Crossing the Marple Aquaduct

As promised – more delights of the Cheshire Ring.

This circular waterway route is possibly one of the most scenic, covering a distance of 97 miles,
through 92 locks, 5 tunnels and over many aquaducts.
The first picture shows us crossing the Marple aquaduct, with the equally impressive rail viaduct in the background.
The Marple aqueduct is also known as the Grand Aqueduct, and not without reason. It carries the Peak Forest Canal for about 100 feet over the Goyt River, at a height of 97 feet, supported by three magnificent arches.
There are any number of smaller aqueducts on the route, but this one is certainly the most noteworthy.

Approaching the end of the Hydebank Tunnel

The 5 tunnels on the route are the Hydebank (308 yds), the Woodley (176 yds), the Preston Brook (1239 yds), the Salterford (425 yds) and the Barnton Tunnel (572 yds).

The second picture is from inside the Hydebank Tunnel, while the third has our boat emerging from the Barnton Tunnel. This tunnel is controlled by a set of ‘traffic lights’ to ensure no boats meet in the middle!
At the others, it is left up to you to check that there is no boat transitting in the opposite direction. Not too hard as one can see right through to the end.
Karen is not fond of tunnels, so usually follows the towpath over the top and meets me at the other end.

Emerging from the Barnton Tunnel

This trip was our first experience of locks.

I thoroughly enjoy the whole rigmarole of taking the boat through a set of locks, but it can be time consuming.

The brochures will tell you you can do the Cheshire Ring in a week!

Maybe – but not if you want a leisurely cruise with time to stop and visit local villages, pubs and historic sites.
But more on locks in the next post…

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