Walking from Kidsgrove to Congleton along the Macclesfield canal is a walk of about 6 miles and today I’ve walked from my home to the north of Congleton to Kidsgrove and back which is about 16 miles and a mainly overcast day.
If you live in Congleton and want to go for an undemanding walk then the walk to Kidsgrove along the canal is fairly easy being flat most of the way but the canal towpath in places is uneven and after the rain of the past week was also very muddy in places.
Starting your walk from Kidsgrove to Congleton
I’ll give a description on the Kidsgrove to Congleton leg of my walk and if you don’t fancy walking both ways you can get the train from Congleton to Kidsgrove and walk back or vice-versa (be warned though some train employees are really snotty if your even slightly dirty also getting on the train with a dirty dog is nighon impossible). If you can get dropped off then I’d say a good place to get dropped off (picked up is better!) is the Red Bull pub (map here) which is just after the traffic lights at the Kidsgrove A50/A34 junction. About 100m up the road you pass over the canal and the pub is immediately after.
If your starting this walk from Kidsgrove to Macclesfield on the Trent and Mersey Canal then to get onto the Macclesfield canal you need to cross the lock and then cross the bridge over the Macclesfield canal and this is named Red Bull Junction either after the nearby pub or because of the area of Kidsgrove from days past. I am unable to find out which so if anyone knows i’ll put it in here?
As you cross the footbridge over the end of the Macclesfield canal you start to walk away from Kidsgrove please be aware on some days of the year it can be a little smelly as there is a swereage processing plant right next to the canal here. You soon come to an Aquaduct which carries the canal over the A50 in and out of Kidsgrove and a look over the edge is voluntary but it is quite high, you may also notice a lot of boats here as this is a 48 hour mooring for the junction with the Trent and Mersey.
As you walk away from Kidsgrove the canal path is well kept, the greenery is regularly cut and in places the path is much wider than is normal for the Macclesfield canal.
The next point of interest is Hall Green Lock or Hall Green Stop Lock, depending on who you talk to or which signs you look at. This lock has to be one of the smallest locks on the canal system and seems to only raise boats about 1 foot (30 cm) but this lock is about 270 feet long and is sided by two lock keepers cottages. I wont go into why but this link to the Hall Green page on the Macclesfield Canal Society website can.
As you continue along the way there are a lot of really nice canal bridges along this stretch but the one which stood out for me was Bridge 92 which is full of some really nice coloured stones, mosses and climbing plants but also the gardens next to the bridge are immaculate.
Proceed further along the canal and your path is Scholar Green village on one side and the main west coast main line railway line and trains can be seen whizzing past on a regular basis. There is what looks like a tea room close to Bridge 89 but I admit to being a little confused as it looks like someones house but there are loads of ornaments in the garden and a Tea Room sign, but there was no sign of life today.
If you’re walking with a dog at this point please be aware there is road after Bridge 89 which has gated access to the canal, which on both occasions I walked past ( and in the past as well ) has been open so it might be an idea to grab the dogs until you walk past it just in case!
If you fancy a pint then I can recommend the Rising Sun just by Bridge 87 😉
In between junction 87 and 86 you will see the Heritage marina and usually a lot of canal boats of all shapes and sizes and here is where the canal towpath changes back to a mud track all way to Congleton. For the next mile there is also no canal bridges which means no roads and open countryside with some great views across Cheshire. You will also come across Ramsdell Hall, you’ll know when you are nearly at the hall because you will see its distinctive black and white railings. I did take a picture of the hall but seem to have got something on my camera lens in all the photos I took.
Ramsdell Hall and Railings
“Between bridges 87 and 86 is Ramsdell Hall. Ramsdell Hall is a country house in the parish of Odd Rode in Cheshire, England, overlooking the Macclesfield Canal. It was built in two phases during the 18th century, and is still in private ownership.”
From Bridge 86 to Bridge 79 is mainly open countryside with some great views towards Mow Cop and across towards Congleton and Beyond.
Between Bridge 79 and 77 you pass next to Astbury Golf club, if you have dogs best not to let them onto the golf club as the golfists can get a bit arsey but if you want to take a short cat to the town centre then there is a public right of way across the gold course which brings you out on to Howey Lane.
At Bridge 77 you will come across a switch over bridge which crosses the canal as the towpath swaps sides but it has a loop in the bridge which in days of old allowed the horses pulling the boats to switch sides without having to unhook the horses. At bridge 76 the canal cross back to the other side with a similar cross over bridge albeit in the opposite direction to bridge 77.
In between bridge 77 and 76 you come to a large marina area in front of what was once Wharf mill, this is now luxury apartments and canal boat moorings. Don’t forget to take a look at the aqueduct on Canal Street, as you pass over the top you will notice the black cast iron railings. If you are walking to the town centre then leave the canal here and head down Canal street.
This is where we end our walk from Kidsgrove to Congleton but the canal towpath goes right round Congleton and has easy access for some of the estates in the Congleton area. It also extends to Macclesfield and beyond and that’s the subject of another blog post in the future. In the meantime please take a look at the photos below.