As I said in my last post ‘I have a plan’.
I like a challenge and an objective. Since the beginning of November I’ve shelved trips abroad because of painful musculature around my left hip – brought on by excessive stress on the Cornish coastal path and in La Palma mountains last year. My physio appointment today was positive and I’m armed with exercises to re-balance my muscles. So fingers crossed.
The Lancaster Canal is a good project in the circumstances. Flat walking and easily accessed from public transport. Walking on the flat seems to be no problem so over the next couple of weeks I hope to explore this canal system in easy sections.. I’ve never walked the full length so why not complete now.
The Lancaster Canal was a project from the 18th century to connect Kendal and Lancaster to Preston and ambitiously to the rest of England’s canal system. At the time Preston was a major port and the link north would provide coal and supplies to booming industries and limestone in the opposite direction, hence its nickname The Black and White. By 1797 a lock-less 42-mile section of the canal was constructed from Preston to Tewitfield. John Rennie was the engineer. The extension to Kendal was completed in 1810 and a spur to Glasson Dock added in 1826. Passenger traffic on this section was much quicker than stage coach. The southern link was complicated by the River Ribble, a tramway was built across it to gain access to the Leeds – Liverpool system and thus an aqueduct was never built. As trade declined the last cargo was transported in 1947. The canal at its southern end now terminates in Ashton basin with a section lost in Preston’s housing. At the northern end the canal terminates effectively at Tewitfield locks as the M6 has disrupted further progress, a short-sighted but economical decision. The line of the canal can be followed northwards to Kendal. This whole isolated canal was finally connected to the rest of the English canal network in 2002 by the opening of the Ribble Link.
A good project full of interest. I did the whole thing in bits and bats with Pete mainly walking a section on the canal and then circling back to the start on minor roads. You no doubt would be more inclined to use public transport, therefore doing longer sections at a time. Going north you can still follow the dry bed of the canal all the way to Kendal
My leg is happy to do 8 flat miles a day so I’ve based my walk on that. Buses are frequent up the A6 linking all the sections, we’ll see.
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