|Henhurst Bridge and Lock 86, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Wigan |
Start of our walk
|Wigan Pier Quarter|
We picked up where we left off last time at Henhurst Bridge and started our walk. We walked through the Wigan Pier Quarter and the outskirts of Wigan passing more locks and the JJB stadium, home of Wigan Warriors Rugby League and Wigan Athletic football teams.
|Crooke, a pleasant canal side village, Leeds and Liverpool Canal|
We reached Crooke, a pleasant canal side village and once a busy area for coal mining and we stopped for a short break. The pub wasn't opened so we sat in the beer garden admiring the ducks and older barges. The barges remind me of the Leeds and Liverpool Society's Kennet when it led the flotilla for the canal's Bicentenary celebrations last October.
We continued and walked alongside the River Douglas which section served as a navigation and originally linked to the canal. It's a scenic area with plenty of walking trails - we saw a number of walkers with their dogs. We passed Gathurst, where the river navigation used to begin between Gathurst and Wigan and was part of the canal, and we saw remnants of this.
Narrow boat "tea room", Gathurst, Leeds and Liverpool Canal
A highlight for me was seeing a narrow boat tea room which was closed, unfortunately. It would have been nice to have a cuppa and cake inside but probably opens only in the cruising season.
We had a scheduled stop at Appley Bridge - we visited The Boat Inn, an eclectic pub with contrasts ranging from very modern music to old and traditional wood panelling. The place was very quiet (we were the only customers) and it must have changed hands recently as it used to be called the Sams Country Inn according to our map.
After a drink we sat on a canal bench besides the bridge and had our lunch. A swan must have known as it was waiting for us! Others joined in but didn't get much from Dad's sandwich - we are advised to not feed them bread but sweetcorn, peas or seeds instead. I will need to bring a supply of the recommended food on my next walk.
|View of the Leeds and Liverpool canal from Lock 91, Appley Locks|
|Parbold, Leeds and Liverpool Canal|
We noticed a concrete pillar box between Parbold and Burscough which must have been used during the 2nd World War. We then ready for our scheduled stop at the recommended Ring O'Bells. The pub didn't disappoint and we enjoyed having a drink there. It is a family/dog friendly pub which offers food as well as a wide range of drinks. There are moorings besides the pub where boats can stop,moor up and visit.
|Leeds and Liverpool Canal Rufford Branch|
|Just another 24 miles or so to Liverpool!|