We got off the train at Accrington at around 12:30pm and headed down Blackburn Road towards Bridge Street Industrial Estate. A 1 mile walk down a busy main road. When we arrived at the bridge we were disappointed! We couldn't join the canal towpath from here. We headed up Bridge Street looking for somewhere to join the canal. Luckily for us we only walked a few yards, hopped over a small fence, crossed a small private car park and joined the towpath, phew!
The scenery along this walk changes consistently between heavy industrial use and open countryside. Around every corner was something different, one minute a derelict mill, the next minute, beautiful open countryside.
After just a few yards a sign welcomed us to Oswaldtwistle. I estimated that this was about the half-way point of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, a little further along was a mile marker which read 63 miles to Liverpool, 64¼ miles to Leeds.
Just ouside of Accrington were some oddly constructed brick structures, igloo-like dome shaped buildings at the side of the canal. If anyone knows what these were originally used for, please leave a comment in the blog, thanks.
We thought we had encountered everything on our walks, geese, swans, air guns, big dogs etc but nothing prepared us for what was around the corner... a bull, or bullock to be precise. Thank god I wasn't wearing red! We walked past it quickly, in single file. Thankfully it left us alone.
This section rather surprised me. A huge viaduct that crossed the M65 motorway. A great view could be had from this area, Pendle Hill was just about visible in the distance.
We came off at Rishton for something to eat. Rishton and the area on the canal was nice. The towpath was also tarmacked for the remaining distance of around 4 miles to Blackburn which made the walk easier.
I'm sorry to say it but Blackburn was a dump. The whole stretch of the canal saw industrial decline, litter and graffiti. A large cotton mill (Imperial) imposed the area but was in a sorry state and in need of urgent restoration.
I was glad to leave Blackburn behind. We made our way to the station and left around 5:15pm. We changed trains again at Preston and finally got home at around 6pm.
All in all an interesting walk with plenty to see, from old industry to scenic views.