Another popular trip is the 2-3 night 12 hour return cruise to Middlewich including 16 locks. Historically, Middlewich was an important cross-roads of the canal network and the centre of the Cheshire salt industry. It dates back to Roman times and the imposing parish church of St Michael originates from the 12th century. Here the Trent and Mersey Canal links with the Shropshire Union via its Middlewich branch. The well supported annual Folk and Boat Festival, established in 1990, is held in June. Both the Big Lock and King’s Lock have adjacent pubs which serve food and the fish and chip shop opposite the King’s Lock is worth the trip alone.