The Bridgewater Way
Regenerating the canal towpath for walkers and cyclists.
The Bridgewater Way is a regeneration project which, when completed, will create a 39-mile (65km) leisure route for walkers and cyclist along the Bridgewater Canal.
The works include improving the canal towpath by creating new access points and, where possible, widening the surface to allow cycling and make the towpath a safer and more appealing route.
The Bridgewater Way is promoted by the Bridgewater Canal Trust which is a partnership of eight local authorities and The Peel Group. Funders and supporters include: Peel L&P, Heritage Lottery Fund, Transport for Greater Manchester, Sustrans, Big Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Halton Borough Council, Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, Trafford Council and Wigan Council.
Completed sections of The Bridgewater Way
Waterloo Bridge to Acton Grange Bridge in Moore. This section connects Brindley Arts Centre, Norton Priory, Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus and Moore Village.
Fully completed up to Salford Borough boundary.
Manchester and Trafford
Completed from Castlefield through to Altrincham town centre.
Ramble the length of the canal or take a leisurely waterside stroll – there’s something for everyone. You can walk all the way from one end of the canal to the other if you like!
The towpath provides a pleasant walking route with plenty to see along the way such as many architectural features dating back to when the canal was first built in 1761 including the packet boat steps at Worsley and Stockton Heath which were the canal bus stops when travelling by road was difficult. Discover original humpback canal bridges and turnover bridges where the towpath changes sides, which were necessary to transfer the tow horse from one bank to the other safely.
Walking is a great way to stay healthy and active – plus it is completely free! We do ask that you use the canal safely, take your litter home and if you are a dog walker, please keep your dog under control and clean up after your pet.
From time to time, we may need to close certain sections to maintain the towpath. Please check this page for the latest information.
Public Transportation Information
Visit these websites for the latest bus, train and tram information and timetables.
Selected stretches of the Bridgewater Way welcomes cyclist of all ages and abilities.
Please note cycling is only permitted on certain lengths of the towpath which have been updated as part of the Bridgewater Way. These routes can be found in the following places:
Leigh – King Street Bridge at the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to Marsland Green Bridge in Astley
Salford – Old Fold Park in Eccles to Barton Swing Aqueduct
Trafford – Sale to Stretford
Runcorn – Waterloo Bridge to Preston Brook and from Preston Brook to Acton Bridge.
The scenic route is quite flat and so can be enjoyed by cyclists of all abilities to those just starting out to the more advanced cyclists.
The Bridgewater Canal Company welcomes careful and considerate cyclists to the Bridgewater Way shared route. Please ensure you are familiar with the Cycling Code of Practice and respect other people using the towpath.
In Trafford, the Bridgewater Way connects to the Trans Pennine Trail which connects the East and West coast of England between Southport and Hornsea. It is 215 miles long and signed along the whole route. To find out more, visit: www.transpenninetrail.org.uk
Share the Space, Drop your Pace: Our towpath code
Our waterways can be very lively spaces. Visit us and you could see cyclists, walkers, boaters, anglers, kayakers and even horses pulling boats along the water. We’re proud to offer so many different opportunities to enjoy our canals and rivers.
However, having so many different activities taking place does mean that people need to share the space considerately. To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water we asked you to help us develop a towpath code.
This is the result. It’s a common sense guide to sharing the towpath and what to expect of others.
Share the space – towpaths are popular places to be enjoyed by everyone. Please be mindful of others, keep dogs under control, and clean up after them.
Drop your pace – pedestrians have priority on our towpaths so be ready to slow down; if you’re in a hurry, consider using an alternative route for your journey.
It’s a special place – our waterways are living history, with boats, working locks and low bridges so please give way to waterway users and be extra careful where visibility is limited.
This towpath code forms part of our Better Towpaths for everyone initiative.