Foulridge walk

Route: Foulridge walk

Route: Foulridge walk

First published in Walks in Lancashire Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

Come on 2012 buck up! We are now in mid-May after a wet cold April and it’s about time I walked without having to wear a coat or a waterproof.

This is the time of year when we should be enjoying enough daylight to do one long walk or two short ones.

This week I did manage a “two in one”.

I first did the two-mile circuit of Lake Burwains, or Foulridge Reservoir as it is called. This was built round about 1800 to provide water for the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. It is the canal walk which I am describing this week.

1.Start at the car park on the Wharf.

Bear to the right to reach the restored lime kilns where it is possible to walk through the maze of old workings.

Here you are walking along the summit, which is the highest point of the canal. This is why the reservoirs are sited here as they provide essential water for the for the locks. Each time a lock is operated 75,000 gallons of water is needed.

For those who prefer metric you need to multiply by 4.5 and you have the litre equivalent. When you have explored the lime kilns turn left along the canal towpath towards Foulridge.

2.Approach Foulridge Wharf.

This is a fascinating place with old warehouses and machinery associated with the loading and unloading of goods.

These days it is used for unloading coach parties varying in age from pensioners to toddlers. Here they can enjoy a trip by boat and find out at close quarters how the canal locks work.

3.Just beyond the wharf is the entrance to the famous Foulridge Tunnel.

It is often called the MileTunnel but it is actually less than a mile. In the old days horses could not go through the tunnel and so teams of men were employed to move the barns by pushing on the sides and roof of the tunnel with their feet.

These men wer called leggers and hence we have the phrase to “leg it”. These days the boats move through much more quickly and a traffic light system is in operation.

4.From the Mile Tunnel, which was completed in 1796, follow Waterhouse Lane to reach the Hole in the Wall pub. There is a photograph in the bar of a cow named Bluebell, which fell into the canal and swam through the tunnel to reach safety at the wharf steps.

Two weeks later she gave birth to a calf.

At the Hole in the Wall turn sharp left onto Town Gate to discover an old English village.

Cottages are seen to the right and left of the village green. The houses were once occupied by handloom weavers but the place was also famous in the 18th century because of a group of very skilful tailors.

Folk would travel miles from Skipton, Barnoldswick and Colne areas to order made to measure clothes.

5.Straight ahead is a set of stone steps leading to the A56 and with shops to the right.

Do not use these steps but follow the route to the right which sweeps around the village green.

Continue to the Hole in the Wall and turn right to reach the starting point.

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