Narrowboat holidays—Rochdale Canal

Published: Friday, 21 January 2011

Summit to Castlefield

Leaving the Pennines on its way to Manchester the scenery  surrounding the Rochdale Canal looses  some of its grandeur, but with locks less frequent, and here is seen the new waterway, for in the  past the eastern part of the waterway was restored, at a cost of over £30 millions, but alas in many places the naturalists have taken over, with vegetation planted well into the water course.

rochCoirNot a sensible thing to do, for as can be seen in the picture passing boats and vandals have managed to destroy a great deal of it, leaving rather dangerous spikes stuck up in the watercourse.

However, the building of what in parts is a new waterway, is full of interest, with a farmers' access being taken to get the Rochdale Canal under the motorway, causing no little distress to the fella who could no longer reach some of his fields.  There are other variations from the original route, mostly in a concrete trough, but with one particularly interesting lift bridge that raises in its entirety.

However in the interim period of the waterway being disbanded and reopened, the route of the canal was heavily developed by combined council and privately owned housing, with the last few miles of the waterway into the city around Newton Heath and Miles Platting having problem estates.

rochRailingThere has been much vandalism around this part of the waterway, so the paddles are locked and should be kept locked otherwise the result would be empty pounds.

So much so that British Waterways has to provide employees to ride 'shot-gun' with boats, that are only allowed to pass through at certain times, with locks being securely fastened in the interim periods.

Canal & River Trust no longer provide people to accompany boats so it is recommended that boaters do not use this part of the waterways out of term time.  It is really too much for a single hander.

canal st fenceEventually the waterway reaches the city itself at Dulcie Street Basin,and the canal goes under the buildings and through the city, that alas is only too well known for its vandals. Since the vandals are now more concerned with social media, it is not as prevalent as in the past.

Approaching Castlefield Basin the canal runs by Canal Street that is world-wide know for its homo sexual bars and clubs, and alas has been the scene of drownings.  A fence has now been fitted to the top of the wall running along the canal-side in an attempt to cut down on the deaths.

and from here to its end at Castlefield. Mooring is recommended in the right-hand basin at Castlefield. The left-hand one has late night clubs, and is not recommended.

In Manchester itself the Rochdale Nine forms part of the Cheshire Ring, linking the Ashton and Bridgewater Canals.