Based on a walk from Canal Walks North by Ray Quinlan.
Start: Worsley village car park (grid ref. SD747004) about 100yds along the B5211, south of junction 13, M60.
Not a particularly scenic route - though Worsley has picturesque buildings - the majority of the walk is through suburban and industrial areas. Both ends of the linear walk offer something for those interested in industrial archaeology. There are a number of information boards to explain the origins and functions of the canal and buildings alongside.
Cross the road from the car park, and follow the footpath sign in
front of the Packet House (pictured right). The Packet House was built in the
seventeenth century, with the Tudor style frontage being added in the 1850s
.Cross a small footbridge, to an island which is home to the oldest building in
the village. Continue along and cross the road ahead. From the road bridge you
can view the Delph and two entrances to the Worsley Coal mines, one of which can
be seen in the picture below.
It was Good Friday when we walked the route, and foot and mouth restrictions
applied to the two most direst routes to the towpath from the car park. However,
if you walk south along the B5211 for less than a hundred yards, there is an
open space leading to the towpath, which was open to walkers travelling south.
On the opposite bank can be seen the boat house built to house a royal barge,
built for Queen Victoria's visit in 1851. A little further along are some dry
docks which date from the 1760s. Continue along the towpath until ends. Walk on
to the traffic lights and continue straight ahead to cross Barton Swing Bridge,
which crosses the Manchester Ship Canal. To your left you can view the Barton
Swing Aqueduct, which carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal
(photograph below, left). Once across the Swing Bridge, you can rejoin the
towpath fro a view back along the Swing Aqueduct (photograph below, right).
Unfortunately, there is no attractive, alternative return route, but on the way
back we stopped for refreshment in the beer garden of the Barge Inn.
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