We said we’d go back and we did. A short train ride from East Lancashire and a walk from the vintage station, crossing the river, and along by the canal to the wonderful play area (where all I heard were southern accents, not a local one in earshot).
Then a stroll into the town centre – which seems to have recovered from the floods. Watched the ducks, which seem to have multiplied since our last visit and have made one side of the river bank a virtual no-go area with all their excrement, and listened to a busker nearby.
We had a decent lunch, did a bit of shopping, the rain held off and we enjoyed the relaxed vibe before heading back across the border.
As it was such a lovely day last Monday I set off to visit Skipton with the primary aim of taking a walk along the Leeds – Liverpool canal as well as photographing all the narrow boats that converge in the basin virtually in the town centre.
A wrong turning on the outskirts of the town meant I ended up driving towards the town via a circuitous route. Whilst at first this was a bit of a bind it tuned out to be a very fortuitous “wrong turning” as I came across the “Keelham Kitchen”, an out-of-town farm shop (a very big one) selling meat, fruit / vegetables and a particularly wonderful selection of Yorkshire beers.
Canal basin at Skipton
If you are a “foodie” this is like an Aladdin’s cave with a wonderful choice of meats, green groceries, preserves and beer /…
This weekend we had the Burnley Canal Festival centred on the Inn on the Wharf.
In addition to a number of pleasure boats or narrow boats there was an old cargo short boat converted to a museum, The Kennet, which used to travel up and down the Leeds to Liverpool canal.
There was also entertainment for visitors. These ranged from fairground rides, a Punch and Judy show much enjoyed by the children and nostalgic parents, to performances by the Burnley Silver Alliance Band.
There were food stalls, face painting, craft stalls, and canoes for you to try your skills.
And many of these were free.
There was also the opportunity to travel in a narrow boat up and down the canal for an hour. Our grandson loved this especially when he was allowed to steer and then share a Titanic moment in the prow (if these boats call them that).
The weather managed to stay fine and it was a good day out.
The Festival was on for two days and from what I could see as I drove past on the Sunday there were even more boats moored on the canal.
Went to the Anchor Inn at Salterforth for a meal yesterday. It’s right on the Leeds to Liverpool canal with a bridge next to it. Unfortunately it poured down all evening. (Unlike my colleague who visited the Brighouse Canal & Music Festival at the weekend and enjoyed the sunshine).
The Leeds ad Liverpool canal was closed and dredged a couple of years ago in this part of Burnley and the embankment rebuilt.
At the top of it there is a now a fish and chip restaurant and from its car park you can see views of Burnley, Lancashire, previously obscured by the shells of old mill buildings.
In the first photograph you can see the open air stadium built for concerts etc The canal is out of view just to the left.
In the second photograph you can see a jumble of buildings from Burnley’s industrial past interspersed with some more recent and more colourful buildings. You can also just see the canal towpath at the bottom of the picture.
The photographs were taken by my enthusiastic 4-year old grandson who grabs my camera whenever he gets the chance.
I’ve posted before about the Leeds to Liverpool canal The straight mile was one of the most difficult parts of the canal to build and has been described as one of the “Seven Wonders” of the British canal system. Last time I set out to photograph his section the battery in my camera died on me (not well prepared) but I got a nice picture of an old factory chimney by the canal side.
This time I was well-prepared but the weather was decidedly unhelpful with an overcast sky. Nevertheless you can still see some interesting features of this part of the canal.
There is no wall between the towpath and the canal of course but in the old days when boats were horse-drawn that wouldn’t have worked. These days I’m surprised that Health and Safety haven’t had something to say. I remember when I was in my teens people being thrown in the canal and recently an 11-year old boy tragically drowned taking a short cut across it.
The canal embankment is 60′ above the town as you can see when you cross behind Tesco and look down to the bus station. The towpath is popular with dog walkers and cyclists but only a solitary duck on the water!
Walking towards Leeds you soon come to the famous culvert which carries the canal above Yorkshire Street near the town centre.
You can also see the rusting remains of the hoist that was intended to be used to drop large pieces of wood into the canal to block the flow if ever the culvert was bombed during WWII.There were fears that the canal would empty its contents into the town centre if that happened.
I also found a vandalised mosaic piece of art dedicated to the long-gone Odeon cinema which was on Yorkshire St.
It was built in 1937 in the art deco style and a popular place for young couples to go. It even had double seats on the back rows!
I didn’t walk much further; I’d hoped to see a boat but it wasn’t to be so I headed for the nearest coffee shop instead.