A UK Canal Boating Article

Category : Canals


Length: 38 miles but only 7 miles navigable from the Llangollen Canal at Frankton Junction.
Locks: 8 (in this 7 mile section)
Aqueducts: 1.


Linking Preston to Kendal, the Lancaster Canal is one of the country’s few contour canals meaning it is built along the natural lie of the land and offers 42 miles of lock free cruising. In the middle of the eighteenth century, Lancaster was a prosperous port but as the ships grew in size, it became difficult to navigate the estuary of the River Lune. A group of businessmen proposed building a canal starting at Kendal and running through Lancaster ending in Preston. It was during the 1770's that John Rennie was asked to re survey the canal and building started in 1792.


Lancaster offers visitors a good selection of high street shops as well as a number of small independent traders. A walk along St George's Quay will lead you to the Maritime Museum where you can explore Lancaster's maritime history. As you would expect, it being a University city, the night-life buzzes with a vast choice of places to eat and drink.

The Ribble Link was opened in 2002 and connects the once isolated Lancaster Canal to the national waterway network. The Millennium Ribble Link was the first canal to be built soley for leisure purposes and. at only 4 miles long it also has the accolade of being Britain’s shortest canal.

The Lune Aqueduct was designed by John Rennie and constructed by Alexander Stevens using traditional bridge building techniques. The trough, carrying the 20 foot wide canal over the aqueduct, is now made of concrete but old plans show that it was originally made of stone.

Garstanget is set on the banks of the River Wyre and has become known as the World's First Fairtrade Town. From here take the short diversion onto the Glasson Branch of the canal, enter the basin and see the numerous sea going vessels and fishing boats moored there.

The village of Galgate offers a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants and is only a short walk from the Galgate Marina. Moor there for a while and take the very pretty canal side walk into the village centre.
Carnforth will forever be famous for being the film location for the David Lean's classic film Brief Encounter which starred Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. The Refreshment Room has been faithfully restored to its 1940’s period glory and offers a superb range of home made food.

Preston has been voted in the top ten of shopping cities outside London so shop till you drop or just window shop through the quaint side streets. Preston is a surprisingly green city, with a profusion of leafy parks, canal side strolls and river walks. Explore the history of the area in one of the towns museums or take a trip back in time on the Ribble Steam railway.



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