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Karen Bradley MP Column 02.10.23

The canals and waterways in the Moorlands are packed full of history, providing a fantastic reminder of our industrial past while also being some of the most beautiful and tranquil areas anybody could hope to find. That is why this week they are my Reason to Visit the Moorlands.

Dating back to the heyday of the Industrial Revolution, the Caldon Canal opened in 1776 to connect the limestone quarries of Caldon Low and Froghallto the industrial hub of Stoke-on-Trent. The Leek Branch extension was opened in 1801, providing a vital transportation route for the area’s cotton mills, and the Uttoxeter Canal expanded the network in 1811.

Stretching from Etruria to the Froghall Basin, the Caldon Canal passes through many scenic villages and is lined by plenty of charming pubs which are perfect places to stop at while exploring the canal by foot, bicycle or narrow boat. Stunning scenery and fascinating history is abound, and I am especially fond of the aqueduct where the Leek branch crosses the main canal, which is one of only six such canal crossing canal aqueducts in the country.

Rudyard Lake is another must see location. Completed in 1797, the reservoirwas constructed to feed the local canal network and today it offers a vast array of activities for all ages and abilities. From a 5 mile circular walk around the perimeter of the Lake, fishing, all manner of water activities and even theVictorian style narrow gauge steam railway, there really is something for everybody. I love walking to the lake from my home, it’s such a lovely place to relax.

Whether you’re into history, nature, or prefer to be more active, the canals and waterways in the Moorlands are for you, and that is why they really are a brilliant Reason to Visit the Moorlands.


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