SANKEY Canal has been recognised nationally as one of the region's most beautiful walking spots.

A feature in The Guardian has explored the canal's beauty as it spans more than 25 kilometres, through Widnes, St Helens, and Warrington.

The lengthy article highlights the beauty of the trail, as well as the different sights that walkers can expect to see along the route.

Runcorn and Widnes World: Sankey Viaduct - known as the 'nine arches' - can be seen along the waySankey Viaduct - known as the 'nine arches' - can be seen along the way (Image: Newsquest)

Included on the long list of spectacles is Sankey Viaduct, which was completed in 1830 - more than 70 years after the canal was built.

Close to the viaduct is Earlestown railway station, which was home to the world's first steam railway junction.

Contributing to the feature is the chair of the Sankey Canal Restoration Society, 79-year-old Colin Greenall, who remembers the canal being in use in the 1950s.

He said: "It must have been about 1956.

"I remember being out trainspotting at Winwick and seeing boats going up towards Earlestown with sugar.

"Then everything changed to road transport and the last boats stopped in 1959."

The society hopes to one day create a canal that could be used for leisure crafts, the feature explains.

Another first that walkers can see en route along the canal is Burtonwood’s Ikea – built in the ‘80s, the superstore was the country’s first location for the Swedish interior design company.

Further along the way, those making the trek can see the looming cooling towers of Fiddler’s Ferry emerge in the distance; though this will soon be a sight of the past, with the towers due to be blown down on Sunday, December 3.

Along the canal, walkers can expect to see a hoard of wildlife, the feature adds, including ‘herons, shags and gulls, coots, hundreds of moorhens, grazing geese, adult swans accompanied by huge grey, moulting cygnets.’

Runcorn and Widnes World: The canal is a hub for wildlifeThe canal is a hub for wildlife (Image: Newsquest)

Much further down the canal, views of two looming bridges can be seen – the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

A number of pubs line the route, too, providing ample opportunities for walkers to rest their legs and to get a bite to eat – or, perhaps more importantly, to quench their thirst.

For those without time to walk the full route, the feature recommends the shorter eight-mile trek from Sankey Viaduct to Fiddler’s Ferry.