The Ashton canal – an urban walkway
The Ashton canal is a short stretch of waterway that runs for a little less than seven miles and links Manchester city centre with Ashton-under-Lyne.
We decided to have a walk on this canal simply for a change and to get a taste of a more urban route with its mix of old and new/modern and industrial architecture.
I have to be honest and say that much to my surprise, once passed the start of our route, at the Portland Basin end of the canal, it really did turn into quite a pleasant walk with decent views along the way.
Stick with it
Unfortunately the Ashton end of the waterway is blighted by litter and graffiti and does absolutely nothing to uplift the soul. But this is a waterside walk that is worth sticking with.
Within half a mile or so, and away from the Portland Basin end it’s surprsingly pleasent for an urban canal that starts and ends in city centre Manchester.
Locks and links
Although my wfe and I kept our Sunday morning walk to a gentle six miles, our three mile (each way) route took us down to Fairfield and just onto the swing bridge a short way beyond the Fairfield locks. Our route only saw us walk past a couple of locks, but I understand that there are a total of 18 locks on this short stretch of canal.
The Ashton canal links three other canals, the: Rochdale, Peak Forest and Huddersfield Narrow canals and the ‘junction’ at Portland Basin is always worth a visit as well as being a handy place to park if you are travelling there by car and making this your starting point.
All in all it was a decent walk and quite surprising in a good way. We will certainly walk there again.
Clicking on any of the pictures below will open a scrollable gallery.