Often said to be the first true canal in England, the Bridgewater Canal was completed in 1761 and runs from Castlefield Junction in Manchester, where it meets the Rochdale Canal, to its terminus in Runcorn. The main line is 45.2 km (28.1 mi), with no locks. There are two arms, the Leigh Arm (17.4 km / 10.8 mi) from Waters Meeting in Stretford to Leigh, where it meets the Leigh Arm of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal; and the Preston Brook branch (1.3 km / 0.8 mi), which connects to the Trent and Mersey Canal. Again, there are no locks on either length.
It now forms part of the Cheshire Ring network of canals and is much used by pleasure craft. A current regeneration project is underway, intended to create a 65 km (39 mi) leisure route for walkers and cyclists along the canal’s towpath. Fishing rights are held variously by Lymm Anglers, Warrington Anglers Association and Leigh and District Anglers, depending on the stretch of the canal.