One of the most successful canals of its time, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was very much used as a cargo carrying canal right up until its last haul in 1972. Because of this, the canal is in pretty good nick when it comes to paddling along it. It stretches all the way from the Royal Albert Docks in Liverpool, right to the centre of Leeds. That’s a whopping 127 miles with 91 locks scattered across it.
Crossing beautiful countryside and through old mining towns, as you paddle the length of the canal, you have the opportunity to go through East Lancashire, across the Pennine countryside, through pretty little Yorkshire Dale villages and then back into cities on either side of the stretch.
It’s not just the beautiful English countryside you can enjoy on this stretch though, if that isn’t enough to tempt you! History buffs will be eager to spot some remains of the second world war, with concrete pill boxes and blockhouses in West Lancashire still visible from the canal as you paddle along.
The Leeds and Liverpool canal now forms part of the English coast to coast route, where you can paddle from the west to the east coast of England as a challenge should you want to! Whichever section you choose to paddle, the canal has plenty to offer from history to wildlife and everything in between.