Is cruising the Leeds & Liverpool worth the risk?

Published: Thursday, 12 January 2023

MY PARTNER and I are considering exploring the northern canals, but are somewhat apprehensive, writes Jenny Wicks.

We moor on the Coventry but have someone capable of taking the boat up to the Trent & Mersey Canal and the Bridgewater Canal to get to the area, then we will have the time to bring it back, via we thought the Leeds & Liverpool then the Aire & Calder Navigation on to the Trent and back.


But we are both apprehensive after reading of all the stoppages particularly on the Leeds & Liverpol Canal. We picked this one as my family live at Chorley and we could have a good visit and take them on the boat.

But just reading that there have already been four stoppages this year on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and putting a 'search' of the stoppages getting 50 come up is not encouraging. Also it seems should there be any dry weather the flights of locks will be closed, and we are thinking of going in July, when last year, to put it bluntly, it was in a right mess.

Please can I be cheeky and ask what you think?

[It was in 2006 when we cruised the Leeds & Liverpool, the opposite way to which you intend, and had no problems whatsoever, but this was when the waterways were well maintained, way before the creation of Canal & River Trust.

We too would like to cruise it again, but frankly dare not risk it...that perhaps answers your question—editor.]