to have a go at steering “Rakiraki”, our 69ft narrowboat.
Our trip finishes at our home mooring in Bugsworth Basin. This was once the largest working port on the canal system, and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Take a walk through the woodlands to the beautifully restored Chadkirk Chapel which dates back to the 14th Century.
The “Park under the town” is a superb gorge where the Rivers Sett and Goyt meet; their power was harnessed for over 200 years by mills. Nearly 100 feet below the town of New Mills lies the Torrs Gorge, an area of fascinating geology and heritage. Discover mill ruins, weirs, cobbled tracks and archways of bridges towering dramatically overhead. As you
walk along this impressive, but relatively little known natural feature you are surrounded by a rich industrial heritage spanning several hundred years of the history of New Mills.
Explore the Torrs and the Riverside Park from the spectacular Millennium Walkway. It is a 160m long walkway that links New Mills, the Torrs and the Riverside Park.
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Nearest Train Stations:
Note: Click on a train station within the map for directions to start and finish points
For Bugsworth Basin – Whaley Bridge (to/from Manchester)/ Chinley (to/from Sheffield)
For Hyde – Hyde Central
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Parking: Limited free on-street parking available at start and finish points
Taxi: Between Bugsworth Basin & Hyde £28 4-seater/ £33 8-seater
We’re really proud of our lovely home-cooked food and we’re happy to cater for any dietary requirements, allergies, or any weird food phobias you may have (it’s not weird, it’s just different!) Have a look at our Food page for more info.