How far you go depends on a number of factors including how early you get up and go to bed, how energetic you want the holiday to be and how many other boaters are using the canal. The routes we have suggested provide you with an idea of the places you can visit.
You will travel at approximately 3-4 miles per hour and the same applies to the number of locks per hour. The enjoyment from narrow boating comes from meandering along, taking in the scenery and wildlife and of course stopping at the odd pub!
To some, circular routes offer the advantage of only seeing the sights once, but you must ensure you keep to your schedule in order to achieve the plan. We have included 2 circular routes but both require at least 2 weeks' hire.
One week canal boat cruise
Skipton and Bingley
From Riley Green, you can comfortably cruise to the famous Yorkshire Market Town of Skipton. This route takes you through the industrial heritage of Lancashire, the lovely Lancashire countryside and the fabulous Yorkshire Dales. Passing through the famous Yorkshire market town of Skipton you can moor and get out to explore. For the more energetic cruisers who wish to spend long day cruising you can visit the famous Bingley 5 Rise locks, noted as one of the wonders of England's waterways. From Skipton you can take the bus on to the world heritage site of Saltaire, see the model village and the Salt Mill which houses the David Hockney exhibition.
The route takes you through the beautiful and picturesque Johnson's Hill Locks on through Adlington, passing Haigh Hall Country Park and down the famous Wigan flight. From there on you can cruise the pretty Douglas Valley taking in the villages of Parbold, Burscough, and Haskayne. Take a detour along the scenic almost fenlandish Rufford Branch, visit Rufford Old Hall and then on to Tarleton to view the Ribble Millennium Link sea lock.
Manchester the beautiful, vibrant and cosmopolitan city with style. Travel from our base down through Johnson Hillocks and onto the Wigan flight of 21 locks. The Leeds Liverpool canal then joins the lock free Bridgewater Canal and onwards into Manchester. Manchester sees itself as the new Barcelona and you can moor up in the centre of the most vibrant part of the city - the Castlefield basin.
LiverpoolThe route takes you through the beautiful and picturesque Johnson's Hill Locks on through Adlington, passing Haigh Hall Country Park and down the famous Wigan flight. From there on you can cruise the pretty Douglas Valley taking in the villages of Parbold, Burscough, and Haskayne. Then into Liverpool Docks via the Liverpool Canal Link.
Two week canal boat cruise
Travel east via Leeds taking in the Skipton and Bingley route or west via Manchester and then join the fantastic Rochdale Canal, taking you on a full circular route.
This route takes needs good planning and timekeeping as the route takes you through the Standedge Tunnel which opens 2 days per week. We have a detailed planned itinerary for this route. You can complete this route in either direction, heading for Manchester or Leeds. You will also travel on the commercial Aire and Calder plus the Calder and Hebble which has short locks and unusual paddle gears, the Huddersfield Broad Canal, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Ashton.
Three Week Canal Boat Cruise
Trent and Mersey Canal and Shropshire Union Canal
In a three week cruise you can explore the canals of the Midlands reached in around 4 - 5 days from Riley Green. A three week holiday would allow time to explore these waterways.
The Cheshire Ring
The Cheshire Ring can be achieved without turning round with good planning by heading towards Wigan on the Leeds and Liverpool down the Wigan Flight and then head for Manchester. You then pick up the ring at Waters Meeting (Stretford). Travel south on the Bridgewater joining the Trent and Mersey Canal at Preston Brook then turning onto the Macclesfield Canal just before Harecastle Tunnel. Join the Peak Forest at Marple and then onto the Ashton Canal at Dukinfield Junction, then returning to the Leeds Liverpool and back to base.
- Leeds & Liverpool Canal: 127 miles, 93 locks and 2 tunnels Leigh Branch: 7 miles and 2 locks Rufford Branch: 7 miles and 8 locks Weekend breaks operate Friday to Monday and midweek breaks Monday to Friday.
HEADING WESTLeaving our base at Riley Green you pass through the Withnell Fold Nature Reserve, onto the Johnson Hill Locks passing through the lovely countryside of Wheelton, Heapey, Whittle le Woods, Adlington, Haig Hall Country Park and onto the top lock of the famous Wigan flight before heading back to base. A very picturesque route.