The Bridgewater Canal
The Bridgewater Canal is 39 miles long extending from Runcorn to Leigh, with the stretch in Trafford measuring 10.9 miles. The Canal was opened in 1761 and takes its name from the first owner Francis Egerton, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater.
The Canal was used primarily for commercial traffic until 1974, when its final cargo of maize was delivered to Kellogg’s in Trafford Park. Nowadays it is the community of around 900 Bridgewater Canal registered pleasure craft that are at the heart of the Canal. The largest cruising club is Sale CC with moorings at Sale and Timperley, there are also moorings at Stretford Marina, Stretford boat club and the Watch House cruising club.
Short term visitor moorings are available at access points along the Canal in Trafford including at a number of pubs and restaurants and also Barton Square which provides both boaters and towpath users with access to intu Trafford Centre and surrounding businesses.
The majority of the canal towpath in Trafford has now been upgraded as part of the Bridgewater Way scheme which is a major regeneration project that aims to provide a high quality route for walkers and cyclists over the complete 39 miles length of the Bridgewater Canal between Runcorn, Leigh and Manchester City Centre.
The upgraded towpath route will link some of Trafford’s most important destinations including;
- Barton Aqueduct heritage area
- The three largest town centres of Altrincham, Sale and Stretford.
- Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.
- Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre.
- Direct links to the Mersey Valley including the Trans-Pennine Trail and a wealth of other traffic-free walking and cycling routes.
There is now a direct upgraded link from Seamons Moss in Altrincham into Castlefield Basin within Manchester City Centre.
Visit the Bridgewater Canal website
Take a look at the famous Barton Aqueduct Swing Bridge in action in the video below.