Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

– Walt Whitman, ‘Song of the Open Road’

Introduction

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is the longest canal in Northern England at 127 miles.  It passes through 91 locks with a summit level of 487 feet. The towpath offers a great long distance walk, from the banks of the Mersey in Liverpool through superb scenery to the very centre of Leeds. In March 2009, with the opening of the canal link at Liverpool’s Pier Head, I decided to attempt the walk.

Canal link

Stages

Links

9 thoughts on “Walking the Leeds-Liverpool canal

  1. Is this the Gerry Cordon who I met at some of the Liverpool Uni/Dylan related things many years ago? You used to buy albums from me at my shop ..Hot Wax in Moorfields in the mid 70’s? Saw your link re MLK on Expecting Rain. Love the site and about to delve more into it t

    1. Well there might be more than one! I have a vague memory of the Uni Dylan events, and I did occasionally call in at Hot Wax, but I have to admit I made most of my purchases from Geoff in Probe. Thanks for reading, Chris.

      1. I’m going to walk the L&L shortly. Going to do Blackburn to Leeds first and other half some different time. Gerry, could you cadd milage of each stage above ?? Which one is the longest stage above and how long ?? I would like to adjest a walk to 10-12 miles per day.

      2. I didn’t do it all in one go, but in separate walks, using public transport until I got too far from home, then driving to the start point and using bus or train to get back to it. As you can see, I did it in 12 stages, not all the same length, but averaging around 12 miles. I recommend the Collins Nicholson Waterways Guide 5, North West & Pennines which has OS maps of each stage. Hope that helps. It’s a great walk!

    1. Hi, Ken. I didn’t do it all in one go, but in separate walks, using public transport until I got too far from home, then driving to the start point and using bus or train to get back to it. As you can see, I did it in 12 stages, not all the same length, but averaging around 12 miles. Hope that helps. It’s a great walk!

  2. Caught train from Ormskirk to Old Roan and walked along the canal into Liverpool ……………..great walk about 10 miles ……last bit along the road into city to catch train from Liverpool central back to Ormskirk …….,,found this web site very useful thankyou and looking forward to doing other sections

    1. Thanks Val – hope you enjoy the rest of the walk. I found the best way to plan sections was to use the Collins-Nicholson Waterways Guide – North West & Pennines. It has strips from the OS maps, mileages, every bridge numbered, and most important details of pubs where you can eat in the vicinity of the canal.

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