Thursday 14th December

In the car

This was another trip in which public transport was not an option. A round trip of around 6 hours on 6 different trains meant the car was the only option, again.

Rusty

It's been 3 months since our last walk and we were a little rusty. Somehow we wasn't prepared at all and forgot the map as well as the bread for the many ducks and swans along the route.

Keighley

We didn't see much of Keighley, we were far too busy trying to find the canal without a map. The main road into Keighley was closed for resurfacing works and there were no diversion signs in place. Great. We found the canal after stopping and asking a couple of locals and parked up at Riddlesden.

Scenic and wet

Another scenic walk with nice views across open countryside. There were no locks on this stretch but plenty of swing bridges instead. We were lucky with the weather but the towpath was wet and muddy for most of the way, making the walk difficult at times. It had obviously been raining heavily before we arrived.

Food

If you do this walk on a Sunday like we did, take a packed lunch. The first pub we came to no longer did food. We carried on to the next pub, the White Lion at Kildwick and were disappointed to find that they only did a 2 or 3 course slap-up on Sundays. If we'd have eaten there I doubt we could have walked any further! They do serve bar meals and sandwiches on every other day, just not Sundays.

Memorial

On the canal at Bradley, near Skipton were 2 memorials to 7 Polish airmen that lost their lives in a plane crash. To quote the Ministry of Defence website: "At noon on 23 September 1943 the Polish crew of Wellington bomber HZ251 took off from Skipton on Swale, in North Yorkshire, for a routine training mission. Shortly afterwards their aircraft fell out of the sky, crashing on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool canal at Bradley, near Skipton. None of the crew survived."

Back at Skipton

The walk was another one to remember. The 9 miles or so took us 4½ hours to complete which was good considering the towpath was in a bit of a mess. It was late afternoon and we were ready for something to eat! We called into Bizzie Lizzies Fish and Chip Restaurant in the centre of Skipton for a huge, well deserved meal. It was delicious, I can recommend this place.

Time for home

A 38 minute bus ride took us from Skipton to Keighley. Stuck in the middle of Keighley without having a clue where the car was, we hailed a taxi. After explaining to the driver we were parked near the canal, he took us straight there for a cost of £3.50. We weren't that far away, but it was up a big hill so it was money well spent.