The longest man made waterway in the UK, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was officially opened two centuries ago.
After years of economic setbacks and hard toil by the navvies, who dug the canal, the waterway finally linked two great mercantile cities and the east to the west coast. One of the most serene stretches of the canal swathes through the ancient Craven and Pendle districts.
On a recent visit to Leeds in West Yorkshire ~ birthplace of literary giants Arthur Ransome, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Alan Bennett, we walked along part of the towpath. It was a pleasant surprise to see a number of fascinating craft, berthed along sections of wharves ~ many converted into residential vessels. There are well kept historic lifeboats, naval launches, cruisers, barges and narrow boats, all adding interest to visitors and local people.