The descent into Wigan was over 200ft made possible by 21 locks. We chose the downhill route.
It was a busy 2 mile stretch with plenty of walkers, cyclists and youths at Ince. It was also a nice evening with a low, bright sun making it difficult to take photos. Still... managed to take over 100!
Just a little further down from the Kirkless Hall pub was the Kirkless Hall bridge. We left the canal here for a short stroll and a nosey about. I'm glad we did. We came across a very old building which I presume is the original old Kirkless Hall. It had a datestone on the old, bulging part of the property dated 1666. This has to be one of the oldest buildings in Wigan, built at the time of the Great Fire of London.
Every few feet we came across another set of locks. I can understand now how it would have taken all day to pass this section in a barge on a busy day. Each lock was numbered twice. Top lock (number 65) was numbered 1 in Roman numerals, down to lock number 85 (or 21 in Roman numerals) at Wigan.
There is evidence all around you of how heavily industrialised this part of the canal was. From old walls and dismantled railway bridges to heaps of waste known locally as the Rabbit Rocks.
Close to the Rabbit Rocks a barge descending the Wigan Flight. It looked like it could have been a stag party, all the men were dressed as pirates, complete with swords. They were probably on their way to Wigan for a night out.
There were 2 busy roads to cross. Manchester Road in Higher Ince and Warrington Road at Lower Ince. Both bridges had zebra crossings but no-one stopped! Ignorant drivers.
The final part of the walk took us past the new Henurst Bridge into Wigan. Lots of new buildings (namely offices and flats) have been built. The Trencherfield Mill at Wigan Pier is currently under restoration, more apartments.
All in all an interesting walk. If you have time, take a good look around. We did - the 2 miles took us 2 hours to walk!