A complete guide to the

Cheshire Ring

Cheshire Ring: Your Complete Guide for Boaters


Want to boat on the Cheshire Ring? We’re here to help. 

On this page, you’ll find our complete boating guide to the Cheshire Ring.

Topics in this guide include:

  • What is the Cheshire Ring?
  • What to do on the Cheshire Ring?
  • Where are the best places to moor near the Cheshire Ring?
  • How long does it take to sail the Cheshire Ring?

And much more!

So, let’s get into it:

What (and Where) is the Cheshire Ring?

A narrowboat is a long and slender type of canal boat designed for the UK’s narrow canals. They’re steered with a tiller rather than a wheel and have a maximum width of 2.1 metres and a length of 21.3 metres. 

Narrowboats were originally used to transport goods and raw materials from place to place along the narrow canals and waterways of the United Kingdom. 

From their humble origins as working supply vessels, narrowboats have evolved into popular recreational and residential watercraft.


What to Do on the Cheshire Ring?

With over 90 miles of scenery, there’s a huge range of potential activities and attractions for boaters travelling on the Cheshire Ring.

For those in Greater Manchester, the iconic Dunham Massey Hall is found near the Bridgewater Canal. 

From here, you can explore a 250-acre deer park and a working Elizabethan Mill.

You can also explore the heart of Manchester via the Rochdale Canal, which can take boaters through the Rochdale 9 locks. 

Piccadilly Village can be accessed via the Ashton Canal, alongside Portland Basin - home to a famed boating museum.

It’s also worth visiting the Bridgewater Canal, the first canal in Britain to be built without following an existing course.


Where Can I Moor Near the Cheshire Ring?

Travelling the Cheshire Ring can take around two weeks for most cruisers.

And this means you’ll need somewhere to moor.

Although there are several great marinas and mooring spots along the Cheshire Ring to choose from,  our top pick is our Kings Bromley Waterside Marina.

Kings Bromley Waterside Marina is only a few miles from Fradley Junction, which is the perfect base to explore the Cheshire Ring (and the Four Counties).

It has some great facilities, like luxury ensuite bathrooms, laundry facilities, and even high-speed Wi-Fi.

You can make a mooring enquiry today to check availability.

Cheshire Ring FAQs


What Waterways Are Part of the Cheshire Ring?

The Cheshire Ring comprises various North West canals and waterways. They are:

  • Ashton canal
  • Macclesfield Canal
  • Peak Forest Canal
  • Rochdale Canal
  • Trent & Mersey Canal
  • Bridgewater Canal


How Long is the Cheshire Ring?

The Cheshire Ring canal route is 97 miles long (156km) with 92 locks. Most cruisers will take two weeks to complete this route. 


How Long Does it Take to Do the Cheshire Ring?

The duration to complete the Cheshire Ring largely depends on your pace and how often you make stops. 

Typically, most boaters take around two weeks to navigate the entire route. We’d recommend around 14 days as it will give you time for exploration and relaxation. 


How Many Locks Are On the Cheshire Ring?

Boaters traversing the Cheshire Ring will encounter a total of 92 locks. 

For some, this can add a navigational challenge, and plenty of time should be factored in to allow for opening and closing locks.


Should You Go Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise on the Cheshire Ring?

There is no strict rule regarding which direction should be taken around the Cheshire Ring. 

However, many seasoned boaters opt for an anti-clockwise direction, as it provides a more gradual ascent through the locks and offers a smoother sailing experience.


What’s the Speed Limit on the Cheshire Ring? 

The speed limit on the Cheshire Ring is 4mph, ensuring a leisurely and safe boating experience for all travellers. 


What Types of Boats Can Go on the Cheshire Ring?

The Cheshire Ring is accessible to various types of boats, including narrowboats and canal cruisers, allowing a wide range of boaters to explore and enjoy the scenic waterways.


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