How to get there - Detailed directions are impossible. This trip is in south Manchester. Get to Junction 5 on the M60 and then follow the map. If you start from the left bank just below Northenden weir, use the camping shop car park, which is reached via Mill Lane from the B5167.
For those with SatNav the postcode is M22 4HJ.
Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - Launch left just below Northenden weir. Easy access from the camping shop car park.
The right bank below Simon's bridge about a mile upstream is an alternative (see map). Cars can reach both banks here, either via Didsbury golf club on the south bank or the housing estate on the north. Ferrying cars is easier on the north bank, i.e. within the ring road.
Description - This is for urban canoeists. Almost all the five miles lie within Manchester's orbital motorway. There is good flow and plenty of small rapids as the river runs between high flood banks. Northenden weir is the only obstacle (portage right over the covered fish pass), and you can launch below this. But the view from the river is not great. Even where the route passes between the reclaimed gravel pits of Chorley and Sale Water Parks, nothing of them is visible from the river.
The exit point is a bit tricky. Don't be tempted to look for an exit where the Bridgewater canal crosses. There's no access at all. I suggest landing on the right bank about 200 yards downstream of the confluence with Chorley brook. This means stopping on the outside of a fast flowing bend. If you reach the small rapid, you've gone too far. From there is a 100-yard portage to the car park.
This car park can be reached by taking a left into Crossford Street from the A56 Chester road going west. Then take a right into Hancock Street. This continues under the canal and railway line, past the cemetery on the left, to the car park where the road ends.
This section of Manchester Stretford Cemetery is presently being used for burials. It's a lovely spot. Matt Busby, Lesley Anne Downey, and LS Lowry are buried here. If you're anything like me, you'll want to stand awhile with the grieving relatives and contemplate the day when our last paddle is behind us.
I canoe this section two or three times a month with two friends. The Rapid by Chorlton Water Park is excellent for playing on. Get out at Jacksons Boat pub Grid Ref 810927 for a pint of "Speckled Hen" or Timothy Taylor's "Landlord". Email me at greenhalgh27gmail.com if you are free any Tuesday of the year at 4.00pm. p.s.The cemetery is not Southern Cemetery (2 miles away) as stated above, but Stretford Cemetery.
mark b 26 Dec 2007
Not a bad trip. I think it would be better when fuller as can see more countryside. The problem is that EA think people want to use getouts like rugby clubs to justify their work but better for canoeist to have 24/7 access by laybys ect.
Stockport Tourist Information produce a River Trail Guide (see links)