Leeds Liverpool Canal Walks

Barrowford Locks to Barnoldswick

Arrive by car at the small car park by the seven Barrowford Locks. Up a bank to the right of the canal ( Facing towards Foulridge ) is Barrowford Reservoir. This is an ideal place to see water birds like ducks and gulls.The reservoir is a feeder reservoir for the canal, such feeder reservoirs were dug at these high points on the canal's journey.

Walk on past the other locks, with delightful views across to Blacko Hill. At the final lock is the canal summit, 4871/2 ft above sea level. By this lock is the canal keepers cottage, looking radiant on a summers day in its bright colours.

The canal enters a shallow gorge which leads eventually to the Foulridge Tunnel. There is no tow path through the tunnel so we ascend to the top of the tunnel entrance to look down upon the canal, there are some seats here if required. The tunnel is sometimes called the 'mile' tunnel, it is in fact 1640 yards long. Until around 1880 boats were legged through, then steam tugs were used. This tunnel was built between 1790 and 1796 and cost many lives, some of those who perished are buried in the canal bank.

From the top of the tunnel entrance follow the path, go through a gate, pass a black and white marker inscribed 'Foulridge Wharfe', by a small bridge with a stream running beneath it, then turn right, walk about 30 yards to another black and white marker, then through a gate on to a Concessionary Path (labelled). Along this path one gets views across the valley, and towards the hills. One also passes circular brick built structures

which are in fact air vents to the tunnel beneath. At the end of this path is another gate with black painted signpost (Colne 1/Foulridge 2 etc). We follow the main lane a short way to an open gateway, signposted with black and white signs 'Foulridge Wharfe', walk through the gate, up a small hill paved with old rail sleepers and you are behind the Lake Burwain Sailing Club.

Lake Burwain(Foulridge Lower Reservoir)is an impressive sight, particularly when full.Small boats of the Lake Burwain Sailing club can be seen regularly on the reservoir. The wildlife can be spectacular. Large flocks of Canada Geese can be seen in Autumn, as can Finches and Tits of various varieties and the delightful Pied Wagtail which can be seen skimming the water with its unique bouncing flight.

Walk around the Lake until you get to the path marked to the canal. Follow this path away from the Lake, through a small housing development, ( The way is signposted with blue signs)then at the 'Hole in the Wall' pub drop down to Foulridge Wharfe. We can now start the second part of our canalside walk through to Barnoldswick.

Foulridge Wharfe is a fascinating spot. Old canal buildings have acquired a new lease of life as tourist attractions. A meal can be obtained in the cafe, ( formerly the old wharfe office ), canal trips are available both through the tunnel and the other way towards Salterforth.

We continue our walk along the towpath now, past the many moored craft, and after a short time magnificent views can be obtained across the valley to the right.We walk on, on the other bank of the canal are one or two small 'beaches', which give access right on to the water and are the home for a number of moorhens. We pass the moorings of a local cruising club on the opposite bank, before entering Salterforth. You first come upon the Anchor Inn. This Inn was there before the canal, and with the building of the embankment it lost its ground floor ( these became the cellars ) and you now drink in what were the bedrooms.

After a break at the Inn, walk past the pleasant moorings, and continue on to Park Marina, which hires out day boats and carries out repairs in a floating dock. Continue on from here to Barnoldswick, where there is a car park which can be used for your pick up.