Trent and Mersey Canal
Follow the Trent and Mersey Canal through Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire on this long distance waterside walk.
The route start at Shardlow near Long Eaton in Derbyshire and heads through Weston-on-Trent and Willington to Burton-Upon-Trent where you will pass Mercia Marina and the lovely Branston Water Park with its woodland, wetland and meadow. You continue to Alrewas where you will pass the National Memorial Arboretum. The Arboretum contains over 50,000 trees with nearly 300 memorials for the armed forces, civilian organisations and voluntary bodies who have played a part in serving the country.
The next stage takes you through Handsacre to Rugeley where you will pass the wonderful Cannock Chase Country Park. It's worth taking a short detour to explore the Cannock Chase AONB with miles of woodland walking and cycling trails, lakes, ponds and wildlife including deer and various birds to look out for.
You continue through the beautiful Trent Valley passing the National Trust Owned Shugborough Park at Great Haywood. It is worth a visit with a grand hall, museum, kitchen garden, model farm and extensive parkland with follies, woodland and a Chinese House with two Chinese-style bridges.
The route continues through Weston to Stone before coming to the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent where you will pass the splendid Trentham Gardens. Also in Stoke you will pass Westport Lake which is worth a small detour.
You continue north to Kidsgrove where you will find the Grade II* listed Rode Hall, surrounded by parkland and formal gardens. The hall and gardens are open to the public from April to September and are well worth a small detour from the canal.
The canal continues through Cheshire to Sandbach where you will pass close to the Watch Lane Flash Nature Reserve. Onward to Middlewhich and Northwhich where you will pass Marbury Country Park. It's a delightful area with magnificent Lime avenues, an Arboretum and the delightful Budworth Mere.
The final section takes you to Runcorn passing Barnton and Weaverham with views of the River Weaver. You finish near Runcorn where the Trent and Mersey Canal links with the Bridgewater Canal.
You can walk along the towpath for the whole route while cyclists can enjoy a long section through Stoke-on-Trent and a shorter section between Weston-on-Trent and Swarkstone.
Trent and Mersey Canal Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Trent and Mersey Canal Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Trent and Mersey Canal OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Trent and Mersey Canal Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Trent and Mersey Canal Pubs/Cafes
There's lots of nice places to stop for refreshments on the canal. The delightful Trent Lock is one of the highlights on the route. It's a significant location as the lock marks the point where the River Trent and River Soar meet with the beginning of the Erewash canal. It also sits on the border of three counties: Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Here you'll find the aptly named Trent Lock pub beautifully positioned next to the lock. There's a great menu and a lovely, large beer garden to sit out in. You can find it at the lock with a postcode of NG10 2FY.
The Steamboat Inn is also located at Trent Lock and another nice place to go for refreshments. It's located next to both the Erewash Canal and the River Trent, dating back over 200 years to when it was well placed to quench the thirsts of passing working boatmen. Today, it is perfectly placed to serve not just the needs of leisure boaters but also those of other modern day recreation seekers such as walkers, cyclists - and those just having a day out by the water. It's dog friendly and a discount on real ales is available for CAMRA members! There's lots of waterside outdoor seating for warmer days as well. You can find it at postcode NG10 2FY for your sat navs.
Just west of Trent Lock you'll find the canal village of Shardlow. There's several good options for canalside refreshments here too. The historic Clock Warehouse is housed in a converted milll, dating from 1780. There's a nice garden here right next to the water. Perfect for relaxing in on warm summer days. You can find the pub right next to the canal at a postcode of DE72 2GL.