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  • Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Duration:  3 days (approx.)
Escape to the countryside on a 3-day narrowboat tour through the stunning Cheshire countryside, and experience the wonder of the UK's hidden canal network on the edge of the Peak District National Park. In between eating and sleeping on board the back-to-basics narrowboat, make the most of the great outdoors by enjoying optional activities such as kayaking, walking, hiking or fishing. No boating experience is necessary, but you are encouraged to have a go at steering and helping to work the locks with the guidance of your hosts.

Highlights

  • 3-day narrowboat experience through the Cheshire Countryside
  • Relax and enjoy the countryside or get involved and try steering the boat
  • Enjoy ample free time for optional activities such as kayaking, hiking and fishing
  • Head out on walks to places such as Lyme Park, a filming location for the TV adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • Visit charming rural pubs and enjoy hearty boat-cooked meals

What You Can Expect

3-Day Narrowboat Escape to the Cheshire Countryside

Try your hand at opening locks on your Peak District escape experience!

Take a short train journey from Manchester (own expense) to meet your hosts and fellow group members, and board your form of transport: a narrowboat! After hopping on board, your time throughout the tour is spent relaxing on board, enjoying outdoor activities or helping out on board the boat, such as working locks or navigating. Evenings are spent socializing in the lounge with the on games and an on-board honesty bar or visiting local pubs close to where you moor, and nights are spent in comfortable bunk beds on the boat. Help yourself to coffee and hot chocolate on board and make yourself at home.

The route on your tour follows the calm and peaceful canals that hug the Peak District, forming part of the Pennine Waterways. Once important trade routes, the canals are now used almost exclusively for leisure, many people actually live on their boats, meaning you’ll see the area’s stunning countryside as only the locals see it.

Ample free time is factored into your 3-day tour, allowing you to really relax and discover the surrounding countryside however you see fit. Speak to your hosts before traveling to find out optional activities that can be arranged; kayaking, fishing and hiking are just a few of the delights that the Cheshire countryside has to offer.

Itinerary

Day 1: Marple – Poynton (D)
Start your tour in the Greater Manchester suburb of Marple and travel by narrowboat through rural Cheshire and its countryside. This evening you will moor near Poyntonm close to Lyme Hall - a National Trust property. Help moor the boat, enjoy a meal on board, and perhaps head to a local pub for some evening drinks (own expense).

Overnight: narrowboat moored near Poynton, Cheshire

Day 2: Poynton – Macclesfield or Sutton (B, L)
Enjoy breakfast, and then cruise along Macclesfield Canal, a lovely long stretch of open countryside that makes for a perfect photo or two. Make the most of your free time to relax on the boat with drinks, some music and a good book; or perhaps head out to explore the countryside that surrounds you.

Please note: Friday departures of this tour operate in reverse.

Kayaking, fishing and mountain biking are just a few of the activities that you can do today, so speak to your hosts to arrange them at your own expense. Alternatively, use your free time for a walk to Lyme Park, a glorious stately home and gardens on the edge of Peak District. Entrance is at your own expense, but once inside you can retrace the footsteps of Jane Austen’s Miss Bennett and Mr Darcy; this is one of the settings for the hit UK TV drama Pride and Prejudice.

Make your own way back to the boat at the prearranged time and cruise through the so-called ‘Happy Valley’ of Bollington. If time permits, moor up for a walk to the top of White Nancy, a monument that commemorates the Battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic Wars, or perhaps challenge yourself with a hike along the strenuous Gritstone Trail. From Bollington, cruise north to either Sutton or Macclesfield (the choice is yours) where you will moor for the night. Enjoy your evening meal with your group at a local pub (own expense) and then spend your evening enjoying some drinks at the pub (own expense) or relaxing back on the boat.

Overnight: Narrowboat moored in Macclesfield or Sutton

Day 3: Macclesfield or Sutton – Congleton (B, L)
After breakfast, continue south towards Bosley Locks – a series of 12 canal locks that take you deep into the rural countryside. Your help will be needed as you work your way along the canal!

Once through the locks, your work for the day is done. Stop for a leisurely lunch in a rural setting in the Dane Valley – and then enjoy a further two hours of cruising to Congleton. Your tour finishes in the Cheshire market town of Congleton – next to the train station. Trains from Congleton to central Manchester depart regularly and the journey takes roughly 30 minutes (own expense).
From USD $ 232.67

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Tour code: 5884SHIRE2N

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