I’ve been putting off sharing our triumphant entry into Liverpool for far too long, simply put, I’ve just been too busy enjoying myself. The history surrounding this area is so interesting, every time I start to gather up all my info to share I find another snippet to take me off on a tangent. So in order to actually share our own story, I’ll point you towards this website for some insight into this newest of canals. The Pennine waterways.
We turned and waved goodbye to the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and began our journey along the Liverpool Link Canal with James and his dad for company. Under several bridges that I’d be crossing by train later during our stay.
The four locks took us down into Stanley Dock On our left the derelict tobacco warehouse is awaiting it’s makeover into unaffordable apartments.
And on our right the developers have created the highly desirable Titanic Hotel where the bedrooms are in brick vaulted bays.
Stanley Dock is traversed by a Scherzer Bascule Rolling Bridge, similar to the one we saw near Keadby on the River Trent. The engineering involved in these bridges is amazing, just a pity they look like scrap metal now.
Collingwood, Clarence and Trafalgar Docks are wide open spaces giving us opportunity to look around. Most of the warehouses have been pulled down but the octagonal Victoria clock tower still stands proud telling the correct time twice a day.
Most of Trafalgar Dock has been filled in but the 2007 regeneration saw a brand new channel being cut, affectionately known as Sid’s Ditch.
Unfortunately there’s no Towpath along this section, although it’s clear the work is on going, as I’m sure the smart apartment owners would appreciate somewhere to walk their dogs. The waterway opens up again into Princes Half Tide Dock. The opening onto the Mersey currently closed off but it’s intended that this area should be the new terminal for the Isle of Man Steam Packet company. It’s an impressive skyline and reminded me of New York.
It’s where we got our first real glimpses of the Liver Birds, perched on their building.
Princes Dock lock took us down to enter the exciting tunnel section of Pierhead. Liverpool benefited from being European City of culture in 2008 and funding paid for this public space to be developed. Initially there was a lot of opposition for fear that the contemporary would obscure the beauty of the Three Graces.
However personally I love the way the canal is sunken in an open tunnel, looking up at the iconic Liver building, the Cunnard building and the Port of Liverpool building on one side, and going underneath the nautical Museum of Liverpool on the other.
Canal traffic is one way, changing direction in the afternoon, so no worries about meeting someone round the corner, weird to know there’s a building and pedestrians above you, and the Mersey tunnel somewhere underneath.
We had one more lock to go through, the Mann Island stop lock and flood gate,
And into Canning Dock with the pumping station and it’s chimney, competing with the tall buildings.
And some more 20th century dock yard relics.
It’s where thousands waited to board their ships before emigrating to America. And the permenant mooring of a couple of historic ships
But for us, we had to run the gauntlet of thousands of tourists all making the most of this historic site, passing under bridges into Albert Dock, the first Bonded warehouse which was used to unload the flammable goods back in the day.
We were almost there, one last bridge and we saw our mooring in Salthouse Dock.
We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw this amazing mooring. Spacious finger pontoons in the heart of the city.
Initially we made this journey at the end of September accompanied by Lynne, Freya, Reuben and Aunty.
And Eric has a new first Mate, Reuben keen to join him at the helm
We were permitted to stay for one week, which we did, but shortly after our departure, events overtook us and we realised we would be hard pushed to get through to Cheshire as planned before the winter closures. A chance comment from another boater made us reassess our plans and low and behold we opted to take a winter mooring here in Salthouse Dock, centre of Liverpool, still a city of culture in my opinion, close to family, easy access to trains and public transport, and best of all not a single muddy Towpath for the whole winter.