|The Beetham Tower in the city centre|
Quite a historic spot and rightly designated an 'urban heritage park' though, in truth, history barely gets a walk-on part in an area that, despite its few bars and restaurants, seems just a little shabby compared to the nearby city centre.
|Joining the queue for the daily Plank Lane bridge opening|
On the gloriously sunny Bank Holiday Monday, the watery procession became quite a local tourist attraction with a small crowd watching our progress through.
The whole of this length of canal is flanked by derelict mine workings which have been reworked into nature reserves and lakes. It has become a fantastic resource for local people in what is still a pretty deprived area and was teeeming with walkers, runners, cyclists and people simply hanging out in the sun.
Disturbingly, among the hangers-out we spotted a shambling drunk with can of Stella, Staffie, equally drunk female partner – and a couple of air rifles in a gun-bag over his shoulder. I'm not sure he was actually doing anything illegal but it was not a nice sight.
Last time we were in Leigh we saw a youth riding a high powered motorbike along the towpath and a couple of days later a youth riding a high powered motorbike along the towpath was killed when he crashed into a bridge. Leigh is not my favourite place!
At a bridge in the middle of Leigh the Leeds Liverpool Canal Leigh branch becomes the Bridgewater Canal in a seamless transition of ownership from C&RT to Peel Holdings marked only by a modest sign. There's a handy Aldi right by the canal here, too, (new I think) so that was a 'must moor' moment.
|Tucked up for the night by the Swing Aqueduct|
|Modern Manchester is steadily moving outwards|
|The graffiti saturated lock onto the Ship Canal|
Tomorrow it's time to tour Manchester.