Leeds & Liverpool Canal: Canoes meet to mark trail completion

The canoe trail meets in Burnley

The canoe trail meets in Burnley - Credit: Archant

A five-year programme to create England’s first coast-to-coast canoe trail has been completed

A five-year programme to create England's first coast-to-coast canoe trail culminated in relay canoe teams from east and west meeting each other at Burnley (pictured) on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, amid a series of celebratory events leading up to a finale on Liverpool's waterfront.

The Desmond Family Canoe Trail (so-named after controversial media mogul Richard Desmond's charity foundation put up £1.3m towards it) takes in the full 127-mile length of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, plus the 35 miles of the Aire & Calder Navigation main line, in its 162-mile journey between Liverpool and Goole. Along the way, paddlers will need to portage their craft around 91 locks including the 21 at Wigan. Its creation has provided training and volunteering opportunities for thousands of people aged 16 to 25 from both sides of the Pennines, with community canoe hubs established in Sefton, Wigan, Burnley, Castleford and Goole, and plans for Skipton, Leeds and Blackburn.

Two trail leaflets covering east and west sections are available to download from canalrivertrust.org.uk: follow the links to 'enjoy the waterways' and 'canoeing and kayaking'.