Starting the Journey.........

Liverpool Travel Blog

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The Plan was to cycle the length of the Liverpool - Leeds canal in 3 days. Myself and my good friend Stephen (who has undertaken this challenge once before) were going to set off early on Tuesday morning and head for chorley where we would camp overnight. Before we even began, the journey got off to a bad start when i noticed that i had a puncture the night before we were due to leave. Thankfully i noticed this before i had started to load my bike with all my camping equipment and, after wrestleing with a stubborn thorn for 15 minutes, repaired the puncture.

Tuesday 07:30am
Stephen arrived at my house and we set off at around 08:00am. The journey starts in Liverpool, not far from where i live. The canal Towpath is relatively good here and is quite enjoyable to ride, unfortunately however, some mindless idiots have graffitied most of the canal bridges and spoilt what would otherwise be a pleasant stretch of canal. Passing through Lydiate starts to get a little more demanding, the canal tow path becomes extremely thin here and if you lose concentration for a second you could very easily fall off. Lydiate is a small village just north of maghull, parts of it are very picturesque and it is home to the oldest pub in Lancashire.

Once through Lydiate we passed through Haskayne and Scarisbrick before stopping for lunch in another Village called Burscough, about 15 miles into our journey. we stopped here for about an hour while we ate lunch and watched a strange lollipop lady cause more problems than we could count (alot of people could have been run over on her crossing and im genuinely suprised that nobody was while we were there, although one lady came very close!)

After Lunch we returned to the canal and set off towards Wigan. Stephen had warned me about wigan, telling me it was the worst part of the journey. How bad could it be? I thought. VERY BAD! infact i would go as far as to say that i never ever want to cycle through Wigan ever again! Its actually quite a nice stretch of canal and the foot path is as good here as anywhere else on the canal. However, Wigan is the longest stretch of uphill canal, we had to lift our bikes (which probably weighed the best part of 30kg) over gate, after gate, after gate. We had done about 30 miles at this point so naturally we were begining to get tired and this part of canal seemed to go on forever! We actually met an old couple here too who told us they had recently canooed from Liverpool to Wigan and it had taken them 3 weeks, meaning they set the blistering pace of roughly one mile per day!

Once we left wigan and its numerous Locks we headed to Chorley where we would spend the night. We found a huge farmers field right near a pub so we headed to the farmhouse and asked the farmer for permission to camp on his land, he was a good guy and seemed interested in our bike ride. He had no problems with us staying in his field which was great, and he even informed us that there had recently been a beer festival on in the local pub and that we might still be able to get some good ale! We set the tent up quickly, locked up our bikes for the night and headed straight to the pub, 'The Top Lock'. On asking the Landlord which beer he recommended he strangely told me to follow him outside, obviously i thought this was a bit odd but never the less i followed him out, and im glad i did as he took me to a makeshift bar in the back of the pub, where he still had numerous guest ales from the festival! After a few pints of 'Wizzard' and a plate of fish and chips we turned in for the night, sweaty, smelly and exhausted and ahving notched up 45 miles in the day.
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photo by: monkeymia79