Sunday, 18 June 2017

The End (Of The Lancaster Canal)


IMG_4578We pulled pins from our mooring in Hest bank at 07.15 with the plan today of going all the way to the end of the Lancaster canal which is at Tewitfield. We plan to do it there and back in one day as there are still a few more places we want to visit before time runs out while we are up here. As you can see the view from the office is pretty good today.

IMG_4536Arriving at Carnforth we were greeted by the sign above. Of course I haven’t a clue what it’s about.

IMG_4538We stopped at the services and while I filled with water and got shot of the waste Carolyn nipped down to Tesco which is close to the canal. One thing we have noticed since we have been up North is how good all the service blocks are . It’s funny that there are more boats down South and most of the services are very poor and in some cases not fit for purpose.

IMG_4543As we head towards the end the canal gets so shallow that we had trouble getting around some of the corners , not that I mind as I enjoy the challenge. We were later told that parts of this section were dredged last year as it had silted up because not many boats come up here.

IMG_4570Just a hundred yards from the end and we were surprised to see this marina and hotel . Carolyn did suggest booking in for a night of luxury , I pretended not to hear her.

IMG_4545This is the end with Inca moored on the left . Yet again some more excellent services especially as not that many boats make it this far up.

IMG_4564As we were here at the end we decided to have a walk around and see what was left of the old canal which used to carry onto Kendal. It was a bit of an experience walking along this path which was so close to the M6 Motorway.

IMG_4552As you can see the sign says Welcome to the Northern reaches which was closed down in 1955 by an Act of Parliament which authorised the closure of the canal, along with several others, covering 771 miles in total .

IMG_4554The restoration will involve restoring the six places where the canal is culverted (including the three places where the M6 motorway construction blocked the route), restoring Hincaster Tunnel restoring the 5 dry miles, and a new crossing of the A590 road near Kendal, as well as many more minor works including work on 52 listed structures. The extensive engineering required will be expensive (a 2002 estimate being £60 million), and so restoration is planned to proceed in phases.

The first phase is planned to be restoration of 3.7 miles southwards from Canal Head in Kendal to Natland Road. Funding of £750,000 was provided in 2005 for the planning and design of this first phase: construction works are not expected to commence before late 2007 with completion in 2009 at the earliest. Despite the projected 2009 completion date, the work to restore the canal had still not been started by late 2016.

IMG_4561There is still some of the old paddle gear left on some of the locks.

IMG_4567This is the plan for opening up this final section of The Lancaster Canal . I just can’t see it ever happening in my lifetime and I’m not sure if it will ever happen . It was still good to have a look and imagine what it was like before it was closed down and at least we made it to the end of the navigation

IMG_4573Where ever you go on the canal system you will always find a boat that is moored like a Twat . Why would you moor on the offside and right on a bridge . 

IMG_4579After a most enjoyable day with 8 lock free hours of cruising and a look around the abandoned top end of the canal we picked up a mooring before Hest bank with this view out of our window . Life doesen’t get much better than this on the inland waterways of Britain.

                                                                                                                     Happy Days


  1. Perhaps those services are so good precisely BECAUSE there are so few users! My friend who hailes from Preston was very interested to learn how you get a boat onto the Lancaster.

    1. Hi Debby . If only it was that the services were better due to lack of use . They are mostly modern and fairly new build . The Leeds and Liverpool had thousands thrown at the services last year as it celebrated its 200 th anniversary. Just go in to Braunston the so called capital of the inland waterways and one of the busiest places on the canal system . The services are appalling with the elsans blocked and unusable more often than not . There is most certainly a North/South divide regarding canal services. As for getting onto the Lancaster it's a great experience, have you done it yet yourself ?

  2. Well done on getting to the end of the Canal. Terrific moorings and scenery.

  3. Well don to both of you for conquering a canal that most boaters don'e - a fantastic journey. Thanks for taking us all along with you. x

    1. Hi Carol. It's a great trip across the Ribble and the Lancaster canal has been an absolute delight and is up there as one of our favourite canals . I see you are still enjoying the Thames ,another one of our favourites.