Friday, 22 August 2014

Canal festival

Well, I haven't been doing much blogging lately for various reasons, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things. I still have a couple of day trips from our staycation in July to share with you but, today, I want to take you back to last summer when we visited the Burnley Canal Festival, which is taking place again this Bank Holiday weekend. I half wrote the post at the time but it was one of those which just didn't seem to want to come together. I really liked the photos though so, I've dusted it off and am putting it out there, for better or worse.

There's an old saying that you wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once. Last summer it was all about canal boats. Until then I'd probably not seen any in months, if not years, but then there were walks along the canal at Parbold and Oxford, and the visit to Yarndale.

I'm always looking for new and interesting things to do and the canal festival seemed to fit the bill. Our journey took us to the town where Chickpea's boyfriend lives and where we had to change trains. Even though we were only scheduled to be there for 20 minutes, he still came to the station to spend those few minutes with her - so sweet :) (Just in case you're wondering, he was invited but couldn't get the time off work).

As we walked along the canal from the station, we could see the boats lined up. This one had some lovely floral barge art at the front.

However, it was nothing compared to this barrel. Wow!

So much pretty bunting! I think this one was my favourite.

Several of the boat owners had dressed in traditional costume.

I was also thrilled to see a couple of men playing traditional instruments - the accordion and the spoons!

As well as all the exterior loveliness, there were a couple of examples of cosiness inside. I could easily have curled up in this space with a good book and a cup of tea.

One of the boats was a stall selling traditional goods such as these rag rugs and brass ornaments.

A lovely example of a rag rug was in the Victorian parlour of the Weavers Triangle visitor centre where you could sit by the fire to enjoy a drink and a piece of cake.

A nice slice of fruit cake for me and biscuits for Chickpea.

There were also a few exhibitions including a model fairground. We spent ages looking at all the little details.

After a wander around the visitor centre, it was time to continue our walk along the canal.

This stretch of canal is known as the Straight Mile and carries the Leeds-Liverpool Canal 60ft above the town. It was built between 1796 and 1801. Just above the canal, you can see the stands of Turf Moor, home of Burnley Football Club. There was a match on that day and we could hear the roar of the crowd as we walked along the tow path.

We'd headed in this direction because we'd been told a horse-drawn barge was on its way. Sure enough, Sue Day and her horse, Bilbo Baggins, soon appeared towing their boat, Elland. She's a member of the Horseboating Society and one of only a handful of horseboat operators.

Here you can see just how high the canal is above the town as we were walking along level with the roofs of the terraced houses.

When we arrived back at the Weaver's Triangle, more of the boats had finished being decorated. This was our favourite...

Look at all the knitted dogs!

We enjoyed our visit to the Festival, though I have to say it was a little disorganised and some of the promised entertainment didn't materialise. However, if you're in the area this weekend, it's worth taking a look as it's a free event. Sue and Bilbo Baggins will be making an appearance on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend, whether you're having a long one here in the UK or a shorter one elsewhere. x


  1. You can't beat a good walk along the canal, and these boats look stunning.. So pleased you shared the photos. We have done many rides along the canal as the Leeds to Liverpool canal is not far from us. At Skipton there is some nice boats as well as a lovely walk round the Castle. At Bingley we have the Five rise locks which is worth a visit if anyone is in the area.
    Have a nice weekend.. Amanda xx

  2. The boats are beautifully decorated and maintained aren't they! The flags and bunting and painted bits and pieces all make them look so festive and lovely. Glad that you had a nice time and enjoyed yourselves! xx

  3. Oh wow, that was one great post. I have always wanted to go on a boat down a canal in England. I doubt that I ever will, so I am glad for your post. Thank you!

  4. Hello Julie

    Oh Wow, your pictures are fabulous, I just love the painted boats they are amazing. Thank you for sharing your fabulous day out with us.


  5. What a delightful tour - loved the horseboating - where does she tie up her horse when it is not pulling the houseboat?