Explore the towpath and watch the narrow boats as they navigate the traditional locks
The Trent & Mersey Canal, engineered by James Brindley, was the country’s first long-distance canal. Created to transport goods from the centre of the country to the east and west coasts, and onward to the rest of the world, it now forms part of the extensive national network for leisure cruising.
The days of horse-drawn barges may have gone, but it still fascinating to wander along the towpath and watch the narrow boats as they navigate the traditional locks. Shardlow is considered Britain’s most complete surviving example of a canal village, with over fifty Grade II listed buildings and many surviving public houses within the designated Shardlow Wharf Conservation Area.
Mercia Marina is the largest inland marina in Europe popular with boaters, holidaymakers and casual visitors. It is also incredibly popular with wildlife through the sympathetic development of the existing lake and extensive landscaping. For the visitor a range of boutique retailers, bars and restaurants has made an enticing waterside place to explore.
The Mercia Swan based at Mercia Marina operates short narrowboat trips along with bespoke group bookings.
Car parking available at Mercia Marina, Stenson Bubble and Shardlow Wharf.