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Tel: 01260 297237
Sandy Lane Off Newcastle Road Congleton Cheshire

Astbury Mere is within easy walking distance of Congleton town centre. It is signposted off Sandy Lane, off the A34.

Relax and admire the view from Astbury Mere Country Park to Congleton Edge and Mow Cop, or call in at the Visitor Centre for local information on green issues. Exploring further afield The footpath network explores the pretty, hidden valleys of Congleton's countryside around the historic mill town. Close by is the attractive village of Astbury, well known for its ornate church.


Tel: 0161 912 5931
Chapel Place off Redclyffe Road, Trafford Park, Greater Manchester

Click on website link above for details of opening times and prices

This is an engineering masterpiece that swings full of water - 800 tons of it. It is 235 foot long and attracts navigational enthusiasts from all over the world.


Tel: 01282 601866

There are two circular routes approximately 5 kms in length around the reservoir, both starting and finishing from the car park at Barley. The routes are stony and therefore not suitable for wheelchairs. Black Moss Reservoirs which provide drinking water for Nelson are situated to the east of Pendle Hill. The upper reservoir was completed in 1894, and the lower one in 1903. The majority of the wooded plantations have been planted with different varieties of spruce, sitka and beech trees. Aitken Wood, planted in 1935, is the largest woodland around Barley. The first route around the two reservoirs has a good gravel path around most of the trail with scenic views across the water. The second route is inclined to be boggy if the weather has been inclement, as it traces footpaths over fields and goes along the bank of the river. A very exciting and enjoyable route.


Tel: 0161 912 5931

It was the first man-made Canal in Britain and was opened in 1761. The Canal was the brainchild of three men and was built primarily to cut the cost of transporting coal into the heart of Manchester. It is a popular cruising waterway.


Calf Hey is situated west of Rawtenstall. Park here to commence the circular Calf Hey Trail which offers an easy 2 kilometre walk. Calf Hey is one of three reservoirs in the beautiful moorland valley of Haslingden Grane. This once thriving valley was depopulated with the construction of Ogden reservoir, which was opened in 1912. Prior to that, the valley was home to more than 1,300 people, who supported seven pubs, a church and a chapel. Reminders of this lost village can be found in the tumbled ruins half hidden in the moorland grass. Prior to the construction of the reservoir and the flooding of the area, the church of St Stephen's was demolished and moved stone by stone and rebuilt on a site nearer to Haslingden. It has now been lovingly restored and provides a home for Holden Wood Antiques, open every day 10 am to 5.30 pm


Tel: 01706 639378/864216
Off Manchester Road, Castleton, Rochdale

Situated on the Rochdale Canal the Centre is set in a beautifully restored stone building of the Industrial Revolution. Winner of Local Government Chronicle Community Iniative Award 2000. Activities include Canoeing, Kayaking, heritage trail, raft building and family sessions


Tel: 0161 881 5639
Maitland Avenue, Chorlton, Manchester

Open: Every day except during winter.
Admission: Free

Local nature reserve and site of biological importance. Canoeing, dinghy sailing, windsurfing, angling, horse riding, orienteering, model boating and children's play area.


Clowbridge Reservoir is situated to the east of the A682 between Burnley and Rawtenstall, adjacent to an area of the Burnley Millennium Forest known as the Dunnockshaw Community Woodland.

Open : All Day every day

Park your car at the car park beside the dam of Clowbridge Reservoir. There are two routes to walk around the reservoir, one a circular route of approximately 3 kms in length and route 2 a linear walk of approximately 1 km. The surface is mainly grass and stone and is not suitable for wheelchair users. Clowbridge Reservoir is situated to the east of the A682 Manchester Road beside the hamlet of Clowbridge. This waymarked trail has extensive views across the moorland. Ancient trading routes across these moors were used by packhorse trains which regularly passed through the hamlet of Gambleside, carrying woollen cloth from Rochdale to the Ribble Valley. The earliest record of Gambleside goes back to 1242 where it was listed as one of eleven of the vaccaries or cow pastures in Rossendale where 70 to 80 head of cattle would graze. Much lime was carried by pack horse which gives its name to the river in the valley, Limy Water. There were many pits in the area as the demand for coal grew to feed the steam-powered cotton industry. Near the ruined site of Gambleside, an open air baptistry can be seen which was fed by the stream coming off the moorland.


Tel: 0151 966 6868
Crosby Coastal Park, Off Cambridge Road, Waterloo, L22 1RR

Click on website link above for further details

Enjoy north west days out around Merseyside at Crosby Lakeside, which offers sport activity for kids including sailing in Liverpool and other water sports.


Tel:01254 56557

The former Georgian and Victorian warehouse was converted into a business development centre and contains a small permanent exhibition in its visitor centre, interpreting the impact of the canal on Blackburn.


Tel: 01253 735440

Promenade at Fairhaven, near Lytham St Annes

Fairhaven Lake is one of the borough's most popular attractions. Situated between Lytham and St Annes, the salt water lake is positioned directly on the coast next to Granny's Bay and Stanner Bank. It measures 1200m by 400m and is 1.2m at its deepest. The lake accommodates many recreational uses including motorboat, canoe and rowing boat hire. For the less adventurous we have an electrically powered motor launch equipped to carry up to 20 passengers around the lake on a 10-15 min cruise. Annual contracts can be obtained for the use of personal craft and are available at the booking office. Other lakeside facilities include a café and the RSPB Discovery Centre. There is a large selection of wild fowl naturally based at the lake including a group of more than 250 Canada Geese, several Swans (including a solitary Black one) and many coots, water hens and other smaller fowl. Recreational facilities include crown green and flat green bowling, tennis courts, basketball court and the newly opened Skate Park.

Nr Lancaster

Glasson Dock makes a pleasant day out as it is a port with a working dock and most days in summer you can watch the yachts pass through the lock. There is also the opportunity to take a walk along the canal.


Located on the edge of Barnoldswick these locks have been voted the best kept in the country. Greenberfield is the highest point on the Leeds & Liverpool canal and marks the beginning of the descent towards Leeds. The surrounding area is suitable for boaters, walkers and canoeists. There is a campsite, canalside cafe and picnic area.


Head towards Newby Bridge; follow signs for Lakeside and Lakeside station. Turn right at Newby Bridge Hotel and past Lakeside. Eventually you will see the Bobbin Mill, turn left before the Mill, then left again. Take the next drive up on your right, you should see a small signpost, there you will find the car park.

For the first five minutes or so, it is quite steep and rugged on the ground so not suitable for buggies. The High Dam is a short walk away and the water here is crystal clear so on a sunny day you could have a picnic and a paddle in the lake. There are plenty of ducks to feed. The walk is suitable for children who are 2 upwards, it's just far enough and you feel you are in the real lakes.


Tel: 01706 370499
Littleborough, Rochdale

Since 1989 Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre has offered quality tuition in outdoor activities. This provision has been available to schools, youth groups and the general public, continuing the proud tradition of water based activities on Hollingworth Lake. Based on a 120 acre lake at the foot of the Pennines with its dramatic gritstone crags, the Centre offers Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayak/Canoeing, Climbing, Walking, Orienteering, Powerboating, Improvised Raft building and Team Building courses to National Governing Body standard. Personal and group tuition including special needs/disibility, over 50s, women only, kids club and equipment hire are also available. Leisure time is a precious commodity and in today’s society people expect high quality leisure facilities. To meet such expectations the Centre regularly update courses and equipment in order to remain in touch with customer demands and changes in the industry. The staff are key to its success and the Centre promote staff development and training so that levels of knowledge and skill remain high. Whether you are aiming to try an activity for the first time, work towards a NGB Award or achieve an instructional qualification, every participant will have the opportunity to learn new skills, build self esteem and develop a positive attitude towards learning in a fun and safe environment.


Tel: 0161 339 1332
Tameside, Greater Manchester

Open: All year daily - call for times. Closed Christmas holidays
Admission: Free

The Canal runs from the Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne passing through the Saddleworth Villages and across the Pennines, and runs for twenty miles. The Standedge Tunnel at Diggle is the longest and highest in Britain at 3 miles 133 yards long and 645 feet above sea level.


Tel: 01204 853360

Situated to the north of Bolton, there is a trail around the reservoir which is approximately 4.5 km starting and finishing at the car park at Waterfold. Jumbles was opened in 1971 and has a magnificent grassed embankment which holds back the waters. There is a wealth of vegetation along the banks, including wild orchids. The wooded areas include silver birch and oak trees. The water from the reservoir is slowed down by large stone blocks in the water channel where you may be rewarded by seeing a grey wagtail, dipper or even a kingfisher. The surface around the route is gravel and grass and is suitable for wheelchair users. Other activities include watersports such as sailing, sailboarding and canoeing (permits from NW Water). Other facilities include picnic areas, a nature trail and a nature reserve.


The Lancaster Canal threads through the town, providing fascinating towpath walks that quickly take you into the surrounding countryside. Here close to the A6 and the town centre the marina does thriving business with canal enthusiasts and those just seeking peace and quiet. Craft can be hired here by the day or the week. At Tewitfield the close succession of eight locks and their gates raises the canal by 75 feet in half a mile - a picturesque sight that tempts many photographers. Although the original Lancaster Canal linked Kendal with Preston 57 miles away, these Tewitfield locks were the only ones along the whole length of the canal.


Since its formation in 1963 as the Association for the Restoration of the Lancaster Canal, the Trust’s main objective has been to restore, and reopen to navigation, the length of the canal from Tewitfield, just north of Carnforth, to Kendal. In addition, the Trust aims to increase awareness and promote interest amongst all users of this historic and beautiful waterway, be they boaters, walkers, cyclists, or anglers. Take a ride in a boat and learn about the history of the canal.


Completed in 1816 the Leeds to Liverpool Canal is the longest single canal in Great Britain; 127 miles of unique and historical industrial water transport. The canal is popularly considered to be the finest in England for inspiring scenery and fascinating places of cultural interest, and the canal's upper levels boast a fine collection of locks. As it passes through Chorley, the Leeds Liverpool Canal provides an idea route for walking, fishing, birdwatching and photography, industrial archeology and sightseeing. Boating is also well catered for at Wheelton, Botany Bay, Heath Charnock and Adlington.


Tel: 01772 813446
Mere Brow, Tarleton
Off A56, 6 miles from Southport; 10 miles from Preston. From jct 27 follow signs for Southport, leave Southport towards Preston. Take Mere Brow turn off.

Click on website link above for further details

Surrounded by delightful woods and heath land, Leisure Lakes covers 300 acres of unspoilt countryside.Windsurfing centre, golf driving range, fishing and boats for hire. Picnic park with pleasant walks. Outdoor children's area.


The Dam is situated south of Lymm Village on the A56.

Lymm Dam was formed in 1824 with the creation of a turnpike road from Warrington to Stockport. The Turnpike Trust then set about building a road and new bridge across the valley. With their completion the pool and stream below the church became the lake which exists today. Today the Dam comprises a variety of woodland and meadow settings and is home to a range of wildlife. Whether you enjoy horse riding, angling, bird watching, walking or just relaxing in beautiful surroundings, Lymm Dam makes a great place for a day out.


Part of the famous Cheshire Ring of 97 miles of connecting waterways, the Macclesfield Canal, one of the two highest in the country, runs from north to south through town and villages, delightful scenery, and past a multitude of friendly and welcoming public houses. With easy walking along the towpath, there are links to the nearby Middlewood Way. The renowned, pioneering, canal engineer, James Brindley, started his apprenticeship at Gurnett, Sutton in 1733. Of particular note are the handsome stone bridges which allowed horses drawing boats to cross over without unhitching.


Tel: 01928 740243

Manley Mere Sail Sports Manley Lane Manley Frodsham WA6 0PE

Manley Mere is a great place to visit for a fun-filled family day out. There is something for everyone. For the more energetic pull on your wellies and take the kids on the Adventure Trail, or walk around the lake; have a windsurfing or sailing lesson, hire a canoe for a paddle or row across the lake in a five man rowing boat; Or you could just sit and relax on the comfy couches in the bar/restaurant, "The Crazy Chameleon", in front of the open fire whilst enjoying the lake views watching the windsurfers and sailors on the lake COME AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. Beautiful lakeside setting. In the heart of the Cheshire countryside. Nature Trail with a difference. Variety of indigenous plants & trees. Abundance of birds & wildlife Dinghies, canoes, rowing boats & windsurifng equipment for hire. The Crazy Chameleon for breakfasts , lunches, teas & sundowners. The Water Sports Shop - for all your gear.


Tel: 0161 427 1079
Marple, Stockport

This flight of 16 working locks was built in 1805 to connect the Lower and Upper Peak Forest Canals. They are the second deepest in the country and raise the canal 209 feet to a summit height of 518 feet above sea level.


Tel: 01695 625338

Two disused reservoirs surrounded by woodland form the heart of this attractive water based site. An excellent site for all year round fishing with several wheelchair friendly pegs. A small nature reserve and a network of footpaths make Orrell Water park a great family day out. For wheelchair users the park is best visited in dry weather. Other features include - children's play area and an information centre.


Tel: 01942 720453
Situated near Leigh signposted from the A580 East Lancashire Road

'The Flash' is a 70 hectare lake formed by mining subsidence and is the centrepiece of this 200 hectare Country Park
An extensive nature reserve with several bird hides, children's play area, picnic and recreation areas, a network of tracks and footpaths.


Tel: 01706 881049
Newhey, Rochdale

A series of five reservoirs surrounded by good moorland walking country. Trail leaflets available. Guided walks, events, fishing, ranger service, toilets and car parking.


Tel: 0161 343 4343
Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside

Tameside is criss-crossed by canals which offer opportunities for boat trips, walking, cycling and picnics. Horse Drawn Canal Trips are offered with the staff dressed in traditional costume. Also a museum there.

Portland Basin


This half-mile long lake, with parking and picnic area, is noted for its summer bird population, reed warbler, reed bunting, martins, swifts and swallows, and attracts both visitors and bird-watchers. Good local footpath network.


Sowerby Bridge - Littleborough - Chadderton - Manchester

Completed in 1804, the Rochdale Canal was the first trans-Pennine canal and one of the country's most spectacular waterways. With the coming of the railways commercial traffic declined until the canal finally closed in the early 1950s. An ambitious restoration programme is now underway with plans to reopen this unique broad canal across its whole 32 mile length from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire. Rochdale Canal is a site of biological importance and offers a home to a wide range of wildlife. Recreational opportunities across the Borough include delightful towpath walks, fishing and canoeing.


Heasonandford, Burnley

A manmade lake encircled by footpaths and attracting a large number of water fowl. Stocked with fish for the angler. Picnic site and toilets.


Tel: 0870 420 4145
The Quays, Salford

Manchester and Salford docks once constituted Britain's third largest port. In the 1980s work began on transforming Salford's docks into an amazing three mile waterfront for boating and walking. It is a unique waterfront destination, situated just 15 minutes by tram from Manchester city centre and an ideal destination for a day out or weekend break. At The Quays there is a wealth of world-class entertainment, leisure and cultural facilities on offer including The Lowry, Manchester United Museum and Tour, Imperial War Museum North, Ordsall Hall and The Lowry Outlet Mall. You can try your hand at rowing, sailing, canoeing or windsurfing at Salford Watersports Centre. If you plan on making a weekend of it, there are great hotels such as the Copthorne Hotel, the Golden Tulip and the Old Trafford Lodge to choose from.


Opened in 1757 to carry coal, the Sankey Canal pioneered the canal age and was responsible for shaping the valley, its environment and development from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Today the local authorities and Sankey Canal Restoration Society are jointly developing the Sankey Canal Trail as a 15 mile greenway, whilst working towards restoration of navigation.


Tel: 0161 338 2394
Stamford Street, Stalybridge, Cheshire

Open: All year
Admission: Free

Situated in Stalybridge, features include large boating lake wiith Stamford Belle Steam Boat, Crazy golf, crown green bowls, tennis courts, children's play area and children's train ride.


Follow the A57 from Warrington town centre. Turn right into Church Street and at the traffic lights turn left onto Farrell Street (opposite Sainsburys). The entrance is situated at the bottom of this road on the left, opposite the ambulance station.

The Twiggeries, a large area of dense willow scrub is a haven for wildlife in the centre of Warrington. Historically the area was coppice producing willow for basket weaving. Today the Twiggeries offers excellent opportunities for bird watching while the pond supports a large amphibian population. Much is being done to improve access to the site - the most recent addition being a boardwalk and dipping platform.


Tel: 01942 720453
Three Sisters Road, off Lockett Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan
Three Sisters

Reclaimed from three huge towering colliery spoil heaps, over 50 metres high, Three Sisters offers fun for all the family. Motor sports, coarse fishing, canoeing and an extensive network of footpaths make Three Sisters a great day out.


Tel: 0161 220 1000

Mosley Road North, Trafford Park, Trafford

Set right at the heart of Europe s largest industrial estate is Trafford Ecology Park, a unique nature conservation site. The 11 acre site contains a wide variety of habitats ranging from a lake, 6 ponds, woodland, wetland, species rich grassland and meadows. It is a 'Site of Biological Importance', affording the site greater protection.


These two reservoirs are situated north of Bolton. Park at Entwistle car park for both routes. Both routes are graded as easy walking and the path around Turton and Entwistle (4 km) is wheelchair accessible. Wahoh is slightly longer at 5 km. Construction of Entwistle Reservoir began in 1831, where the waters assisted in the cleaning and bleaching of wool and cotton in the local mills. Together with Wayoh, the two reservoirs make up around 50% of Bolton's drinking water. With a combination of tall fir trees, moorland and long stretches of water, Entwistle reservoir has a wild beauty. The northerly section of Wayoh is a nature reserve, where there is a variety of wildfowl. There is very little wildlife around Entwistle due mainly to the tall coniferous trees leaving the ground cover very dark. Fairy Battery to the north end of Turton and Entwistle is the name given to an outcrop of rock, very popular with rock climbers. During the 18th century the Battery, known locally as "pulpit Rock" was used as a secret meeting place for non-conformist worshippers as they were forbidden by law to worship and had to seek out secret locations.


Tel: 01204 691549

The trail circles the Upper Rivington Reservoir passing through pleasant areas of woodland, meadowland and along the scenic banks of this large reservoir.


Tel: 01457 864 187
Trapp Farm Car Park, Ramsden Road, Wardle

Watergrove reservoir is situated north of Wardle and the A58 Halifax Road and south of Bacup. Rochdale is to the west and Littleborough to the east.

Open: All day, every day

Moorland around Watergrove, Near Wardle, is more rugged and the mixture of moorland, young woodland, wetland and rough pasture and the reservoir itself offer a huge variety of habitats and a fascinating wealth of archaelogical remains. Watergrove Reservoir is Rochdale's main water supply. The site is recognised for its high wildlife value and access is good with a network of footpaths criss-crossing the valley as well as a section of the Pennine Bridleway and Rochdale Way running through. A pleasant path around the reservoir makes an interesting walk for families with young children.


Tel: 0151 691 8139
Exit M53 junction 2 (Upton/Moreton) follow brown tourist information signs.

For unsurpassed sailing facilities, make sure you visit the Marine Lake at West Kirkby on the Wirral. This man-made salt water lake is a massive 52 acres in size and is non tidal. It is 5 ft deep throughout and offers a degree of safety unobtainable on the open sea. The geographical position of the lake means that the wind conditions remain constant and uninterrupted and at certain times of the year it is possible for wind-surfing speed records to be under threat. The lake is located on the Dee Estuary and offers unsurpassed sea views for those who prefer to just watch the sailing activities or walk around the lake. The Dee is a Special Site of Scientific Interest which attracts large numbers of rare wading birds, particularly in the Winter months.


Wheelton, nr Chorley

The locks are a fascinating reminder of the canal linkage once vital to trans-Pennine industrial canal traffic in their precarious and difficult descent from the higher reaches of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to the lower regions of West Lancashire.


Tel: 01257 481054
Park Road, Adlington, Nr. Chorley,

The largest and most extensive marina on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, offering more services and products than any other marina in the North West. From hire boats to boat sales, mooring and chandlery superstore, as well as the Mariners coffee shop.


Tel: 01706 852534
Cowm Brook House, Cowm Reservoir, Tong Lane, Whitworth, Rochdale

Set in beautiful countryside, the centre boasts some of the best facilities for water skiing in the North West. Everyone is catered for, whether you are an expert, a beginner or disabled, there will be something for you to enjoy. Expert guidance and coaching is provided for all levels. Facilities include: jump, slalom and trick courses, jet bikes, water toys such as bananas, special bikes for the disabled to tour the trails surrounding the reservoir and kids coaching club.


Tel: 01257 425550
Near Standish

Worthington Lakes lie within the Douglas Valley between Wigan to the south and Chorley to the north, with road access off the A5106.

Open: Every day

An attractive area of woodland surrounding three reservoirs make Worthington Lakes a picturesque location for a family day out. A network of footpaths and picnic sites offer a variety of scenic views. A trail designed for the visually impaired follows a mature tree lined walkway. Other features include - all year fishing and a small nature reserve.


Tel: 01524 792093

M6 Juntion 33 - head south towards Garstang turn onto Hampson Lane following the brown signs for 'Fishery'. Turn right at the T-junction and over two crossroads, at the 3rd crossroad turn right and the lakes are 400 yards down on the left hand side.

Fishing, Walking and Nature Trails, various types of accommodation, entertainment, bar and restaurant.

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