Tag Archives: leeds liverpool canal

Pathfinding to Burnley: Walking to Leeds Section 9

Resuming our complete walk of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, by the end of this walk we’ll be very conscious that we are now walking through the heartland of the industrial history of the north of England. Burnley, as you’ll see from this post and the next one, is a fantastic place it is a privilege to walk through.

These walks also mark the end of our doing each canal section as a separate day trip. We’re now too far from home for that, so have booked ourselves a long weekend away in Barnoldswick. A place so far into East Lancashire that it feels just like Yorkshire.

Barnoldswick, quietly lovely.

A friendly pub that we go to and a café that we don’t call their place ‘Barlick.’ so maybe all the locals do? We wouldn’t presume to know.

Naturally on our evening of arrival we stroll down to see that we think of as ‘our’ canal. It’s yours too of course.

We’re not expecting to reach Barnoldswick itself on this weekend’s visit, but definitely will next time we come to stay. Continue reading

Ten Things We’ve Learned: From walking the Leeds Liverpool

Now we’re precisely half way to Leeds and taking a weekend’s break from canal walking, Sarah and I have done a bit of reflecting on the eight walks we’ve done so far and a few things we think in general. So here they are.

1 Canal time is different

Now we’re far from home it’s been taking us a good while to get to the canal to start each walk where we finished the last one. But once we get there and slip onto the tow path we enter a very different place, where we’ve never walked before and yet it feels like we’ve never been away. Like setting off from the Harry Potter platform into our own magical world. A slow world too, where us and the occasional canal boat all move along at pretty much the same pace. Except we have the freedom to stop frequently, smell the flowers and gaze at, well, all the beauties and leftovers and canalscapes we’ve been showing you this year.

Losing track of the time and even of the century, because canal time is different.

2 Bikes are a problem

It pains me to say this, though I’ll say it anyway, because most of my best friends are enthusiastic bike riders. But bikes on the canal path are a nuisance. Not all of them of course, but too many of their riders to be comfortable with think us walkers are in their way. We might get an imperious ‘Get out of my way’ ring of a bell, but we pretty well never get a thank you. Two ‘thank yous’ I’d say we’ve had.

Local authorities themselves might be part of the problem here, including stretches of the canal in things like ‘The Chorley Trail’ to encourage bikes onto the tow path. But it means that particularly around towns, and because we’re walking at the weekends, we’re walking in single file to the side of the main path because of the bikes. Which are in turn, by the way, turning much of the main path into a narrow rutted groove of a path by their over use of it.

So, Canal and Rivers Trust, maybe a better quality path with a line down the middle if bikes must use the canal? End of rant. Continue reading

Half Way There: Walking to Leeds Section 8

One last day trip from home before we do the rest of our canal walk from stops along the way. (Yes, I know we said last week’s was the last day trip. but we couldn’t resist another.)

One last day trip to get us to the half way point between Liverpool and Leeds.

Early on, our walks all used local public transport to get to and from each walk. But since we got beyond the reach of local Liverpool transport we’ve done what we do today.

Drive to where we plan to finish the day’s walk.

Then walk to the nearest train station or bus stop.

In today’s case walking along the canal itself for a while.

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The Blackburn Rovers: Walking to Leeds, Section 7

Only six days after our last canal walk we set off to walk from Top Lock to Blackburn, the Blackburn Rovers, as we’re calling ourselves for today. Let’s go.

First we drive to Blackburn.

Where we will, eventually, end today’s walk.

We get the bus back to where we finished last week.

And a bus ride later here we are.

Back at lovely Top Lock.

Beginning a walk that will stretch us both, more than a little. Continue reading

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.

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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.

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The Road to Wigan Pier: Walking to Leeds, Section 4

The fourth section of our walk along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

This time we’re going to be walking from Burscough, where we left off last week, all the way to Wigan. Though in fact our journey begins where it will end, at Wigan. (Now we’re walking a good way away from home we’re beyond local Liverpool transport and so are driving to where we’ll finish each day and using their local transport to get to where we’ll walk from.)

So here we are in Wigan.

Where our walk will end later.

On a quiet Sunday morning in a beautiful place.

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