Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Sights and Delights of the Bridgewater Canal

Like many others I like to keep padddling right through the winter but because the sea seems such a long way off, I sometimes use my local stretch of canal to keep fit during the darker months. I live fairly close to the Bridgewater Canal where it passes through the south Manchester suburb of Stretford. A return trip to the Thelwall Viaduct near Warrington provides me with a 21 mile workout in a variety of settings.

The urban settings can be just as visually engaging as tall sea cliffs and bold headlands by the coast. The gasholder beside the University of Manchester Rowing Club provides one of the many contrasting features of urban canal life.

Rowers from the Trafford Rowing Club enjoying the broad, straight stretch where the canal runs alongside the tracks of the Metrolink tram lines.

Fibregalss Cows in the grounds of one of the latest Urban Splash Designer Appartment Developments close to Altrincham town centre.

The scenery becomes far more open and rural around Dunham Massey. After paddling for just over one hour I can be in the heart of the Cheshire countryside enjoying the sights and sounds from the seat of my sea kayak. One of the rewards of arriving at Lymm is the chip shop, which is less than 50 metres from the canal bank. You just can't beat a bag of chips washed down with a scalding mug of tea for fuelling the homeward journey.

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