Leeds-Liverpool Canal

DSC_0487

Five Rise Locks, Bingley

As it wasn’t raining today, I took the Brompton and went to Keighley to cycle along the canal towpath to Leeds. (Perhaps not the best bike for the rough surface, but definitely the best bike for the crowded trains.) I discovered that the staircase lock I have seen many times from the train at Bingley isn’t Five Rise Locks but only Three Rise Locks (I had always assumed the missing locks were out of sight). Both sets of locks are stepped very steeply, and I was sorry that there was no boat to watch going through them.

DSC_0481

Five Rise Locks from the top

Next came Saltaire, which I visited a few years ago. I recall being particularly impressed that Titus Salt built his mill downwind of the workers’ houses so that they could live with less polluted air.

DSC_0491

The canal at Saltaire

Towns thin out a little between Shipley and the outskirts of Leeds. I made a short detour to visit the extensive ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, which was less isolated than most ruined abbeys I visit. This one was next to a retail park.

DSC_0498

Kirkstall Abbey, ruined Cistercian monastery, founded 12th century

A very pleasant day; some might think the scenic train journeys were disproportionately long for an 18-mile ride, but not me. What struck me, though, was how cramped England is. The narrow canal (I compared it to wide Dutch canals); the busy roads; all the infrastructure – road, railway, canal, industry and housing – crammed into the Ayre valley; the cramped trains. I guess the topography doesn’t help: you can spread out more in a flat land like the Netherlands.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Cycling, Leeds and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s