21st November 2019
We leave our mooring next to Pennington Flash Country Park on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Leigh Branch and head in a easterly direction towards the mill town of Leigh, an industrial town with many textile mills still standing.
Here we stop to pick up some groceries before passing under Leigh Bridge and onto the Bridgewater Canal. The familiar stop plank cranes used to block off sections of the canal are evident here. We leave the town behind and pass through some flat countryside before arriving in Astley where a former colliery closed in 1970 is now the Lancashire Mining Museum. Approaching Worsley we make a sharp right turn, watch out for the black and white half timbered Packet House where passenger boats once departed for Manchester. You can just make out the short arm which leads to Worsley Delph, a deep basin where two tunnels took small coal boats into the mine to load coal.
We are soon approaching the outskirts of Greater Manchester and the remarkable Barton Swing Aquaduct which swivels through 90 degrees on a central pivot, set on an island to open up a channel each side for ships to pass on the Manchester ship Canal below.
From here we head into an industrialised section and moor up outside The Trafford Centre, a large indoor shopping centre and leisure complex.
As Christmas is approaching we took the opportunity for some retail therapy in the centre as well as enjoying our first meal out for some time.