Keep on running in the North West

Whether you run for fitness, walk for wellbeing or you’re training for an event, our waterways offer ample opportunities to help you reach your goals

Running in Rochdale


Would you like to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019 on behalf of the Canal & River Trust? We’ve been allocated a limited number of spaces in this incredible event, and we’re keen to hear from keen runners who would like to take part and help raise vital funds to help make life better by the water.

Plan your route

Whatever your level of running ambition – whether you’re training for an organised event or just getting started – the flat surfaces and convivial atmosphere of a canal towpath can give you just the boost you need.

‘It can be hard to get going at this time of year,’ says journalist and runner David Robinson. ‘But the rewards are huge if you give it a try. The sight of mist rising from the canal on frosty mornings is something to behold. And it’s always calming running alongside water; almost like you’re in step with the natural flow of things.’

The north west has miles of canal to choose from and offers a rich variety of rural and urban settings. The Rochdale Canal is one that picks its way from the metropolitan areas of Manchester to the rugged heights of the Pennines and is a haven for runners.

Starting at Mills Hill station, you pick up the canal at Oldham Road Bridge. Head on past the Rose of Lancaster pub and around the meander till the canal reaches Boarshaw Lane. Turn right and follow the road as it turns into Hough Lane, under the motorway and on towards Cinder Hill Lane. Turn right and head to Healds Green, over the motorway and down the steep hill towards Heights Lane and Kiln Hill Lane, where you enter Chadderton Hall Park. Jog alongside the River Irk before climbing up the Irk Aqueduct and back along the canal to the Rose of Lancaster, where you can enjoy a deserved drink or a hearty pub lunch.

‘On tip I always pass on – if you’re thinking of taking up running seriously, get yourself a good pair of trainers,’ says David. ‘It’s worth spending the extra money on something that suits your style of running – and it makes a world of difference.’

Fancy a challenge?
Did you know that the Trust has a few limited places to run in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon? If you’re interested to run for us in this iconic event, helping to raise funds for our work, email us to register your interest at and we will be in touch with more info.

Just starting out?
Find your nearest waterway and plan your running route on our website.

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