Sun 30 August 2009
Fulfilled a dream of many years. Found a way ‘out’ of the wide corridor of industrial towns that is home, to the Dales, the Lakes, Scotland, without traffic. It is Sustrans route 68 from Burnley outskirts to Gargrave. Once there, the roads become richer with possibilities, and it is easier to find traffic free options. Close to Mereclough the road follows Deer Park Road through Townley park, close to the small Jet d’Eau and from there on to the Leeds Liverpool canal. The surface is tarmac and wide enough for two to ride together for most of the way. Along the way, are small canal side cafes and bistros, inviting you sit a while at the side of a lock on a small wooden chair whilst enjoying a slab of Grandma Betty’s Fruit cake, or to huddle together in the World’s Smallest Café at Greenberfield while drizzle dampens the tables outside. The route traces its way through Nelson, Colne, Barnoldswick, before leaving the canal and using minor roads to Gargrave.
Along the way, gasometers and a forgotten industrial backside give way to grass, rolling hills, and greenery. Because this is cycling and on a canal, the whole thing is very friendly, people and dogs will stop for a chat at the drop of a hat. Such fun. So English.
At the start of the route on the outskirts of Burnley
Marin Eldridge Grade Vintage bike with hybrid style tyres on a narrow traffic free bridge, cricket going on in the background
Tea Rooms at Barrowford top Lock
To see a virtual tour of the canal, visit Pennine Waterways