This is an easy out and back walk on the towpath of Rochdale canal with great refreshments at both ends.
Length: 2km (1½ miles)- a bit over 3,000 steps. It should take you about an hour (not including stopping for a drink or a meal).
Start and Finish: St Pol Car park.
How Strenuous: Pretty much on the flat.
How Uneven: The canal towpath is well surfaced and all on the flat. This walk can be done with push chairs and can be navigated by wheelchairs.
- Leaving the car park turn right towards the traffic lights, cross the main road and then straight- ahead down Holme Street to the bridge over the canal.
- Pass the Trades Club and the Little Theatre and at the end go up the short slope to the left which takes you on to the canal where you turn sharp right onto the tow path.
- The tow path crosses the river at Black Pit and the Central dyeworks (now converted into flats) with its fine brick chimney.
- The building on your right before you go under the bridge is the former Neptune pub – a popular haunt for the coal bargees.
- You now follow the towpath for 500 metres and you will reach the ever-popular Stubbing Wharf Hotel where you will surely want to stop for some food and drink.
It is open pretty much every day, but advisable to book on a sunny weekend. Outside, you can watch life on the canal. Inside, watch out for all the old photos of life on the canal.
- When you are done, you have two options to return:
Retrace your steps all the way to the centre of the town along the towpath.
Or, when you reach the second bridge, go up the slope, turn left, cross the Coop car park and then turn right on to Market Street – famous for its interesting local shops and cafes.