Post image for A walk along the Leeds to Liverpool canal from Vauxhall in the city centre to Aintree

A walk along the Leeds to Liverpool canal from Vauxhall in the city centre to Aintree

June 12, 2016 · 16 comments

 

Date walked: 29th January 2016

Distance: around 8 miles

Map used (but not much): OS Explorer 275: Liverpool

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Our habit is to take a two-week holiday in the winter somewhere in Britain. Anne doesn’t really like leaving the country. We have been choosing cities, mostly, as they provide plenty of places to eat and things to do and see, though Anne would probably be satisfied by one trip to the cathedral and for the rest of the time to sit (or lie) and read. I am more restless and invariably do some walking.

Several people told us that Liverpool was a good base for such a holiday. Of course being winter, we know that the weather may suit Anne rather than me for our chosen activities. We had the most magical two weeks in Whitby a few years back when it was knee-deep in snow in town and waist deep in the countryside. In Liverpool, the winds blew at near gale-force for most of the time, rattling our windows overlooking the Mersey day and night.

In the C18th canals began to transform industry, people and places. Their scale of engineering was so great that when their function was largely displaced in the C19th by railways they were mostly  abandoned – the cost of either filling them in or finding a new use for them was just too expensive. In the C20th we found a new use for them as places to play about in boats. Paths at their side that would have been previously used by horses dragging barges have become footpaths and cycleways.

I love everything about canals.  When I walk by a canal I feel that I am in an open air museum. Whether in the open countryside or in the middle of cities, canals remain places where bird populations and other wildlife make their homes. Canals offer an endlessly fascinating glimpse into the back gardens and back streets of our towns and cities.

The first section of the canal was opened in 1773. It took 50 years to complete.  The canal competed successfully with the railways throughout the 19th century and remained open through the 20th century.

With one or two exceptions I am going to take a different approach in this post and just present a picture story of my walk. I knew very little of what I was looking at and remain as ignorant. This for me only added to the pleasure of the experience; I am hoping that you might feel the same way.

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

On the 16th November 2015 a 16-year-old boy called Lewis Dunne was murdered on the canal path – shot in what reports suggest was some kind of local feud.

Memorial to Lewis Dunne, photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Memorial to Lewis Dunne, photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

 

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

This is the series of 5 locks that take the canal to reach the city centre and to allow it to link to the River Mersey.

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

The building on the left is the Stanley Dock tobacco warehouse.

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

It is said to be the world’s largest brick-built warehouse.

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

There are plans to convert it into apartments and shops and many other smaller warehouses have been in recent years.

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Back to the canal…..

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

Photographed from the Leeds Liverpool canal between Vauxhall in Liverpool and Aintree, by Charles Hawes

It was here that I left the canal side. The Aintree Racecourse was just a mile up the road. I followed the road in the opposite direction to get the train back into Liverpool from the Old Roan train station.  I passed this club.  It seems like I have been an oldie for 35 years.

Leeds liverpool canal walk-79

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian Thorpe June 12, 2016 at 7:28 am

Super images, Charles. I’m particularly taken with the beehive, the dogwalker and the reflected trees (and the mystery of the plastic bags). Come to Liverpool again (or Chester!)

Reply

Charles June 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm

Thanks,Ian. The dog walker was one of my favourites. A real grab shot and it was only when I cropped in a bit that I saw the guy had turned to look directly at me in a not altogether friendly way. And I like his shadow. I thought the stars were a real mystery.

Reply

John Kingdon June 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

OK, I take the hint: we’re always praising your photos but not your prose. Will try to do better in future! Nice introduction. I wonder about the laziness of dog walkers; after all it can’t be that far to carry the bag of wotsits home. Probably easier to “clean up” if left on the ground and not needing to be untied from a fence! The rubbish dump 8 miles from Liverpool was interesting; as if there was a notice you didn’t photograph saying “Liverpool in 8 miles, please dump your rubbish here.” Shame about the sheep.

Reply

Charles June 12, 2016 at 10:21 pm

Yes, the whole plastic bag on railings thing takes some understanding. I do think it is often just a protest at lack of poo bins. You can’t have sheep all the time.

Reply

Paul Steer June 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm

Honest photographs – strangely beautiful images of a post industrial landscape. Enjoyed my virtual walk.

Reply

Charles June 12, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Thanks, Paul. Though it seems that some were just the result of current, low value, land use. But there’s nothing like detritus and dereliction to give a place character.

Reply

Anne Wareham June 12, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Great pictures, really good. XXxx

Reply

Charles June 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm

What, nothing wrong with the text. Or are you just ignoring that now?

Reply

John Kingdon June 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm

C’mon Charles. As you said yourself, there isn’t any! Like me, Anne’s ignoring the 2 surplus commas and the 1 hypostrophe. 🙂

Reply

Charles June 13, 2016 at 11:15 pm

OK. I’ll live with those.

Reply

Yvonne June 13, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Truly stunning photos Charles. Y.xx

Reply

Charles June 13, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Hey thanks, Yvonne. Nice to hear from you.

Reply

Valerie Lapthorne June 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm

If you are interested in canals, I can highly recommend a ferry trip from Birkenhead, Woodside, up the Mersey joining and following The Manchester Ship Canal. This encapsulates the progress and decline of heavy British industry. A chap who has been on the river/canal all his life gives an intermittent commentary. The tour finishes at Salford Quays. After a visit to the Lowry exhibition you can join a coach to take you back to Birkenhead.

Reply

Charles June 13, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Thanks Valerie. I have no idea when we be up that way again but it sounds like a great boat trip.

Reply

Kev the Yank June 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

I have 2 things to say ~ 1) This posting is quite simply POETIC! Bravo. 2) Since you neglected to have any sheep pics, I posted a couple on my blog in your honor… You’re welcome. kev

Reply

Charles June 14, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Hey, there, The Yank! Poetic sounds good. I don’t understand most poetry. Hope you can understand this one. Thanks for keeping the sheep presence going. No sheep on here on the next post either. (Just preparing you)

Reply

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Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)