I love canals and everything connected with them. I am lucky to live in NW England which has so many. (I’ve found a dozen on the website www.canalboat.co.uk)

Media City Footbridge

Media City Footbridge ©HelenBushe

The Manchester Ship Canal was opened in 1894 by Queen Victoria.This was a feat of engineering, running from Eastham on the Mersey Estuary to Salford – a length of 35.5 miles. It enabled sea-going vessels of up to 12,500 tonnes to sail right into Greater Manchester and the industrial heartlands of the north-west, and was built at a time of great national confidence when Britain was the workshop of the world.

With its new canalside docks, the city of Salford, a prominent site of the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, was destined to grow rapidly.

The growth and subsequent decline of Salford docks can be found on the Quays’ Website here.

By the late 1970s, the loss of trade and jobs in the north of England was alarming and the once-proud docks of inner Salford, by now squalid and polluted, qualified to receive derelict land funding under the British Government’s Urban Programme.

(image from Quays Website)

(image from Quays Website)

Then a developer called Ted Hagen had a vision of regenerating the area by building a cinema and a hotel. This idea took legs and ran and ran until today Salford Quays today boasts of The Imperial War Museum, The Lowry Arts/Theatre Complex, Media City (BBC and ITV), and a Retail Outlet with shops, restaurants and cinemas.

The Lowry Theatres

The Lowry Theatres ©HelenBushe

Media City

Media City ©HelenBushe

Lift-Bridge over Canal (Millennium Bridge)

Lift-Bridge over Canal (Millennium Bridge) ©HelenBushe

It’s a great place for a day out.


Leah · 12 April 2016 at 07:46

I, too, am a huge fan of canals: the history, the engineering, and the efforts on the part of developers and volunteers alike to keep them accessible to the public.

I must admit that we didn’t spend much time visiting Manchester this year (other than our Corrie tour, of course), but this post makes me think that it would be worth a second look on future trips to the UK. Beautiful pictures!

    HMB · 12 April 2016 at 07:56

    Thanks Leah. I’ll soon be posting about an area of Manchester called Castlefield right in city centre, with loads of narrowboats and houseboats(some even have dogs on them!) .
    Thank you again for your visit.

GeorgieMoon · 11 April 2016 at 20:03

We love canals too. Fabulous photos! Do you live close by? We’ve been enjoying the TV series Great Canal Journeys with Timothy West and Prunella Scales.

    HMB · 11 April 2016 at 20:07

    We went to The Quays last night for the Theatre and spent a couple of hours wandering around first. I’ve found 12 named canals in NW England. Our local one(Lancaster Canal) has no locks. I’m also enjoying the Wests’ Canal TV series. Have a good week, Georgie.

    Leah · 12 April 2016 at 07:42

    That is such a fantastic show, isn’t it? It was fascinating to learn about canals we had walked, or those that were planned destinations. Such a love story both between Timothy and Prunella, and between the couple and the canals.

sheilahwatson · 11 April 2016 at 19:02

Fascinating info on a beautiful place

    Helen Bushe · 11 April 2016 at 20:36

    It is a fascinating area to walk around. Thanks for your visit Sheila.

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

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