Thursday, August 11, 2011

A trip to the seaside, almost.

We stayed put during yesterday’s appalling weather. August? More like November! Very few boats were moving, which was hardly surprising.

Today’s forecast was better, less rain, less wind, a bit warmer. So we decided to move on up to Hest Bank.

Murky Panorama of the city this morning.

Away from the Lancaster moorings.

It was a bit drizzly when we left, and it was much the same for the 1¾ hours we cruised. Shame really, it’s a very pleasant rural stretch north of Lancaster.

The canal through the city is pretty good too. OK, there’s the inevitable collections of plastic bottles in places, but graffiti doesn’t seem to be much of a problem, the towpaths are clean and there’s little rubbish on the bank.

Through the edge of Lancaster.

The navigation skirts the city centre to the south and east, looking down into the Lune valley.

Leaving the built-up area the canal has two obstacles to cross. The first is the A683 Kirby Lonsdale road…..

Over the A683 on the modern aqueduct, constructed in 1961.

We’ve used this road a few times, between home and Lancaster.

The long trough of the Lune Aqueduct is next.

This is another of John Rennie’s fine designs, completed in 1797. It carries the canal 60 feet above the river, the stone trough originally sealed with puddle clay like the normal canal.

On the Lune Aqueduct

The river is a bit full after all that rain.

The high cost of the construction made the canal company shareholders reconsider building a similar one over the Ribble near Preston. Instead a tramway was used to connect with the branch that left the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Johnsons Hillock. This unfortunate decision led to the Lancaster Canal being isolated from the main network until the Millennium Ribble Link was opened in 2002.

Rural scenery north of Lancaster.

We’d arranged to meet family at Hest Bank and they were just coming along the towpath as we tied up. Liberty Bell arrived shortly afterwards and there were plenty of willing helpers for the mooring operation…..

Helpers? For Barbara.

We spent an enjoyable if a little noisy afternoon, trying to keep two small children occupied in a narrowboat on a damp afternoon is not easy. Then I remembered Mags’ DS Lite. Aah, peace!

Generation Game.

Mags, son George, Grandson Steven, Great-Grandkids Luke, Sytoria and Courtney. Meg has to get in the act as well.

Steven's not normally that shape, he's wearing a sling after an accident dislocated his left shoulder and broke his upper arm. Ouch!

It was good to see them, we’d not seen the little ones since they were considerably littler…

We’ll stay here for a couple of days. If the weather clears we’ve got good views of Morecambe Bay, and we’ve more guests on Saturday.

The Bay is over there somewhere....

Locks 0, miles 4½


Carol said...

It's so lovely to meet up with family - it seems incredible that you're so far north and still going! How far can you go?

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Carol
Sadly only another 7 miles at present. But if plans to re-open the "lost" 15 miles up to Kendal go ahead, guess who'll be back up here!
Keep well

Carol said...

We're both great as usual - on the journey that you've just made, would the locks be big enough for us - 62'?