Canal Facts - Northwest UK
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Mon Aug 4, 2014 at 1:04pm
Some North West UK Canal Facts

The Bridgewater Canal is 25 miles long and runs from Wigan to Preston Brook. There are no locks along this canal. The Bridgewater Canal was commissioned by the Third Duke of Bridgewater to carry coal from his mines at Worsely to Manchester. It was opened in 1761 and later extended from Manchester to Runcorn and from Worsley to Leigh. The canal is connected to the Manchester Ship Canal, the Rochdale Canal in Manchester, the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which forms part of the Cheshire ring. The Barton Swing Aquaduct is on the Bridgewater Canal. The maximum length of boat that can navigate this canal is 70ft, the maximum beam is 14ft 9" and maximum draught is 4ft and height 11ft.


Leeds and Liverpool Canal Facts

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is 127 miles long and runs from Liverpool to Leeds crossing the Pennines. Along its length there are 91 locks. In 2009 the Liverpool Canal Link was opened which connects the canal to the Liverpool docks system. The canal suffered damage during World War II by a German mine in Bootle. Features along the Leeds and Liverpool include the Bingley Five Rise, which are five locks in a staircase rather than a flight and the Wigan flight of 23 locks. There are two main side branches, the Leigh Branch and the Rufford Branch. The maximum dimensions of boat that can navigate this canal is 62ft long, 14ft beam, 3ft 6" draught with a height of 7ft 6"

Binley Locks


Manchester Ship Canal Facts

The Manchester Ship Canal is 36 miles long and starts at the Mersey estuary near Liverpool. Construction began in 1887 and the canal opened in January 1894.  There are four locks along the canal. As the canal was originally built for ships the maximum length of boat that can navigate this canal is 600ft, maximum beam is 65ft, maximum draught 30ft and height 70ft.

Manchester Ship Canal


Shropshire Union Canal Facts

The Shropshire Union Canal is one of the most picturesque canals in the UK and forms part of the Shropshire Ring.  Running from Ellesmere Port on the Manchester Ship Canal almost to Birmingham. The upper section through Chester and Nantwich has broad locks , but after this they become narrow. The Llangollen Canal connects at Hurleston Junction. The maximum dimensions of a boat that can navigate this canal is length 70ft, beam 7ft, draught 3ft 3" and height 8ft.

Lancaster Canal

The Lancaster Canal is 42 miles long and has no locks. The canal originally ran from Kendal to Preston, it was intended to join the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, but money ran out and they were unable to build they aquaduct over the River Ribble at Preston. The Ribble Link was finally completed in 2002 allowing the once isolated Lancaster Canal to connect with the rest of the canal network. Work was completed in 2012 to restore the Grade I listed Lune Aquaduct.

Lune Aquaduct


The maximum dimensions of a boat able to navigate this canal is length 72ft, beam 14ft 6" draught 3ft and height 8ft.