Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Walking the Waterways (19) : Leeds & Liverpool

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal stretches across the Pennines (as the name suggests) linking the two great Northern cities. Work began on the canal in 1770 with the aim of linking Yorkshire industrial towns like Leeds and Bradford with a port in the West. The first part of the canal opened in 1773 but work continued for nearly fifty years until the full two hundred kilometre route was open. The canal ran from the centre of Leeds to Liverpool via places like Wigan, Shipley, Keighley and Burnley.

Coal was the most important cargo carried on the canal, from mines inland to Liverpool. Coal continued to be carried on the canal as late as 1972 with other cargoes continuing until the early 1980s. The canal is used for leisure these days of course. A new link to Liverpool's docks was opened in 2009 allowing boats to go as far as the Albert Dock in Liverpool.