Well there’s a picture of tranquility if ever I saw one. It’s hard to believe that not so long ago, canals like these were the motorways of their time, thick with barge traffic moving thousands of tonnes of coal and all sorts of other goods which made our region the industrial powerhouse of the world.
This is the Bridgewater Canal, one of the oldest in the world, 40 miles long, connecting Leigh and Runcorn and prime peddalling territory (well, bits of it anyway).
While many canals still languish unseen, unloved and forgotten, the 3 mile section from Sale up to Stretford has been really rather nicely repurposed for the 21st century with a wide, smooth all weather path, decent signage and a goodly number of new benches where you can sit and rest weary legs and admire the view. Perfect for young families, or anyone who’s just a bit nervous on the roads – not so great if you’re trying to get somewhere fast as you’ll have to dodge lots and lots of walkers – but who wants to speed around on a sunny Sunday afternoon anyway?
Find out more about the project to restore the full 40 miles of the Bridgewater Canal here