Day 44: 06 May 2014; Lancaster to Crooklands
|Date||Tue 06 May 2014||Start to end time||06h 58m|
|Start point||Lancaster||End point||Crooklands|
|Miles today||20.75||Cu miles||819.74|
|Ft today||1,127||Cu ft||115,318|
|Route miles left||663.96||Route ft left||82,972|
|Today’s weather||Overnight rain cleared by 7 am; then bright and sunny with white clouds. Southwesterly breeze. About 14C|
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
|GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)
“After yesterday’s easy walk and luxurious passage through Lancaster, I felt I needed to start getting back to the real world of “LEJOG-ing” and today was a perfect way of rehabilitating myself. It was a longer walk than lately – at over 20 miles – and with a bit more climbing thrown in.
I was away by 7:30 and once again a friend accompanied me for the early part of the walk. He was able to fill me in on a lot of the historic detail of the area, which made the walk much more interesting. The overnight rain had cleared by the time I set off and during the morning the weather just got better and better. Never hot, but bright and sunny with dramatic blue and white skies, and a light breeze. The countryside was almost dazzlingly colourful.
This is my fourth successive day of canal-side walking and the novelty is beginning to wear off a bit. But the excitement of passing through the 800-mile barrier helped make up for it, and the canal still had plenty to show. The Lune Aqueduct, just North of Lancaster, was a magnificent piece of architecture – now a Grade 1 listed building – and incredibly impressive. The canal snaked north from there, sandwiched between the M6 motorway and the West Coast Main Rail Line. I couldn’t help contrasting the insistent roar of the motorway with the near silence of the railway, punctuated only occasionally by the whisper of a passing train.
At Tewitfield, the canal is sliced in half by the motorway, and north of that point is non-navigable. This Northern section must have been a later addition to the lock-free lower section, as it contains 8 locks and didn’t open until some 20 years after the southern part. The path continues along the remains of the old canal, and crosses back and forth across the motorway. I realised that I preferred walking with the motorway on my right, as the westerly breeze blew the noise away, making it a quieter and more pleasant walk.
I’m camping tonight in Crooklands – in the shadow of the motorway, but convenient for a nearby hotel, where I’m meeting up with more friends this evening. Tomorrow I head over to Windermere and the Lake District “proper”. Slightly disappointingly, the campsite in Windermere was already full when I tried to book it a week ago, so I’ll be staying in a B&B again. Another hardship, but I guess I’ll survive..”