Lancaster to Burton-in-Kendal – 14 miles (555.1 total)

I could hear the sound of heavy rain falling outside the bedroom window at 6am this morning. Fearing the worst, I resolved to wear my waterproofs from the outset. Yet again, though, luck was on my side, as the rain stopped at around 8am and the rest of the day was dry and mostly sunny. Although there was still a cold wind, I managed to walk in shirt sleeves from beginning to end.

Leaving Lancaster – looking back

Pete headed for the station at 8.40, to catch his train home, and I headed to Wetherspoons for breakfast.
I had a choice of 3 routes out of Lancaster to start the day’s walk: the road, the canal or the River Lune. I chose the river just to give me a change of surroundings. The river itself was very wide but the path was through parkland resulting in my views mostly being obscured by trees.

The point where I left the river to rejoin the Lancaster Canal and continue my journey northwards, was where the canal crossed the river by means of the Lune Aqueduct. This was a quite spectacular and ornate structure and crossing; it was the highlight of my day.

The Lune Aqueduct – from below
The Lune Aqueduct
River Lune – from the aqueduct

Once across, I immediately left the canal again to follow a path/track/road to Bolton-le-Sands.

From there I soon reached Carnforth, whose railway station was the location used in the film, Brief Encounter. I read that, at the station, ‘ The Restroom ’ Cafe has been restored to look as it did in the film. No station visit for me, though, as I started to cross and re-cross the M6 motorway for the remainder of the day. At every turn I saw evidence of this being a popular tourist area.

Tewitfield – end of navigation on the Lancaster Canal

The Lancaster Canal came to an abrupt end, as a navigable waterway at any rate, at Tewitfield. An expensive-looking marina and housing development marked the terminus. The canal still exists further on but in name only. The M6 motorway looks like an insurmountable barrier to any prospect of reviving the original canal. There are also a number of locks in the unusable section but all the lock gates have long been removed, leaving a series of weirs which look like cascading waterfalls.

Could the canal be restored?

At this point my route became the Lancaster Canal Trail. Not long after crossing the county boundary from Lancashire into Cumbria (and the Lake District) I left the canal towpath to take the road to Burton-in-Kendal and my overnight stop. Tomorrow Sergio and Eddie are due to join me for a couple of days.

Into Cumbria

Pete has asked me to point out that his blister problem was on the left foot and not the right one. I really didn’t study the photo too closely, for obvious reasons, but am happy to correct any inaccuracy which may have occurred. I’m taking photos of the world around me as I walk, he’s taking photos of the soles of his feet!

My complete walk is split into 69 daily sections. With today’s walk being Day 35 that takes me past the halfway mark. Also, although my original schedule estimated my total LEJOG mileage as 1,015 miles, it looks as if the actual total could be around 1,100 miles. Reaching 555 miles walked so far, again, takes me past the mid-point. I am now into my sixth week of walking and looking forward to 2 well-earned rest days when I get to Carlisle.