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Welcome

Welcome to the Bridgewater Canal, an historic strategically located private navigation situated in the North West of England.

The Bridgewater Canal was constructed to transport the Duke of Bridgewater's coal from his mine at Worsley. Coal was needed in large quantities to fuel the industrial revolution, the canal enabled coal and other goods to be transported efficiently and cheaply to the rapidly expanding towns and cities.

The Bridgewater Canal has throughout its long history been successful, first as a commercial waterway and latterly following cessation of freight in 1974 as a leisure waterway. 

The 65km (39 mile) broad beam canal is the strategic link between the North and South canal network stretching from Runcorn to Leigh. The first section of the canal crossed the River Irwell by means of a unique stone aqueduct constructed over the river Irwell, later replaced by the equally famous Barton Swing aqueduct over the Manchester Ship Canal

In its heyday the canal carried more than 3 million tonnes of traffic, today it forms part of the popular boat cruising route known as the Cheshire Ring. The Bridgewater connects with the Trent and Mersey Canal at Preston Brook, Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Leigh, The Rochdale Canal and The Manchester Ship Canal in Manchester.

The Bridgewater Canal is owned and operated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company in conjunction with the Bridgewater Canal Trust. The Manchester Ship Canal Company is part of the Peel Ports group owned by Manchester based Peel Holdings Ltd, one of the UK's largest property and transport companies.

Find out more about the Bridgewater Way here