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Sale Water Park

During the summer, the hub of Sale Water Park is the lake which is busy with everything from sail boats to jet skis.  You can also get away from the hustle and bustle of the Water Sports Centre by taking a walk through grassy meadows to the River Mersey or along to Jackson’s Boat Bridge.

Like the lake at Chorlton Water Park, the lake at Sale was a gravel pit, flooded after the extraction of gravel for the M60 in the 1970s.  Previously the land belonged to Sale Old Hall, which stood close to the site of junction 6. The junction is also the spot where volunteers stood in days gone by to watch for potential invaders during the Napoleonic wars.

The footbridge across the River Mersey was originally erected in 1816 and at that time there was a halfpenny toll to cross it. The bridge was built to replace a local farmer Jackson and his boat who had provided a ferry service across the river. The boat was hauled from bank to bank by a chain fastened to posts on either side.

The River Mersey is the traditional boundary between Cheshire and Lancashire. However, the Jackson Boat Inn is in Lancashire, in spite of sitting on the Cheshire side of the river. This anomaly is due to natural changes in the course of the river over many centuries. During the Jacobite uprisings of the eighteenth century, Stuart sympathisers met secretly at the inn. According to local tales, they drank to the health of the Pretender Prince Charles ‘across the water’ in France, symbolising this with a bowl of water placed in the centre of the table.

Cormorants are prominent visitors to Sale Water Park and can often be seen perched on the electricity pylons on the Broad Ees Dole side of the lake. You are well advised to be cautious when walking underneath them, or carry an umbrella – their guano makes a substantial mess! There is a pair of mute swans resident on the lake who have bred successfully on the lake since 2002.

For information on Water Sports on the lake at Sale contact the Trafford Water Sport Centre on 0161 962 0118. The Centre also sells fishing permits for the lake.

You can reach Sale Water Park from junction 6 of the M60. Follow the signs for the Trafford Water Sport Centre onto Rifle Road. For information about the Mersey Valley stop in the first car park you come to and drop into our Visitor Centre. For the Water Sport Centre, follow the lane around to the second car park.

 For a map of footpaths round the site click here

For information about how to get to this site click here

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