As part of my on-going project to try and explore as many canals as possible (and surrounding industrial heartlands) I drove down to the outskirts of Copley in West Yorkshire and parked up. A quick traverse of the main road to Sowerby Bridge and I was on the canal towpath of the Calder & Hebble canal and heading westwards.
The route is idyllic, lush green plants and trees all along side the canal with the odd fruit tree thrown in for good measure, in this case it was wild raspberries.
There are many houses that back onto the canal ranging from 19th century cottages to very contemporary detached mansions with wonderful gardens.
The walk itself is easy going as it is on the flat and the round trip is between four and a half and five miles, which even I at my age can cope with easily enough.
Along the route there are a couple of wonderful viaducts across the canal and are feats of civil engineering that one can only admire.
Arriving in Sowerby Bridge I wandered about the area were many canal boats were tied up, and this is where the Rochdale canal braches off and travels westwards over the Pennines (that trip is scheduled for a later date).
As it was by now late morning I sought out a café for the inevitable cappuccino but there seemed to be a distinct shortage of genuine coffee houses in the town.
Eventually I came across “Deli Belge” on the main road which served very decent coffee and some of the best “parkin cake” I have tasted in many a year, it also had an interesting collection of craft beers which are worth exploring. I took a photo of one of the very helpful ladies in the shop but it has come out blurred, so my apologies to the lady in question for its non-inclusion.
So if you want to know something about our “industrial heartland” and the industrial archaeology of West Yorkshire, then get out along places like the canal because not only will you encounter part of our history but some beautiful countryside as well (and I speak as a Lancastrian!). And you may see little shoals of fish in the canal as I did.
Some of the photos I took on my walk are featured below:-
Photographs (c) Kindadukish