While I was strolling alongside a stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool canal between Barnoldswick and Foulridge (pictured) on Sunday I began to wonder how much of the famous old towpath I’d actually walked over during my life. Some of the stretches I’ve done many times but this was the first time I’d ever ventured over t’ border into Lancashire. I think I’ve now been all the way between Apperley Bridge and Foulridge which is around 40 miles, yet this isn’t even a third of the total length. It makes me realise more that the canal is not only a fantastic feat of engineering but also a tremendous asset. The views across the countryside as it turns into Lancashire are excellent and there’s something about being beside water that always makes a stroll a bit special. Walkers and cyclists alike gave me a cheery ‘Morning’ and in fact the only annoyance along the journey came unusually from a boatman who insisted that we all listened to his Best of the 1990s CD as he chugged along the canal – the music seemed totally incongruous as it echoed down the canal cutting. This stretch of towpath is surfaced which causes me a problem. As I daydream and gaze at the countryside I often don’t hear cyclists approaching from behind. They really need to warn silly old fools like me before I suddenly veer off course and send them into the murky waters (apologies to the cyclist with the luminous yellow jacket who fortunately was alert enough to see me suddenly stop to watch some llamas in a field).

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