Monday, September 25, 2006

Canal Walk: Liverpool

Its been a while since I last treked on the Leeds Liverpool towpath so it was nice to have even this short walk at the Liverpool end. Parking the car on the dock road we walked through the Heritage Market (a large market selling fake dvds and cheap clothes) in the old warehouses of Stanely Dock and the old tabacco warehouse. We crossed Great Howard Street and went throught he unobrusive doorway to the Liverpool Locks.
If you should ever visit the locks compare the flora and fauna of the canal below the bottom lock to that of the pounds higher up. In the dock and canal below the bottom lock you will see mussels on the stonework and seaweed growing from the locks. If you visit at the right time of year you may see swarms of jelly fish floating about in the canal. And yet above the lock the crystal clear waters are home to large forrests of freshwater weed and fish.

We walked up the Stanley Dock arm to the main line and turned left (away from Liverpool). The area was deserted apart from a couple of Canada geese. The signature blue cast iron bridges of the Liverpool canal stretched out before us.
As we walked along I solved the mystery of the milepost mentioned in the Aerofilms Guide to the Leeds Liverpool canal. The guide mentions a milepost stating it is 127 miles to Leeds, but by my reckoning the original 127 mile to Leeds post would now be in someones back garden in the section of canal that was filled in in the 1980s. Whats more it would have been a 127.25 mile post as the measurements started at Liverpool rather than Leeds. I found the milepost, it was obviously one put in when the canal was refurbished in the recent past. Whoever sited it there knew that the canal was 127.25 miles long so put the 127mile marker 0.25 miles from the end of the canal at Eldonian village ignoring the 0.25miles of canal beyond there now filled in. The result is that the marker is too far away from Liverpool.

We carried on to Boundary lane and left the canal at the bridge to walk down to the Chinese upermarket.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Shropshire Sail

The sky looked unconvinced as is often in England in September, it could have been a hot sunny day or a chilly rainy one. We climbed aboard at Nantwich Basin and set off towards the Barbridge Inn at Barbridge Junction.
At Nantwich basin there is the interesting Nantwich Junction Bridge which is a changeline bridgetaking the towpath from the canal to the basin. The canal passes through Englands green and pleasant land of rolling green fields with dairy cows and oak trees. We soon reached Hurleston Junction and looking right we could see the Hurleston locks and the start of the LLangollen Canal. Not much further on but before the next junction is the Barbridge Inn formerlly the Kings Arms Inn. As luck would have it a boat was leaving as we arrived and we managed to moor up right outside the pub.
After the meal we turned around at the junctiona nd headed back to Nantwich. On the way we spotted a kingfisher on a branch before it became a blue streak, flying up the canal.
There had been no sign of mileposts all day until leaving the basin in the car I noticed on by the bridge in the basin.