Sunday, June 04, 2006

Canal Walk: Barrowford to Foulridge

After a evening of popping blisters, sticking plasters and pouring on aftersun I was ready for another walk. A breakfast of one jam doughnut was more than enough for the six mile round trip from Barrowford to Foulridge. I parked at the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford and walked up Colne Road to the canal at Barrowford Locks. At the canal I turned left where there are three bridges in close succession (#142A, #143, #143A) and walked north towards Fowlridge Tunnel. Barrowford Reservoir is alongside the canal between locks 49 and 45.

There was no sign of the 80 mile milepost but by the lock side buildings at the Top Lock there was a quarter mile post and then a 3/4 post past Blakey Bridge #144. After Wanless Bridge #145 there was a very well preserved mile post showing 46.25 miles to Leeds and 81 miles to Liverpool, 60 miles away from yesterdays walk.

We arrived at the western entrance to Foulridge Tunnel just as a boat was exiting from the dark. With the plasters holding the blisters in check we followed the towpath diversion across the top of the tunnel, alongside the Fowlridge Lower Reservoir, through Fowlridge to Fowlridge Wharf. Fowlridge Lower Reservoir doesnt have the man made look of the smaller Barrowford Reservoir. It looks like a scene from the Lake District and was a nice change from the thin strip of water I have become used to.
Foulridge or Foal Ridge is a mixture of 1960s suburbia and original housing from its days as a cotton weaving town. Unfortuantely the Hole in the Wall pub is closed so I didn't have chance to see the famous photograph of the cow that swam the length of the tunnel.

Foulridge Wharf is a sad sight, the buildings are disused and up for auction and there is nothing there for tourists apart from a canal trip boat which didn't look like it was open for business. Again timing was right and a boat was entering the tunnel in time to have its picture taken.

A tiny newsagent was the only place we found for any refreshment so we headed back with out much delay. The return trip didnt seem to take as long but my feet began to complain. On the way back past the reservoir the yacht club were out sailing about in the sunshine. Capsizing looked a good way to cool off. I am sure I will return here to continue my towpath trek. Driving along the M65 motorists can glimpse the canal beneath which was once the high speed transport of its day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Foulridge Wharf is fabulous now.
The old buiding has been completely renovated, and is a wonderful cafe/restaurant called Cafe Cargo.