From the quiet remoteness of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal where it crosses the Pennines, to the regenerated waterfronts of exciting cities like Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, Britain’s northern waterways offer canal boat holiday makers a fantastic choice of routes with many iconic canal structures.

Once the transport arteries of the Industrial Revolution, today Britain’s northern waterways offer canal boat holiday-makers the chance to explore mill towns, unspoilt countryside, National Parks and vibrant historic city centres.

At 127 miles long, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is the longest single canal in the country.  It crosses the Pennines and offers dramatic scenery, as well as exciting destinations like Leeds and Liverpool. Two of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’ waterways can be found along its length – the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks near Bradford and the magnificent mile-long embankment at Burnley.

The Calder & Hebble Navigation meets the Rochdale Canal at Sowerby Bridge, and the Aire & Calder Navigation at Wakefield. It’s dotted with small mill towns like Brighouse and Cooper Bridge and offers boaters the chance to explore a popular area of Yorkshire with an abundance of natural beauty.

The Shropshire Union Canal travels through the ancient City of Chester, with Roman walls, dazzling shopping arcades and the award-winning Chester Zoo.  The canal ends at Ellesmere Port, where the National Waterways Museum offers visitors the chance to step back in time to discover the way people lived and worked at the port 100 years ago.

The Trent & Mersey Canal stretches from the River Trent in Derbyshire to the River Mersey in Runcorn, passing through the Potteries, the Cheshire Plains and the incredible Anderton Boat Lift along the way.

The peaceful Caldon Canal takes boaters from Stoke on Trent in the heart of the Potteries into remote moorlands, dense woodlands and tranquil water meadows. And the beautiful tree-lined Macclesfield Canal passes along the most westerly of the Pennine Hills with breath taking views, and connects with the Peak Forest Canal, where magnificent scenery unfolds as it passes along the edge of the Peak District National Park.

        Start Points – Click on any Start location to view all of the local routes available

Please use the Key to the left of the map to view recommended Attractions and Places of Interest

Stratford Canal
Britain's northern waterways and canals
Warwickshire Ring Canal holiday

Things to see & do

From quiet country pubs and village churches, to exciting historic attractions where history and culture come to life, you’ll find plenty of places to visit on your canal journey.

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