Maghull and Liverpool aren't far away from Wigan but we opted for the train rather than the car. As with the Leeds walk, my wife and daughter joined us. We left them in Liverpool for more retail therapy whilst Thomas and I made our way to Maghull. Having left Wigan on the 9:11am train, we finally reached Maghull at about 11:15am.
I was really looking forward to our last walk and we couldn't have wished for a nicer day. It was a scorcher and I got a bit sunburnt along the way.
The first part of the walk between Maghull and Aintree was scenic, out in the peaceful countryside. We enjoyed it whilst it lasted as we knew that the stretch into Liverpool would not be.
I found it hard to believe, but this walk was the quietest we had ever done. Along the whole twelve mile trek we didn't see a single narrowboat in action. Several were moored close to the start, but no canal traffic at all. Judging by the weeds and plant life in the canal (see photos) I don't think a narrow boat has passed this area in a while. We did pass a few walkers and cyclists but only a few.
There was a lack of pubs on this stretch. We stopped off at a pub called Cookson's Bridge at Gorsey Lane bridge. Perhaps the bridge has changed name in the past? Or the pub? We were spoilt for choice here, on the menu was burger and chips or sausage and chips, that was it! We had burger and chips and a couple of much needed drinks.
As we headed past Aintree and into Bootle the area changed dramatically. From nice open countryside views to residential, industrial and industrial decline. We still enjoyed this part as there was lots to take in.
The canal in Liverpool was too quiet for me. The only people enjoying the stretch were kids on makeshift rafts and others throwing stones at the geese and ducks. Shame really, as the towpath was decent for walking and cycling. There was also a lot of rubbish in the canal, from cars to wheelie bins and tyres.
The end of the walk was a bit of an anti-climax. Perhaps I was expecting a fan-fare, or, at least a big sign indicating the start of the canal or something. Nothing. Still, we had done it!
It's been fun and we have thoroughly enjoyed every inch of the towpath. Some parts were better than others as can be expected. If you're thinking of walking the whole of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal go for it, you won't regret it.