Up the Staircase from Wigan: Walking to Leeds, Section 5

Several weekends on from our last walk, here’s the next instalment of what we intend to be a complete walk of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Beginning where we intend today’s walking to finish.

Here at Chorley.

We’ve moved well beyond Liverpool’s local transport now, so we’ve driven to where we will finish and from now on will use the local transport of wherever we are to get back to the day’s startpoint for the remaining stages of our canal walk.

So we walk across town to Chorley’s splendid bus station.

And catch the bus to Wigan.


Where we ended our previous canal walk a few weeks ago.
And so today’s walk begins.
With the first of many locks we’ll see.

Soon after we’ve started we pass another of the canal’s branches, this one to Leigh. This branch runs for seven miles, from this junction with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal main line here at Wigan, to Leigh, where it joins the Stretford and Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal.

The Leigh Branch.

We probably will walk these branches one day, but first we’ll walk the main line.

Typical edgeland where old industrial buildings have been replaced by nothing.

Having passed through very few locks on our journey so far across the Lancashire Plain we now begin some serious locks activity as the canal begins its rise into the Pennines. The Wigan Staircase being a sequence of 21 locks. It’s a stretch but we’re glad to be walking it rather than in a boat.

Good use of the canal side.

“Looks like I’m walking with a Martian” quips Sarah.

A slagheap blending slowly in to the landscape.
Looking back down the Staircase to Wigan.
From 1816 when the canal was still being constructed.
Graffiti on a bridge.
Shine on.
At last we get to the Top Lock and stop at the Kirklees Hall Inn…
For ice cream!
Out into open country now, along what was originally the Lancaster South canal.
A short abandoned spur at the start of it.

The remains of an ancient argument with a railway company.

A hot and beautiful spring day.
New life on the canal.

A waymarker from before the canal reached Leeds or Liverpool.
Beautiful bridge building.

Haigh Hall.
Old money either side of the canal.

Sarah observes “We’d have gasped at the beauty of this on our earlier canal walks. Now we expect it.”

We walk in quiet peace, loving every inch of this. Neither of us much caring whether we ever get to Leeds or not. These are precious days walking along this beautiful canal together.

A curious drain. Any ideas?

Approaching Adlington.
Crossing the River Douglas.
A curious arch at the base of a bridge.
The first canalside graveyard we’ve seen.
More new springtime life.

Arriving at The Bridge at Adlington.

Where we decide to end our walk for today. We could push on to Chorley, where we’d planned to finish. But you know what? It’s our walk in our own time and we’ll do it as slowly as we like.

So we go into the bridge for a welcome drink and ring a taxi to get us back to our car!
Sarah’s map of today’s walk.
From the beginning at Wigan.
To the end at Adlington.

Read all of our Leeds Liverpool Canal walks here.

Published by Ronnie

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place: http://asenseofplace.com.

Join the Conversation


  1. Loving this vicarious walking Ronnie! Ice cream, wildlife, flowers and beer – what more could a person want? I am not a big walker but to release the daily stress of politics et al I have discovered Lunt Meadows – when you have finished if you haven’t been I recommend it – a peaceful sigh of a nature reserve. . Though I have learned that herons are not just beautiful but pretty mean

  2. I will probably never walk as far as you and Sarah but thank you for taking me with you via the Internet with your wonderful photographs and explanations

  3. I’m enjoying walking with you too! We’ve done lots of walks on the canal this side of The Pennines over the past 30 years or so & are really loving being able to see some of the views again now we aren’t able to walk far (my husband had chemo, which has left him with damaged nerve endings in his feet.) The canal passes through some wonderful scenery, but we also love the sense of history, so many remnants of the past to be seen. Looking forward to the next instalment.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: