Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Canal Walk: East Marton to Greenberfield

After a filling lunch in the Anchor Inn we climbed about Rocinante again and set off to find East Martin. East Martin is a small place, even smaller than it appears on the map. The road crosses the famous Double Arched Bridge #161, if you turn right at the Cross Keys pub and drive down the small road alongside it you come to some stables next to bridge #162. If you are lucky as we were you will find a space to park on the road, otherwise if you are going in the pubs you can use their car parks. We crossed the bridge and turned to walk back towards Greenberfield.
The Double Arched bridge is one of the most distinctive features of the Leeds Liverpool canal. Opinion is divided as to the reason why it is a double arch. Some think the road has been raised and a second bridge added on top of an earlier one, others say it was built with two arches because the engineers didn’t have confidence in the strength of a single arch. Looking at the bridge I could see no evidence for two stages of building so I would say it was built in one go.
Next to the Double Arched Bridge is milepost 89, over the next 2 miles there are the full set of mileposts: quarter, half, three quarters and full mile posts. In all we found 13 mileposts.
The canal was very still and there were some very clear reflections of the surrounding hills. We passed milepost 88 and arrived at bridge #159 and the furthest point of the mornings walk.
We walked 10 miles altogether and covered 5 miles of towpath. Although there is some light industry and housing there are some very nice views and interesting features on this section. The afternoons walk was a little muddy compared to the tarmaced towpath of the mornings walk. A glance through bridge 162 gave a preview of the next section up towards Gargrave, a tree lined cutting that looked very inviting.

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