Sunday 16 December 2018

Returning to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal (Wigan to Leigh, Leigh Branch) (November 2018)

Mum and Dad, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Wigan

My Dad and I returned to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal; this time walking on the Leigh Branch from Wigan to Leigh.  I've walked the stretch before (see blog) but my Dad hasn't and my Mum joined us for the family outing.


My Dad and I are now finding travelling on public transport increasingly stressful and time consuming.  Taking in account the never ending Saturday strikes with Northern my Dad chose to drive and it only took just an hour or so to reach Wigan from Leeds.  It would take considerably a lot longer by train even if we can get direct ones!

Wigan Flashes, Leeds and Liverpool Canal (Leigh Branch)

It was around 10.00am that we parked by the Wigan Pier and began our walk.  It was approximately 7 miles or so and we enjoyed the Wigan Flashes in glorious sunshine on this stretch.  The lakes are so blue and with the canal's reflection and autumn colours it was a magical place.




We meant to stop at the Dover Lock Inn for refreshments but it was closed.  It looks like it hasn't been opened in a while.  Perhaps the pub has stopped trading instead we stopped in the Abram area for lunch by the canal.  We continued on walking via Plank Lift Bridge via Pennington Flash and there we enjoyed the views below from above.  



Pennington Flash, Leeds and Liverpool Canal (Leigh Branch)

We reached Leigh around 2.00pm where we had coffees and a comfort stop at the Spinning Jenny Pub (nice coffee!) before getting our bus back to Wigan.  After walking through the town centre we reached our car for the drive home.  It was a lovely day for a family walk.  We look forward to future canal walking adventures in 2019 and beyond.


Thursday 7 December 2017

Returning to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal (Shipley to Crossflatts)

I opted not to rewalk from Rodley to Shipley and decided to miss this stretch and continue my adventures from Shipley to Crossflatts.  I walked approximately four miles including stops at the Fisherman's Inn, near Bingley, and at the top of the Five Rise Locks, near Crossflatts.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Shipley

I remember what a cold day it was and I ensured I wrapped up warm as it's colder walking by the canal.  I enjoyed revisiting the industrial heritage of Shipley and Saltaire with a beautiful wooded stretch of Hirst Woods, linking to the Dowley Gap aqueduct.  At Hirst Woods, there are riverside trails available as the River Aire runs alongside the canal though down below and we eventually crossed it via the aqueduct.  

Love the light reflections on the Industrial Buildings, Saltaire

Hirst Woods, near Saltaire

Warmed up with a Cappuccino at the Fisherman's Pub and subsequently ascended up the Bingley's three and five staircase locks.  Bought a snack at the stables cafe and had a brief stop before walking a little further to where I was intending to stop.  Just a short walk downhill to the bus stop and only waited five minutes for my bus back to Leeds. 

Dowley Gap, beween Saltaire and Bingley

Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Bingley

I now have re-walked the section a few times now but always enjoy returning. 

End of walk, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Crossflatts 

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Returning to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal (Saltaire Heritage Trail and Bradford Canal)

One spring day in 2017 I returned to this stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal before my Dad and I completed walking it.  I have fond memories of Saltaire and this is where my desire to walk the whole of the canal began - I only did that day a 3 mile approx walk from Saltaire to Bingley Five Rise Locks (May 2016).

Former Bradford Canal (junction of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal)

On that occasion I wanted to check out the Bradford Canal which we keep passing on the walks I've done from Rodley and further.  The 3.5 miles canal from Shipley to Bradford opened in 1774 with a final closure in 1922.  There is only a small stretch in water from the junction of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and it is understood that some remains can still be seen enroute to Bradford.  There are plans to restore the canal but it seems nothing has yet come into fruition.  It remains to be seen.

 Saltaire Village Hall

I walked onto Saltaire and did the village heritage and the weekend coincided with World Heritage Weekend.  I have been to Saltaire many times but it's always nice to revisit and explore the village including the congregational church and the almhouses.  At the congregation church, they had a pop cafe where I enjoyed a cuppa and also looked around the displays celebrating the village's heritage.

Former Hospital Site

To end an enjoyable day I enjoyed an afternoon tea at Jeanette's Cakery.  It's a small and popular cafe and I was lucky to get a seat (I ended up moving to a seat at the window as I gave up my table for a couple of ladies who were queuing and there were no other seats free except for the single window one).  I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea and was ready to get my bus back to Leeds.