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Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Bicentenary Celebrations - 1816-2016

Date 13th - 22nd October 2016

Venue The Leeds-Liverpool Canal

The original five day journey in 1816 represented a triumph of grit and determination for getting the job done. There were numerous debates about the exact route of the canal. Construction began in 1770 at either end and by 1777 the canal was open from Leeds to Gargrave and from Liverpool to Parbold. At this stage the money ran out and worked stopped until 1790. The route was then altered to take in the growing industrial towns of East Lancashire but it was not until 1816 that the last section between Wigan and Johnson’s Hillock, near Chorley, was finished, finally creating a trans-Pennine link between the two great cities.

– Canal and River Trust North West

Britain’s longest single man-made waterway, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, was completed on 22 October 1816... and canoeists and kayakers from across the UK have been invited to help celebrate the Bicentenary - including by joining a flotilla of decorated boats!

Final celebrations commence on Friday October 14th - afternoon and evening

  • At 12.00pm with a photo-call on the River Aire at Leeds Bridge/Leeds River Lock.
  • From 6.00pm the Canal and River Trust will be hosting a "Boaters Reception" at Dock 29 of Clarence Dock, within the Royal Armouries.

Celebrations continue on Saturday 15th October as a Flotilla departs for Apperley Bridge:

  • At 11.30am a Flotilla leaves Granary Wharf / Office Lock

The Heritage Education Shortboat Kennet continues (accompanied by canoeists and kayakers) to Liverpool

  • 16th - morning - Dobson Lock to Saltaire Visitor Moorings
  • 16th - afternoon - Hirst Mill to Bingley Five Rise
  • 17th - Cross Flats School to Silsden Wharf
  • 18th - Greenberfield Locks to Burnley Wharf
  • 19th - Burnley Wharf to Eanam Wharf Visitor Centre
  • 20th - Blackburn to Adlington
  • 21st - Redrock to Wigan
  • 22nd - morning - Wigan to Burscough
  • 22nd - afternoon - Haskayne and Downholland
  • 23rd - Maghull to Vauxhall Bridge, Liverpool
A 200th Anniversary Brass Plaque will be given to anyone accompanying the Kennet for a full day. Alternatively, these will be available for purchase for £7.00.

Notes for Friday 14th:

Notes for Saturday 15th:

  • Any all types of craft welcome. SUPs, Sit Ons, Inflatables, rafts, etc.etc.
  • Just turn up and mill about / accompany barges
  • Launching possible at Clarence dock

The celebrations will be led by the Canal & River Trust, which cares for the canal, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, the Inland Waterways Association and the 12 boroughs through which the canal passes.

For more information see

Ll Bicentenary