Sunday, 1 January 2017

Chorley to Wigan (December 2016)

Starting our canal walk from Chorley to Wigan

I call this the 'walk of walks' with it being the final one for 2016 and the fact we are getting nearer to Liverpool and further away from Leeds.

We travelled to Blackburn on the train and on our arrival we made our way to the bus station to catch a bus to Chorley.  It was a long winded journey; stopping at all the villages en route and taking us approximately 50 minutes.



We began with glorious weather.  What a contrast to the heavy rain and winds we had on our last walk (when we walked from Blackburn to Chorley)!  We certainly enjoyed walking in the sunshine and it wasn't too cold either (a contrast to when I walked from Wigan to Leigh on the Leigh Branch).  It looks like I've been lucky with walking weather during the Christmas/New Year holidays.

Privileged to have glorious weather at the beginning of our walk


We walked on the canal until we reached Adlington, a village on the outskirts of Chorley. We initially planned to have a drink at the Bridge Pub but it didn't open even though it's advertised for a 12 noon opening.  Instead we walked across the bridge into the village and saw that The White Bear Pub was opened.  Thankful for the opportunity for a comfort stop.



We continued walking the Rotary Way on the canal passing Worthington, Red Rock and Haigh Hall Country Park.  We did stop very briefly by a bridge for lunch.  There were some parts of the tow path that were very muddle with puddles.  So it was a bit of a challenge to walk without the risk of falling.  Luckily I just invested in some decent walking boots as I know the comfortable trainers I used for canal walking are a no go!  The boots paid off as I didn't slip or fall at once!

Top Lock of the Wigan Flight (21 locks over 2 miles) 

We planned to stop at The Crown pub near Wigan at Bridge 69 but it was closed.  Maybe the pub only opened at lunch time and evenings.  We walked on a little further to reach the top lock of Wigan Flight (of 21 locks over 2 miles).  A short walk was the Kirkless Hall pub - we popped in for well deserved refreshments and comfort stop.

Comfort stop at Kirkless Hall Pub, Wigan 

Knowing it will get dark sooner than later we didn't stay too long at the pub and descended down the flight though I was saddened to see the amount of litter on the canal pounds between the locks.  This spoilt the experience a bit for me and I wish more pride is taken in preserving this magnificent feat of engineering.



It took a good hour or so to reach Lock No. 86 and we decided to finish at Henhurst Bridge. We walked into the town centre for our train home and got a train for home straight away. Our journey home was eventful; two young women doing handstands on the seats and singing loudly...probably already in a party mood for their night out and a young lad fare dodging and was eventually escorted off the train at Stalybridge Station.  Then there was only a short wait in Huddersfield for our Leeds bound train.

Just another 35 miles to go!

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