Situated a few minutes from Marple town centre are the Marple locks. The flight of 16 locks is a spectacular sight and one of the steepest flights in Britain. With beautiful countryside either side, the walk up to Marple Aqueduct is well worth a visit and makes a great family day out.
Where to join Marple Locks
We started at Memorial Park as you enter the park follow the footpath down onto the locks and you come down onto lock 11. We then turned left and followed the canal.
Oldknow’s Warehouse on Marple Locks
Just above lock 9 is Oldknow’s warehouse – this is a beautiful building which apparently has been converted into offices – I would certainly like to work there with that view! Keep following your nose to the left and you will come to Station Road. As you cross Station Road continue along the path to the right-hand side of the canal, following the signs for the aqueduct.
As you enter over the top of the Aqueduct the path is quite narrow but the view from the top is stunning – you can see right down into valley and see the river Goyt. This is one of Britain’s highest stone aqueducts! If you continue across you will see a gate and some steps on the left, leading down to the bottom of the Aqueduct. These steps are quite steep, but the kids enjoyed counting all the steps…there are 26 in total! At the bottom you can see just how high the aqueduct is – it almost takes your breath away at the sheer height of it. We did see some people planning to abseil down – but it’s certainly not for the faint hearted! At the bottom there’s a lovely bench which was perfect for a drink and a snack. There are walks you can take across the fields under the aqueduct but as we had the children with us, we decided to go back up and walk back along the other side of the canal instead.
Marple Canal walk
Since 2015, this has been part of the Peak Forest Canal and was awarded a Green Flag award in 2017. You can walk either side of the canal, we visited in the late morning and it was quite busy, and the paths can get narrow in parts. Paths are pushchair, scooter and bike friendly…just watch out for people having a stroll! The children enjoyed spotting the wildlife along the canal we saw lots of birds, ducks and a mystery holes…apparently one was where the Gruffalo lives! Unfortunately, the most disappointing part was we didn’t see any canal barges – just an old one parked up! A good excuse for us to return later in the year!
Marple Memorial Park
After the walk back along the canal we took a visit to Memorial Park. The park opened in 1922 to commemorate all the Marple soldiers who died during World War 1 – there are several plaques telling its story.
The park has so much to offer for all ages. There is a toddler play area and a play area for older children – a particular hit was the tyre swing and the caterpillar! There’s also basketball nets, a skate park for scooters and skate boards, and lots of grassy areas to play ball games! The park also has a bowling green and an adjacent bowls pavilion.
Plenty of benches are also dotted around the park and there’s a concrete path on the perimeter if you fancy a stroll. We didn’t get chance to stroll much as we were mainly chasing the kids around!
Food and drink in and around Marple
Although the park doesn’t offer any food and drinks facilities, Marple town centre is about 5 minutes’ walk away and we saw lots of people with take away coffees and cakes! There’s also plenty of picnic space in the park and along the canal. Look out for the picnic bench at lock 7 and benches at lock 16!
There’s a pay and display car park in Memorial Park right next to the Canal, plus a selection of other car parks in Marple town centre. Marple train station is just a short walk away too, and there’s plenty of bus routes from Stockport town centre.