Stunningly Beautiful Circular Canal Walk at Pott Shrigley

If you hadn’t guessed by now, one of our most favourite activities is getting out into the fresh air and plodding along in the countryside. We don’t have any particular preferences for scenery, or the type of countryside. We equally enjoy walking the Peak District such as the Hope Valley and Castleton and Mam Tor, sneaking through woodland trails like at the National Trust’s Alderley Edge Wizard’s Wander; or, snaking along doing a canal walk.

Key Points to the Pott Shrigley Circular Canal Walk

  • Starting Point: Shrigley Road Car Park (opposite Mount Vernon Play Area)
  • Distance: 2.9 miles / 4.7km
  • Time: Approximately 90mins (depending upon walking speed)
  • Refreshments Available: The Boars Head Inn is close, but not part of this walk. Alternatively there is the Lyme Breeze Casual Kitchen which is located halfway along the walk, next to the canal which looked extremely sweet.
  • Accessibility: The paths are well looked after and there aren’t any places you need to scramble, however as you approach the canal from the Middlewood Way you do have a hilly incline. Similarly as you leave the canal to head down to Elm Beds Road, there is a relatively steep hill.
  • Wildlife: Heading through Poynton Coppice – a lovely wooded area – we spotted some squirrels stocking up for Winter, on the canal there were Canada Geese, Ducks and Sheep.

The Allure of Canal Walks

A canal walk evokes images of tranquil waters, historic bridges, and scenic paths that provide a serene escape from the daily hustle and bustle. Certainly our waterside walk today offered us a true urban escape from suburban Manchester providing us with opportunity to talk to the kids both about history and nature.

People fishing on the Macclesfield Canal during today's canal walk

Historical Significance

Many canals were constructed during the Industrial Revolution as transport routes for goods.

Today, they serve as reminders of a bygone era, their banks adorned with remnants of old mills, warehouses, and lock systems. A canal walk is not just a leisurely stroll; it’s a journey through time. As you amble alongside the water, you’re interconnected with the lives of labourers, factory workers, mill workers and carthorses all of whom had some sort of involvement with the canals.

Living in the North West of England, we are blessed at having so many miles of canals to discover. And with each canal you are guaranteed to encounter different sights and sounds, be it the Rochdale Canal snaking through the quaint Hebden Bridge and Uppermill, or the industrial scale sized Manchester Ship Canal that travels from Salford Quays through to Liverpool docks.

Bullrushes and Hawthorn Berries

And so it is with this stretch of the Macclesfield Canal, Lyme View Marina and the path through Middlewood Way with stretches through towering conifers that could trick your mind into thinking you were in the Austrian Alps. Heading along the canal, we were graced with Hawthorn bushes weighed down by the weight of their berries, bullrushes ready to release their seeds into the air, and this year’s ducklings getting ready to fly the nest.

Yes we were blessed with Autumn in all its finest.

canal walks in autumn are the best

Directions / The Walk

We parked in Shrigley Road Car Park, a free car park with room for about 30 cars. If you’re heading from Poynton, you’ll pass a playground on your left before turning a bend and the car park will be immediately on your right.

From there we decided we’d start walking along the scenic path that is the Middlewood Way. We encountered plenty of other amblers, cyclists, horseriders and joggers. However! Take note that some of the cyclists were going pretty quickly, so make sure if you’re with kids, that you’re paying attention to cyclists approaching from behind!

Follow the route for just under a mile. At which point you’ll notice a hilly incline on your left. You need to follow that path up, leaving the Middlewood Way below you. This path would be accessible for a pushchair, and Sam certainly had no problems – certainly not like at the Blue John Cavern. Once you get to the top of the hill you need to continue along until you get to Lyme Breeze Casual Kitchen.

Lyme Breeze Casual Kitchen

We didn’t stop at the cafe which also doubles up as a wedding venue – you can certainly see why. The menu looked great and the views both of the canal, Lyme View Marina and the first hills of the Peak District were stunning. I particularly liked the look of the coffee and walnut loaf cake.

We’ll definitely be back here in the future!

And On To the Canal

The footpath to the canal goes to the right of the restaurant, and from there turn left onto the canal. From there on, follow the canal for approximately 0.6 of a mile. We decided to follow the path down to the road (Shrigley Road) as the kids were getting tired, however you could quite easily have walked on further along the canal and headed back. From there, we followed the road back towards the car until we got back to the car park.

The road is a quiet country lane, however it is narrow and there is no footpath, so ensure that you keep your ears open for cars approaching around bends and keep any children on the between you and the side of the road.

So Get Down and Enjoy This Magnificent Canal Walk

As the golden hues of autumn cast their spell, the Lyme View Marina Canal Walk revealed itself not just as a pathway, but as a passage through time, a reminder of nature’s timeless beauty, and a testament to human engineering. Whether you’re seeking solace in nature’s embrace, a historical journey, or a bonding experience with loved ones, this walk is more than just steps taken; it’s memories created.

So, next weekend, why not trade the cacophony of city life for the tranquil melodies of rippling water and rustling leaves? Lace up your walking shoes, gather your loved ones, and embark on the Lyme View Marina Canal Walk. Share your experiences with us using the hashtag #LymeViewWalk, and let’s inspire more souls to discover the magic of canal walks. The journey awaits, and the stories are yours to create.


  • Richard

    Hi! I’m Rich, co-founder and writer behind Lets Go Manchester. I grew up in Bournemouth but have been living up here for almost 10 years. I now find myself exploring Manchester and the surrounding counties with my amazing wife and two gorgeous kids.

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