TOTAL LOCKS: 44
CRUISING TIME PER DAY: 7 HOURS (16 TOTAL)
Maps & Guides for this route: N4, P4, L10 | Click here buy maps
Take a cruise down the scenic Shropshire Union Canal, dotted with pretty towns and villages and a couple of lock flights, to the home of Gingerbread at Market Drayton.
Leaving the medieval town of Nantwich behind, after an hour or so you arrive at the Hack Green locks, where the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker is just a short walk from the canal. The bunker was built underground in 1941 by the RAF and remained secret for 50 years before being transformed into a fascinating museum experience with a handy café on site. You can now tour the original rooms which were designed to support crucial members of Government in the event of a nuclear attack.
Leaving the secrets of the past behind, your next destination is the canalside village of Audlem. Get ready for some exercise as you ascend the 15 lock ‘Audlem Flight’, which raises the canal by over 90ft. You can moor up after the first 3 though and visit the famous ‘Shroppie Fly’ pub or Audlem Mill with its canal shop.
Having tackled the lock flight, a stretch of easy cruising awaits you before you reach some more locks at Adderley. Don’t worry though, there are only 5 this time, and then it’s easy cruising all the way to Market Drayton where there are good visitor moorings a short walk from the town. It’s well worth visiting this historic town which has some beautiful architecture, a 14th century sandstone church, and the stone built ‘Buttercross’ market where the original Billingtons Gingerbread was sold. Don’t forget to sample some at the nearby café!
You can turn your boat at Talbot Wharf opposite the visitor moorings, to commence your journey back to Nantwich.
Max: 4 People
Max: 6 People
Max: 8 People