Starting at the entrance to
Manchester Victoria station, next to the ceramic tiled route map of the
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, this ride goes through the centre of Manchester
and close to Manchester Piccadilly station, where it joins the Ashton Canal as
far as Dukinfield, then takes the Peak Forest Canal to go on to Marple.
Here there is a choice of
routes, with two different options all the way to Birmingham. The first one to
be described goes through Marple town to Rose Hill station, and then joins
the Middlewood Way, the cycle track over the former Macclesfield to Marple
Just north of Macclesfield it joins the Macclesfield canal
which it follows as far as Congleton, where it takes the Biddulph Valley Way,
another former railway line, which it follows to just north of Stoke on Trent.
Here it follows the towpath of the Caldon Canal towards the centre of the city,
then passes through Hanley Park and past Stoke on Trent railway station where
it joins the Trent & Mersey Canal to carry on south towards Stafford.
There is a further choice of
routes available at Sandon Lock just north of Stafford. One will take you
through the town centre via the Isabel Trail, whilst the other stays on the
Trent & Mersey Canal towpath as far as Great Haywood, and then joins the
Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to go on further south.
around Stafford meet up again on the canal towpath at Acton Trussell, just south
We then follow the “Staffs and
Worcs” canal towpath for most of the way to the outskirts of Wolverhampton
where, at Aldersley Junction, we join the Birmingham Canal Main Line to take us
to Gas Street Basin in the centre of Birmingham.
The second route from Marple to Birmingham leaves by way of the Peak Forest Canal which it follows to its end at Whaley Bridge, where it goes over the hills to Buxton, and then goes further up into the High Peak until it joins the High Peak Trail at Dowlow.
It then follows that trail, along the course of the former Cromford & High Peak Railway until it arrives at Cromford High Peak Junction, and then takes the towpath of the Cromford Canal as far as Ambergate. An on-road section then follows to Derby where it runs alongside the River Derwent and, in the south western suburbs of Derby at Mickleover, takes another former railway line which has been converted to a cycle track as far as Egginton Junction.
There is another short on-road section here to the northern outskirts of Burton on Trent, after which it mainly follows the course of the Trent & Mersey Canal to its junction with the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal at Fradley. Leaving Fradley, again on the canal towpath, it takes the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal to travel on to Birmingham Gas Street Basin where it rejoins the “Potteries” route.
South of Birmingham the route is mainly along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, including the flight of locks at Tardebigge, until the journey ends at the junction of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the River Severn at Worcester.
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