The Caldon Canal is seen as one of the most interesting and picturesque waterways in the country. It was built in 1776 and runs for 18 miles between Etruria Marina, Stoke-on-Trent and Froghall Wharf, originally to carry limestone from the quarries at Cauldon Lowe to the Potteries.
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 Etruria Industrial Museum located at the canalside. Along the canal there are a number of short tunnels, one at Froghall (70 metres long) and the 120 metre long Leek Tunnel.
At Longsdon, near to Deep Hayes Country Park, the canal divides, with the 3 mile long Leek branch diverting towards the historic market town of Leek, whilst the main canal terminates at Froghall Wharf where there is a restored canal basin, mooring facilities and access to a series of waymarked trails, public toilets and a cafe. A short walk from Froghall Wharf, brings you to the Kingsley & Froghall Station of the Churnet Valley Railway where you can buy tickets to board a heritage steam train and see the beauty of the Churnet Valley from a different aspect.
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.
Map & Directions
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.