Getting to Barnoldswick from Wigan on public transport was an adventure in itself. A train to Preston, another train to Nelson and a bus journey took over 2 hours. We got off the bus at the last stop somewhere in Barnoldswick - and we were lost. It took us a while locating the canal and some friendly locals pointed us in the right direction.
This walk was a great motivator for us to complete the walk this year. It was good to be in the countryside again.
Our first train left Wigan at 9.08am and by the time we found the canal it was lunch time and we were getting hungry. After walking for about a mile we came across a pub called The Anchor Inn at Salterforth. We popped in for something to eat. I'm glad we did. A super little pub with friendly staff, great food and plenty of it too. If you're passing call in, you won't be disappointed.
An amazing feat of engineering, Foulridge tunnel takes the canal 1 mile under the countryside. There is no towpath under the tunnel so we had to leave and re-join the canal at the other side. A nice walk through the countryside followed and we almost forgot about the canal until a ventilation shaft in a field reminded us of our mission!
Apparently, Foulridge is the highest point of the canal at 487ft 6ins above sea level. There are four reservoirs in the area used to feed the canal.
As we were so high up, the only way we could go was downhill, and we soon arrived at Barrowford Locks (45-51) descending us 69ft and 3½ins - how's that for being precise! There was an ice-cream shop at the Top Lock which came as a nice surprise as we were hot and in need of something to cool us.
The canal walk was around 8½ miles long, add another mile for our amble around Barnoldswick first! We knew we were coming to the end of our walk when the countryside disappeared to be replaced by industrial units. This was Nelson and the end of our very pleasant walk.
An old, rickety Northern Rail train took us to Preston, I swear this rolling stock was 30+ years old. It was good to get off and transfer into a more modern Virgin train that took us home. All in all a good day. The weather was amazing, more like July than May, I got a little sun burnt.