On Saturday 9th September I decided I would walk home along the Macclesfield canal to Kidsgrove, as I was working in Macclesfield until early afternoon. Its about 21 miles in total but alas the sunset beat me to it and by 19:30 I was only at Congleton so only did about 15 miles. I have walked the canal from Congleton to Kidsgrove many times before however.
My walk started close to Macclesfield train station and I walked out of town towards the train station and then proceeded out of town along Buxton road which passes over the Macclesfield canal about 1/2 a mile out of the town. The path here leads you to the Hovis Mill which stands beside the canal and was once used to mill the flour used in Hovis bread. It’s now luxury apartments. There is also a Boat marina here and if you want to come see canal boats then it’s a great place to spend 5 minutes.
From here I walked away from Macclesfield towards Sutton and you proceed past Macclesfield Golf club until you reach a switch over bridge just before Sutton which takes the canal towpath from the left of the canal to the right where is stays all the way to the Trent and Mersey canal at Kidsgrove.
The canal winds past Sutton Hall which is great for a beer on a sunny day but today isn’t a sunny day, its short sunny periods punctuated with very heavy rain showers and on many occasions, I had to take refuge under a canal bridge.
As you walk past the Lyme Green business park there are lots of boats moored along the side of the canal. Most are narrowboats but the last one is a GRP boat or yoghurt pot as narrowboat owners call them.
Further down the Macclesfield canal there is a passenger swing bridge which allows walkers to travel from Sutton across to Gawsworth via Danes Moss Nature Reserve. A little further down the road at Fools Nook is another swing bridge which carries the road from Fools Nook to Gawsworth.
As you leave Macclesfield and head towards Bosley Locks the countryside opens out and there are fields full of cows and sheep on either side of the canal with the odd boat moored away from the masses. At Bosley locks there is the CRT facilities at the top level of the locks and for the next mile and a quarter its all downhill as you walk down the towpath past a succession of locks, 12 in total.
The next feature on this stretch of the canal is the aqueduct which carries the Macclesfield canal over the River Dane, a river which starts on Axe Head Moor and eventually merges with the River Weaver. The Aqueduct is quite high up and you cant help but peer over the edge.
Beside the aqueduct is the overflow for the canal which runs into the weaver but to negotiate the overflow there is a slim footbridge. On the day I walked over it is was quite clear of vegetation but sometimes the nettles and bushes stick through the sides and you end up getting stung and wonder why you didn’t walk across the overflow!
The next few miles to Buglawton where great that night as the sun was getting low in the sky, as its now 6pm and the sunlight glinting through the trees which cover the canal towpath make it a pleasure to be out on the cut this fine day. At Buglawton you have to stop and turn around and look at Bosley cloud (this is also worth a walk up), sure you can see the cloud from the moment you reach Bosley top lock but here with the sun set behind you, with the sun shining across to the cloud it looks quite spectacular.
The next 2 miles that evening are done in semi darkness but once I cross over the Aqueduct at Dane in Shaw pastures the sun is setting over the railway viaduct just as the Bournemouth cross country is passing over the viaduct.
At the end of the aqueduct there’s another overflow into Dane in Shaw pastures, now as there’s no bridge across you can either walk through the water as it flows over the cobbled overflow or you can take the dry route which is a 6 inch wide ledge along the edge of the canal. One wrong move and you’re in the canal.
Sadly, as its nearly dark, I abandon my walk at Congleton train station and catch the train back to Kidsgrove and home.
Watch the full video, more footage than above.
Gallery of images taken whilst on this walk