Middlewood Way and Macclesfield Canal


8.5 miles long

Peak Forest Canal, Marple Locks #Stockport

Peak Forest Canal at Marple Locks, Stockport cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Kidd - – cropped from original

1 of 3


This is a flat and gentle walk along a reclaimed railway line surrounded by woodland and back alongside the Macclesfield Canal.

Along the way, look out for the Marple flight of locks. The sixteen locks raise the canal by 209 feet (64 m) over the course of about a mile (1.6 km). While the rest of the canal was opened to navigation by 1796, insufficient money was available to complete the necessary flight of locks to connect the two halves, and a temporary tramway was installed until such time as the locks could be completed. This finally happened in 1804. With the end of commercial carrying, the locks became dilapidated and by the early 1960s the flight had become impassable. Pressure in the late 1960s resulted in the restoration and re-opening of the flight in 1974.


Note that the Middlewood Way section is ideal for wheelchairs and pushchairs, with accessible paths continuing some way further south. Click here for accessibility details. This route is therefore classed as partially accessible.

We have not been able to verify whether the canal section of the route is suitable for wheelchair users but hope to add this information soon.

How to get there

The main start point in the description and on this page is Rose Hill Marple rail station. However, because there are no services on Sundays, we also list the somewhat remote Middlewood rail station (on the Buxton line from Manchester and Stockport) as an alternative start point.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start points, simply click the Google Maps link(s) on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click on the train icon.

Alternatively, input the postcode(s) shown on this page into the TfGM journey planner at

Share this Route