Canal routes from our base near Manchester city centre

Star Narrowboat Holidays is based at the Bridgewater Marina also known as Boothstown Basin (9mi/14km by road from Manchester city centre and 14mi/22km from Manchester Airport) all routes start from the marina. When thinking about which route to take remember you can go as leisurely or continuously as you like, we can advise you on how much time to give yourself and where there are some good places to moor up for the night.

There are a variety of routes you could take, see below and also click here for some more ideas.

New route idea: Cruise from our base right into the historic heart of Liverpool (for hires of 10 days or more) - passage into Liverpool must be booked in advance.

Bridgewater Marina to Castlefield - no locks.

View Bridgewater Marina to Castlefield in a larger map

Total distance: 8.94mi/14.38km

Day 1 – Cruise over the Manchester Ship Canal on the brilliant Barton Aqueduct and head into Castlefield, the historical canal hub in Manchester city centre, with some fine industrial architecture. Moor up and experience city canal life. Most people come back form Castlefield having loved being in the city and knowing they could retreat to the boat.

Day 2 - You could mix and match having meals on the boat and eating out in Manchester and around Castlefield.

Day 3 – It takes about 3 hours continuous cruising to get back to Bridgewater Marina from Castlefield.

Bridgewater Marina to Lymm, Grappenahll and Stockton Heath - no locks.

View Bridgewater Marina to Lymm in a larger map

Total distance: 14.35mi/23.09km

Day 1 – Head SE, through Worsley village over the Manchester Ship Canal on the brilliant Barton Aqueduct, through Monton, Stretford, Sale and on down to Dunham, moor up here, there is easy access to Dunham Massey park, pubs and walks.

Day 2 – Cruise to Lymm where there are shops to get fresh supplies and restaurants if you don’t fancy cooking. You could turn around after Lymm or carry on to explore the Bollin Valley. We especially like Grappenahll and Stockton Heath for some cosy pubs and leafy places to moor the boats.

Day 3 or 4 – As a guide it would take you about 5 hours continuous cruising to get back to the Bridgewater Marina from Lymm.

Bridgewater Marina to Wigan and beyond - locks, lift bridge (total distance 12.15 mi/19.55km)

You could head out of the Bridgewater Marina towards Leigh (1 hr), pick up supplies then on to Dover Lock (further 2 or 3 hrs.)

You will pass the Pennington Flash Country Park. At Dover lock you could moor up near the pub and there is chip shop and grocery shop about a mile away.

After Dover Lock it’s another 3 miles to Wigan and just before Wigan there are two locks called the Pool Stock locks. Crooke has a pub. Appleby Bridge is a pleasant place to stop and you can then go on to Parbold (lovely) and beyond.


Bridgewater Marina to Liverpool

It will take roughly 4 days to Liverpool and 4 days back to the marina this is at a comfortable cruising rate of around 4 to 5 hours per day. You will need to book passge into Liverpool and also your mooring space (this is currently free of charge to you the hirer). The passge into and out of Liverpool takes place on certain days and it gets booked up quickly so if you are thinking of making this journey please contact us if you would like help with planning.