Trans-Britain water trail

In researching paddling options for my upcoming trip, with kayak, to central England, I found out about their ongoing project to link rivers and canals to eventually create a coast to coast water trail from Liverpool to the estuary of the River Humber. I may explore some of the links in the east end of the project while there.

Great Britain has many canals crisscrossing the countryside, dug during the early 1800’s to transport coal from the many mining operations. In fact, it was his job inspecting these canals, and the geology that digging them exposed, that lead to William “Strata” Smith to create the world’s first geological map – he’s considered one of the Fathers of modern Science (an appropriate bit of digressive trivia, on this Earth Day when many of us have marched to show our support for science.)

Interesting article.

I grew up in Liverpool literally a stone’s throw from the Leeds & Liverpool canal. The section that goes through the city was about as far from bucolic as you can possibly get. They have been cleaning it all up in recent years and once you get out of the urban areas, the countryside of Northern England is quite beautiful.

For kayaking I imagine that paddling these flat canals could get a little boring. If you can, go down to the south coast of Cornwall and paddle the spectacular bays and headlands. The scenery there is quite stunning.

More info…

I’ll be staying in Yorkshire (Malton, where I’ve booked a cottage) so Cornwall would be quite a distance for me. But I hope to visit there on the next trip – I would like to see Cornwall as my mother’s side of the family is from that region – one of my great, great, great grandfathers worked in the lead mines there and another was a blacksmith.

@kfbrady said:
For kayaking I imagine that paddling these flat canals could get a little boring.

Forget the history and scenery–What a grand way to go from one English Pub to another! :wink:

I don’t know the Northeast of England as well as I know the West (and it’s been over 30 years since I lived in the UK although I get back there every year) but I’m sure there are many places you can kayak on the Yorkshire coast if you have the time. But I’m sure you have it all sorted out and I’m sure you’ll have a great time there.

Malton is a very pretty and quaint market town and isn’t that far from the city of York where “York Minster” is one of Britain’s finest and largest Gothic cathedrals. It’s well worth a visit if you can make it.

I visited Yorkshire for a week with my mum 20 years ago but we were on one of those bus tours where you ride around for an hour listening to a lecture about a destination, then they let you out and tell you to be back at the bus in 15 minutes! I think our longest stop was a half hour tour of York Minster followed by another 30 minutes of “free time” to explore the Shambles (what a joke!). Barely an hour in Whitby, where I could have been happy to spend a whole day or more. Ever since I have wanted to revisit all the sites at my leisure and really explore them, as well as places that I only got to see in passing. I really don’t like those organized “tours” but the trip was a gift from Mom.