In July I had the opportunity to go on two canal walks and was reminded of how close getting back to nature can be, even when you are in a city. Just a short drive away you can get away from the traffic to a slower pace of life on the canals. The Leeds/Liverpool Canal is 127 miles long with 91 locks and provides lots of options for short or longer walks, not to mention the pubs along the way!
One walk with my cousin and her husband was from Burscough, West Lancashire, to The Ship, or “Blood Tub” pub at Lathom (see The Ship at Lathom review). This was a shorter walk which started at Burscough Wharf where there are a few shops to explore before heading left along the canal. There is a large map at the wharf of the canal and streets in Burscough with suggested routes drawn out to visit places in the area. One of the shops is an old fashioned sweet shop where we found some old favourites to keep us comfortable until we reached our lunch stop. We weren’t sure which way to walk so asked a man on one of the narrow boats. He soon had us going in the right direction. As with most canal walks there is a mix of homes to see along the river and some remnants of industry, in the form of old mills. Within about twenty minutes we came to a branch to the left signposted to Rufford at which there is a lock and some lovely cottages. The pub is just past the lock on the right-hand side.
Another day an uncle and I went for a walk from Appleby Bridge, West Lancashire, to Parbold for lunch at Yours is the Earth (see other review), about a 2 km walk. We parked just off the bridge by some cottages along the canal in Appleby Bridge. It was about ¾ of an hour to Parbold and a much more rural walk with fewer houses along the way. I don’t know what was in bloom in the area for this walk but by the time we got back to Appleby Bridge, something had got up my nose and I could not stop sneezing and my eyes were very itchy!
Like most river/canal walks, the paths are not paved and can be muddy when wet. Some parts of the path have tree roots or stones so are uneven.