The namesake canal cuts through the south side of Rochdale on its 32-mile course from Castleford Basin in Manchester to Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire.
Built at the turn of the 19th century, this was a major navigable waterway for its 14-foot-width, accelerating the Industrial Revolution in the region and acting as a highway for cotton, wool, timber, limestone, salt and coal.
Traffic had dried up by the 1920s, and the canal was eventually closed to boats in 1952. But since its restoration was completed in 2002, the Rochdale Canal is one of the few historic waterways that are navigable on its entire length.
Of the 92 original locks, 91 remain, as locks three and four have been merged into one.
And if you want you could walk the 32 miles, or simply break out into the countryside south and east of Rochdale for Pennine scenery and industrial history (the section in the centre of town is a bit gritty).