There are 47 locks along the main line, four along the Middlewich Branch and three on the River Dee Branch. With long stretches with no towns for miles, the Shropshire Union Canal is great for getting close to nature. The northern section is a wide waterway, running through the gently rolling Cheshire landscape, while the arrow-straight southern section features long embankments, cuttings and grand bridges, and fewer locks. These deep mossy cuttings are atmospheric and full of wildlife, giving keen-eyed boaters the chance to spot the flashing blue of a kingfisher in flight, and other waterway wildlife.
12 photos that capture the true beauty of the Shropshire Union Canal
Shropshire Union Canal Society
The Shropshire Union Canal was built to connect the industrial towns of the West Midlands with the River Mersey and therefore providing them with access to the port of Liverpool. The canal begins at Ellesmere Port in the Wirral where it links with the Manchester Ship Canal , it travels a few miles south to run through the centre of Chester just north of the River Dee and through the suburbs of Hoole and Christleton. Just after passing Beeston , the canal branches out at Barbridge Junction, the main route continues south, while another branch heads east towards Middlewich where it meets the Trent Mersey Canal. The last stretch of the canal that lies within Cheshire is actually a much older canal by the name of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal. This begins at Nantwich, crosses the River Weaver and passes through the village of Audlem via a series of fifteen locks before crossing into Shropshire and onto its final destination, just north of Wolverhampton. To upload your images of the Shropshire Union Canal, visit our reader photo gallery.
The canal lies in the counties of Staffordshire , Shropshire and Cheshire in the north-west English Midlands. The SU main line was the last trunk narrow canal route to be built in England. It was not completed until and was the last major civil engineering accomplishment of Thomas Telford. The main line between Nantwich and Autherley Junction was almost built as a railway although eventually it was decided to construct it as a waterway. This stretch, which was completed in , was originally part of the unfinished Ellesmere Canal.