Narrowboat Hire – Ashton & Peak Forest Canals

Cruising on a hire boat up the Ashton Canal and Peak Forest Canal lifts you out of busy central Manchester into wonderful Peak District open scenery. Allow at least 3 or 4 days to cruise. There’s a range of holiday cruising options including the interesting Cheshire Ring (1 week) and on one of the Pennine Rings up the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and back down the Rochdale canal (2 weeks).

Portland Basin and the junction of the Ashton and Peak Forest canals

  • The short Ashton Canal climbs 18 locks out through urban Manchester’s modern apartment blocks and Sports City, the base for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, with good overnight moorings at both ends of the canal.
  • From Portland Basin the Peak Forest Canal meanders through pleasant Peak District countryside with aqueducts, tunnels, lift bridges and stunning Pennine views. Close by the Huddersfield Narrow Canal starts its steep climb across the Pennines.
  • Marple has a fine aqueduct and junction with the Macclesfield Canal. The towpath links to hundreds of miles of footpaths up the Goyt Valley, past reservoirs into the stunning scenery of the Peak National Park.
  • Explore Bugsworth Basin, an unique canal/tramway interchange where lime, limestone and gritstone from Derbyshire quarries was transhipped to narrowboats.
  • Whaley Bridge has walks up the old High Peak Railway towards Cromford. Toddbrook canal reservoir nearly flooded the town in 2019 when a dam began to collapse.

Boat Hire from family firms on or around the Ashton Canal and Peak Forest Canal

Chas Hardern Boats

Chas Hardern Boats, family run for over 40 years offering a fleet of excellent value, well equipped 2 to 6 berth boats for all year cruising. Ideal for the Shropshire Union Canal, the Llangollen Canal & adjoining canals.

Cheshire Cat Narrowboats

Cheshire Cat Narrowboats, perfect for the Llangollen Canal & Four Counties Ring. Clean, comfortable, well-equipped boats, individual attention, sensible prices, no hidden extras. A warm, friendly welcome guaranteed.

Floating Holidays

Located on the Trent and Mersey Canal, Floating Holidays have lovely traditional and modern boats, large and small for all parties. For couples breaks through to a boat that will comfortably accommodate 10 people.

Heritage Narrowboats

Heritage Narrowboats
offering 'quality graded' Narrowboats to cruise the Cheshire & Four counties Rings and beyond. Or why not have a day out on the canal on one of our 12 person dayboats.

Canal Rings

The Cheshire Ring includes the Ashton Canal, Macclesfield Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal and the Bridgewater Canal.

The Pennine Ring takes the Huddersfield Narrow Canal over the Pennines to the Aire & Calder Navigation and into Leeds. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal climbs back over the Pennines and returns to Manchester along the Bridgewater Canal.

More Information

Holiday Cruising Guide to the Ashton and Peak Forest Canals

More North West hire firms or narrowboat hire firms in other canal areas.

Day hire boats to cruise with a few friends for a few hours.

Help to choose the right canal boat for your holiday.

Plus lots more advice and tips in our Canal Holiday Advice.

Our Listings

We provide contact telephone and email details free of charge for canal based companies, click for details.
Please note: We provide all contact details as an information service. We rely on traders to keep us informed about these listings so we can't guarantee that details are accurate or up to date. Please see our Terms of Use.

Add a company

Macclesfield Canal

Heritage Narrowboats
Station Rd, Scholar Green, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 3JZ.
01782 785700

Peak Forest Canal

Brightowl Narrowboat Holidays

Shropshire Union Canal

Chas Hardern Boats
Beeston Castle Wharf,, Beeston,, Tarporley CW6 9NH.
01829 732595
Cheshire Cat Narrowboats
Overwater Marina, Nantwich CW5 8AY.
07867 709195

Trent and Mersey Canal

Floating Holidays
Middlewich Wharf, 1 Canal Terrace, Middlewich CW10 9BD
03300 430547

Day Hire

Phoenix Day Boat Hire
Whaley Bridge, Basin SK23 7LS.
Portland Basin Boat Hire
Lower Alma St, Dukinfield SK16 4SQ.

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