Canal, free entry
Stoke-on-Trent to Froghall Wharf,
The Caldon Canal was built between Etruria and Froghall in 1776 and was intended to carry limestone from the quarries at Cauldon Lowe to Stoke-on-Trent.
There are 17 locks over the course of the Caldon Canal, the first being The Etruria Staircase, encountered directly after the junction at Etruria and the industrial museum located at the canalside. Along the canal there are short tunnels at Froghall, at 70 metres long and the 120 metre long Leek Tunnel, with the added bonus of the 3 mile long Leek Arm which regrettably stops some way short of the centre of Leek.
The latter stages of the canal are not just quiet and rich in wildlife but are accompanied by the Churnet Valley Railway whose steam trains make a very welcome appearance alongside the canal to the delight of walkers who find hiking along the grassy towpath beside the Caldon to be one of the best canal walks in the country.
SK 024476 53.02569 -1.96565
Runs for 18 miles from the centre of Stoke on Trent at the Etruria Junction, heading eastwards towards the edge of the Peak District National Park through the staggeringly scenic Churnet Valley where it joins the River Churnet for a mile or so.