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Acton Bridge: Canals of North West England

Boats Available:

Countess 4
Duchess 4
Duchess 6
Duchess 8
Princess 2
Princess 4
Princess 6
Shakespeare 4



Based near Northwich, Acton Bridge is a good starting point for a number of routes. Traveling north, you meet the canal where it all started - the Bridgewater canal, which takes you lock free to Manchester. From there you can travel to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, or continue on the Cheshire Ring via the Peak Forest and Macclesfield. Apart from Manchester itself, currently being cleaned up, this is a beautiful route with constantly changing scenery. South of base you can travel the Four Counties Ring, or meander up to Chester and beyond to the Ellesmere Port boat museum.

Click here for Base Information

Click here for Acton Bridge Base Information (pdf file 551 Kb)
Click here for Acton Bridge Routes Information 1 (pdf file 647 Kb)
Click here for Acton Bridge Routes Information 2 (pdf file 621 Kb)

Suggested Routes From Acton Bridge

84 Miles, 6 Locks, 1 Week Cruise, 5 hours per day
A very pleasant and easy run with many miles of lock free cruising. Leaving the base you travel onto the first British canal built by the Duke of Bridgewater to transport coal to Manchester. On this you can see some mine entrances, together with the later Barton Swing Bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal, where the whole canal is swung to let large ships through. At Wigan the Pier Museum, and the Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine (the world's largest) are well worth a visit.

84 Miles, 44 Locks, 1 Week Cruise, 6 hours per day
A slightly more vigorous route, but still easily manageable at about five hours per day, this trip includes varying canals and countryside. Traveling southwards past the old salt mines to Middlewich you turn onto the Middlewich Arm to join up with the shropshire Union. The trip up to the medieval City of Chester is particularly pleasant with the canal built next to the old city walls. You should also have time to visit the boat museum at Ellesmere Port.

96 Miles, 92 Locks, 1 Week Cruise, 9 hours per day
More active route at around eight hours per day, the Cheshire Ring is one of contrasts. Traveling northwards over the Bridgewater Canal, lock-free to Manchester, where the city is currently being restored. After this into the Peak District on the Macclesfield Canal, with the small towns built of stone. Just north of Stoke you meet the Trent and Mersey, and travel through the many locks to Middlewich and its history of salt then home.

141 Miles, 102 Locks, 2 Week Cruise, 5 hours per day
A relaxing fortnight, you travel southwards to Stoke on Trent via Middlewich. Passing through the red-watered Harecastle Tunnel ( the result of local iron workings), and continuing down past the Wedgewood Factory to Stone and Great Haywood, you join the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. Just north of Wolverhampton, you meet the Shropshire Union with its extravagant cuttings and embankments, which carries you up to Barbridge and the Middlewich Arm. If time permits a diversion along the Caldon is well worthwhile.

Acton Bridge Base Information

Hotels / Guest Houses
Ash House Farm, Chapel Lane, Acton Bridge, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 3QS
Telephone: 01606 852717
Fax: 01606 853752
Prices are around £35.00 per person for bed and breakfast

Holly Bush Inn, Warrington, Little leigh, Northwich. Chesire, CW8 4QY
Telephone: 01606 853196
Price Guide: Double room £48.50  /  Single room £43.50 / Full English Breakfast £6.50
This inn was built in 1641

Happy Guests Lodge, Tarporley Road, Dutton, Chesire, WA4 4EZ
Telephone: 01928 790824
Price Guide: Double room £44.95 /  Single room £39.95 - Rates includes breakfast

Public Transport
Nearest Railway Station: Acton Bridge / Hartford
National Rail Enquiries: www.nationalrail.co.uk Tel: 08457 484950
www.thetrainline.com Tel: 0871 244 1545
Nearest Airport: Manchester International Tel. 0161 489 3000

Taxi / Minicabs
A1 Luxury Travel: Telephone. 01606 75500
Twinz Travel: Telephone. 01606 786888

Example Prices:
A taxi from Manchester Piccadilly station to the base at Acton Bridge would be approx. £40.00
A taxi from Manchester International Airport to the base at Acton Bridge would be approx. £30.00
(Prices courtesy of A1 Luxury Travel Subject to change)

Car Hire
Hertz Car Hire have depots throughout the UK including main airports. We have an exclusive agreement with Hertz who will provide reduced rates for all Black Prince customers. Drop-offs, collections and one ways are all available, allowing you to pick up a car at your arrival point and request a car to be waiting at the end of your holiday for onward travel. To book your car visit www.hertz.co.uk or call 0870 844 4844 and quote CDP 694816.
www.nationalrail.co.uk    /   www.qjump.co.uk
National Rail Enquiries: Telephone : 08457 484950

Flying into London
From Heathrow the underground tube train goes through to London Euston station.
From Gatwick the train (Gatwick Express) goes through to London Victoria station and then change to the
tube train to London Euston.

From London Euston station there is a train through to Crewe or Runcorn. Then change for Hartford. You can either phone the base or ring a taxi from the above selection.

Visit www.tfl.gov.uk to plan your route on the London Underground.

Manchester railway station is adjacent to Manchester Airport. From here there is a train to Piccadilly station.
At Manchester Piccadilly station you can get the train to Liverpool Lime Street station and then change for Acton Bridge. Please check with British Rail before travelling.
Prices will vary depending on the day you travel and whether it is single or return etc.

How To Find Us (By Road)

Our base at Acton Bridge is situated beside the A49 (Warrington to Whitchurch road) 4 miles south of Junction 10 on the M56 and 300 yards north of the swing bridge crossing the River Weaver.


Good shopping and a petrol filling station are within easy travelling distance. The Leigh Arms is next to the swing bridge and offers lunches and evening meals.

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