Bridge Marina is towards the middle of the Lancaster Canal, near the
Market Town of Garstang and set amidst the pleasant farmlands of the
North Lancashire. The canal runs for 42 lock free miles through pleasant
pasturelands, overlooked for most of the way by the foothills of the
Pennines, from which hang gliders often soar.
Just north of Lancaster the sea shore is only a few hundred yards to the
west and you can see the sands of Morecambe Bay and across to the
magnificent mountains of the Lake District, well worth a visit. There is
a short branch to Glasson Docks, which has six locks. The canal is
peaceful through most of the year and the lack of locks makes it ideal
for those who want a relaxing holiday or anyone who prefers to avoid the
hard work of locks.
trip from Preston to Lancaster is easily possible in a week. Lancaster
is an interesting old County Town, with a castle and other old
buildings. Preston and Lancaster have good railway and road links to
Scotland and the South of England. All the attractions of the Lancashire
coast, including Blackpool and Morecambe, and the fine stone Pennine villages
of the Trough of Bowland are never far away.
Lancaster Canal was built early on in the canal revolution but with a
break between the northern section from Preston up to beyond Lancaster
and the southern section from Wigan to near Chorley. The problem was
the Ribble valley. The canal was never profitable enough for the
considerable engineering works, either locks or aqueduct, which would have
been needed to cross the deep valley. The southern section became part
of the busy Leeds & Liverpool Canal but the isolated northern
section became a backwater. The northern terminus at Kendal can no
longer be reached, the canal was culveted when the M6 motorway was
built across it in the 1960's. However there are serious plans to restore this
section up to Kendal over the next few years. The canal also lost its
isolation from the rest of the system when a link to the River Ribble
was recently opened, though this does involve complicated tidal river
cruising to link with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Tarleton branch.
The canal was engineered by John
Rennie, and the bridges and aqueducts are built on his usual massive
classical scale. The five arched Lune Aqueduct is 660ft
long and commonly accepted as one of the wonders of the canal world.