The Rochdale Canal runs for 33 miles from Manchester, through the boroughs of Oldham and Rochdale, to Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire.

In Oldham, the Rochdale Canal runs from the Manchester border with Newton Heath through the borough's western wards of Failsworth and Chadderton, to the border with Rochdale where the canal crosses the River Irk by means of an aquaduct.

As part of the Pennine Ring, the Rochdale Canal connects with the Calder and Hebble Navigation in Sowerby Bridge, and the Ashton and Bridgewater Canals in Manchester.

History of the canal

Opened through to Manchester in 1804, the Rochdale Canal became the first trans-Pennine canal route, as difficulties with the Standedge Tunnel were holding up completion of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Well-used during the nineteenth century, journeys on the canal declined by the twentieth century, with what was thought to be the last voyage across the Pennines on the Rochdale Canal taking place in 1937.