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Guide to Manchester Canals

3rd July 2020

Considering booking a Manchester boating holiday? Our detailed guide has you covered – whether you’re looking for canal boat hire in Manchester, or simply want to know more about what Manchester’s canals can offer.

Manchester Canals

Manchester is surrounded by miles of waterways and canals which were built during the Industrial Revolution. These canals were traditionally used to transport coal into the heart of the city centre. The Bridgewater Canal, one of the most well-known canal systems in Manchester, was built by the Duke of Bridgewater,  which then led to the development of the Ashton and Rochdale canals to create a canal network, linking the north and the east.

However, the most important waterway created in Manchester was the Manchester Ship Canal. This allowed ships sailing out to the ocean to navigate into the docks which were built in Old Trafford and Salford. This canal assisted with the importation and exportation of goods, which in turn, enhanced the growth of Trafford Park’s industry located beside the docks.

As one of the UK’s largest cities, it’s no surprise it receives many visitors each year – and incorporating visiting the Manchester canals on your travels is a must-do to add to the bucket list. Although these canals are no longer working in a role that is commercial, but more recreational (due to the rise of railway replacing the waterways systems), they are a large contribution to Manchester’s thriving personality. Learn more about the history of canal boats in the UK.

Manchester Canal Restaurants

One of the hotspots to visit when exploring the Manchester canals is Canal Street. This is the centre of Manchester’s gay village, which is a pedestrianised street running along the west side of Rochdale Canal. Lined with restaurants and canalside bars, this iconic part of the city is located just south of Chinatown and represents the LGBT community with its thriving lively atmosphere. Some of the best restaurants and bars to visit in this district include:

Other areas of the city which home parts of the canal systems also provide some delectable eateries and bars to explore on your trip to Manchester! The Rain Bar is located on Great Bridgewater Street, and has a large canalside-side terrace to enjoy the views of the waterway. Dukes 92 Bar and Restaurant is located on Castle Street which also has canal-side seating.

Manchester Canal Trips

Looking for canal trips in Manchester? Here at ABC Boat Hire, we offer midweek breaks in Manchester as well as weekend canal boat hire. Set off from Anderton Marina on The Cheshire Ring route which takes you on a scenic journey through the Peak District right into the heart of Manchester’s city centre through its secret backdoor. Cruise along the Rochdale Canal and Ashton Canal – exploring the wonders the city has to offer as you go.  

With plenty to see and explore around the city, explore Manchester on one of our canal boat holidays for your next trip along the water. Get in touch with a member of our team for more information.

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