Ashton Canal

Ashton Canal

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PaddlePoints Waterways focuses on individual bodies of water across the UK. On this page you'll find a map, launches, routes, licensing information, paddle trail downloads, services, and more about one particular river or canal. For the full PaddlePoints with search bar follow this link.

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Canal Licensing Information

License Authority

Canal and River Trust

Travelling right to the heart of Manchester, this stretch of the Ashton Canal climbs 18 locks along it’s 6.8 miles from Ashton-under-Lyne to the city centre.

A largely industrial stretch, it’s a wonder you can paddle along it at all. In fact, if a group of volunteers hadn’t clubbed together in the 1970’s to save it from dereliction, you wouldn’t be able to!

At this time, the volunteers all chipped in to clear the disused canal of rubbish and weeds. This opened it up for communities to enjoy ever since. As you paddle along you can now enjoy this popular blue/green gym stretch alongside joggers, cyclists and fellow paddlers. 

A popular stop at the end of the canal is the Portland Basin Canal Museum. The museum is home to a real insight into the industrial heritage of the canal. This included transporting hat-making supplies, texture and of course, coal. 

Any other interesting facts about the Ashton canal? Well, it was built in 1792 and was a vital canal when driving the important cross Pennine trade link.

It became more popular with the local community as a place to exercise after the successful Commonwealth Games in 2002 which was held in the city of Manchester. Oh, and it’s a great workout on the water too with all those locks to portage!