Top Lock, Top Day: Walking to Leeds, Section 6

Another day, another Top Lock. We suspect this won’t be the last of these on our way along the canal from Liverpool to Leeds. As usual now, we begin the day where we aim to finish, parking the car here at Wheelton.

Me and a very happy Sarah Horton, who particularly loves these canal days.

Sarah, to give credit where it’s definitely due, is the principal arranger of these days. Does all the maps, food and logistics and on this one will also do a good half of the photographs.

Sarah’s map. How to get from Adlington to Blackburn along the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Our day begins in steady rain.

We are on a steady climb up the western side of the Pennines now.
First bus back to Chorley.
Looking blithely confident at the bus stop.

Though as it turns out, due to the vicissitudes of public transport on a Sunday, it will end up taking us a good while before we get back to Adlington where we left off our walk back in early May.

At last.

Now we’re walking the rain has obediently stopped.

A poor quality sign. And anyway, we feel like we’ve been in Lancashire for ages.

We pass a mile or two of boats with adjacent gardens which are effectively static caravans and aren’t getting their pictures on here, before coming to a more interesting encampment. Do you remember every Happy Eater used to have one of there tree characters in the playground outside? Well this one’s somehow ended up here. Any idea what these are? We pass several next to bridges. All empty except for one back at adlington filled with what look like railway sleepers?

Blackberries well on the way now.

Under the M61.

And here, a particularly lovely set of photographs from blog reader, writer and fellow walker Sarah Horton. Nature, light, reflections and refractions.

Well done Sarah!
A joy to do this walking with you.

And a word here about this walking. We set off back in February thinking we’d have this all done by now and yet here we are at the end of June around about a third of the way to Leeds. Partly because we both have other things we’re doing. But mainly because we’re loving this so much we don’t want to rush it. Every section of this canal has been a delight to be carefully treasured. We are, quite literally, having the time of our lives doing this walking together.

“Botany Bay”
The day’s locks begin.
Less than 80 miles to Leeds now.
Only the Liverpool side of this mile post visible. In 201 years the tree has grown around it.
New life on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.

Nearing today’s Top Lock.

Elegantly done.

At the Top Lock, Wheelton. Today’s walk done.

Where we get talking to Elisa and Joe, locals from Dark Lane by here.

Cheers Lisa and Joe!
Today’s route, from Sarah.

Next time we plan to walk from here to Blackburn. Then we’ve booked a place to stay in Barnoldswick late in July, where we’ll base ourselves to reach the top of the Pennines.

See all the 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:

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  1. Ronnie and Sarah, it was a pleasure to meet you both and enjoy an end of walk drink with you, good luck and happy walking for the rest of the trip. Enjoyed looking through the blog too, inspirational stuff. Our dinner was not burned by the way, got home just in time! Elisa and Joe

  2. If you encounter any more steel enclosures with timber in, have a look at the canal walls in that location. There will probably be a vertical groove on both banks – possibly by a lock, but not always. The timbers are slid into the groove to make a temporary dam wall. Another one will be assembled further along, then I guess someone pulls a plug somewhere and that section of the canal can be drained for maintenance.

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