Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Into the hills at last

Pendle Hill – the view from our mooring tonight
You couldn't wish for a lovelier spot than our mooring tonight. We are gazing out at the mighty bulk of Pendle Hill and all around it the unfolding Pennines. It's open country with just the sheep and cows and a few walkers for company. As well as a towpath cyclist heading for Wigan and beyond and bivouacing tonight in a tiny tent on the edge of the path.
Clayton-le-Moors is behind us and the only villages in sight are huddled into the protection of the distant hillsides. It's been a beautiful day, too. Windy but bright and sunny with none of the sudden fierce rain showers of yesterday.
The day started with a Lidl shop - it's been a while since we've done one of those. It was a 15 minute walk and a 20 minute walk back from our mooring in Church, on the edge of Accrington (of Stanley fame).
Church is the halfway point between Leeds and Liverpool
Church actually marks the official halfway point of the canal between Leeds and Liverpool – it's 63.5 miles each way from here.
The town sprung up around the calico printing industry but today the canalside area is as derelict and forlorn as any we've seen on this trip, with numerous once fine stone buildings that now lie ruinous.
Sadly derelict industrial buildings line the canal
It seems somehow apposite that even the church in Church is boarded up and its graveyard of fine Victorian monuments overgrown. Apparently it only closed a couple of months ago - declining numbers, ageing congregation and too many repairs needed.
Even Church church is boarded up
And beyond the decaying graveyard, a decaying factory

The town still has its criss-cross streets of Victorian terraced houses (many in fine nick) and, away from the derelict past, a reasonably lively present. If you can call Lidl and KFC lively. But we did actually see a Bugatti Veyron supercar driving through the town.
After Church, we came to our first swingbridges. There are plenty on this canal but only these three on our run up to the summit level. And then we see the Pennines in their full glory.
Through Fosters swingbridge with the hills ahead

No comments:

Post a Comment