Thursday 8 January 2015

Walking Hindley to Wigan 8 Jan 15

The reason for the walk was to go down the 21 locks on the Leeds Liverpool Canal ending up at Wigan Pier.

Bright sunny day but cold with a steady breeze.

I caught the train from Bolton to Hindley, from the station I turned right towards Aspull.

Not far before I came to the end of the houses and the entrance to Hindley Hall Golf Course which I needed to cross to get to Top Lock.

 It is a public footpath, so apart from taking care not to get in the way of the golfers, no problem.

 The road to the left goes to the Hall which is the Club House I went straight on down the right hand   road.

 Quite a grand looking club house.

 Passed the club house the road bends right and passes the first green.

This is the second green, why it should have three flags is beyond me. 

The road is pretty dry but not for long. 

 Here I should have gone to the right, across two fairways and on to Withington Lane, decided to try a different route and went left and then right.

 On to a muddy path.

Then I should have gone up the steps.

 Instead I went straight on down  by the stream.

 After a while and a few obstacles I decided I was going the wrong way, turned back and went up the steps.  

 A better path but still not sure of where I was going to end up.

Decided to keep going and trust my luck.

Here I followed the path to the left, going right would have been a better option and got me to Withington Lane a bit quicker.

Instead I came to another fork and went right.

 Which brought me to here, which despite the sign saying no tipping looked like the local fly tip area. I went on to the road and turned right.

 Which took me to Withington Lane at last. 

Then left passed the brown gate.

Then down the very wet Withington Lane.

Straight on by the fishing lake on the right.

Over the bridge to the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Here we are at Top Lock, well nearly.

The actual Top Lock, down hill passed another twenty one, yes I said 21 and I will be at Wigan Pier.

 Looking back at Top Lock Bridge. From here a lot of the pictures will be looking back as the sun was in my face just about all the way down.

Between each of the locks there is a large basin for the barges  to pass.

 I did  manage the odd down photo where I found some shade.

here is no movement on this part of the canal at the moment, the Canal & River Trust are working on many of the locks and basins. The one pictured below his having new bottom gate fitted.

 The old one is out and this new one is soon to be installed.

The pathways by the locks are very good and tidy. This basin has been part drained to allow repair.

Although 91 and 36 only make 127  there is 141 miles of canal, including branches, which makes it the longest canal in the country, joining the Irish Sea and the North Sea via the Aire and Calder Navigation.          

Another basin being worked on.

Nearly 3 o clock and the sun is still shining but it's getting cold.

The bridge carries the West Coast main rail line up to Scotland.  

 The canal going left is the Leigh Branch which connects to the Bridgwater Canal, which goes to Manchester.

 Not far to Wigan Pier now.

 I thought this was the Bottom Lock, that's why I counted 21, my canal map says no the next one, by the dry dock is, Bottom Lock so it's 22 locks.

 Surprised to see that I had only walk a mile since the last mile stone.

 Nice if you like to live by the water.

 Here we are BOTTOM LOCK.

The end of the very fine Trencherfield Mill

The start of Wigan Pier.

Trencherfield Mill.

Could not get a better picture because of the glare.

Under the bridge the canal goes of to the left towards Crooke and on to Liverpool.
The roller bar was to stop wear on the bridge when the barges were pulled through, this one still turned, the one through the bridge did not.

A better view of Wigan Pier.

The canal goes of towards Crooke, but I am off to the station and home.

The fellow never moves, he was there the last time I came.

 Up hill to Wigan town centre.

 Under the steel rail bridge gets you to both rail stations.

The canal was started in 1770 but not totally finish until 1816. Large sections of the canal were in use
well before it was fully opened.