Canal Boat - - Arms & Dead Ends -

The Lower Peak For­est runs for eight miles from Duk­in­field Junction to Marple and forms part of the Cheshire Ring. But it’s the Up­per Peak For­est we’re in­ter­ested in here: the sixmile length run­ning south east from Marple (where the Mac­cles­field Canal leaves, tak­ing the ring cruis­ers with it) to Wha­ley Bridge and Bugsworth, on the fringe of the Peak District.

Marple junction is high up on the side of the Goyt Val­ley (the canal hav­ing just climbed the 16 Marple Locks), but as it holds its lock-free level past Strines, New Mills and Fur­ness Vale (and a lot of splen­did val­ley scenery in be­tween), the river grad­u­ally rises to meet it. The canal is run­ning along the val­ley bot­tom by the time it gets to the ter­mi­nus at Wha­ley Bridge, a pleas­ant town sur­rounded by hills. Look out for the Trans­ship­ment Ware­house right at the end of the canal, where car­goes were trans­ferred to and from the pi­o­neer­ing Crom­ford & High Peak Rail­way – you can still walk parts of its route.

Then re-trace your steps and take the arm to Bugsworth’s unique re­stored com­plex of arms, basins, limekilns and horse-tramways.

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