Lancaster Canal - Carnforth to Lancaster (approx 8½ miles)

Map: Not really needed - most of the walk is along the towpath!
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Start: Carnforth Station(SD497706).
Route: The route follows the towpath, which is surfaced for the whole length. There are short stretches along roads at the start. We left our car at Lancaster and caught th train to Carnforth.
More info: Based on a walk from Canal Walks North by Ray Quinlan ISBN 0-86299-995-2 - this seems to be out of print, but copies were available from Amazon. The book describes the route walking north, but we preferred to walk south, with the sun on our faces.
Waterscape website.
Lancaster Canal Trust
Refreshments: The Brief Encounter Tearoom on Carnforth Station, also pubs and tea rooms in Carnforth, Hest Bank and Lancaster (we ended our walk with a delightful afternoon tea at Quite Simply, just a short walk down Moor Lane from the canal.
Brief Encounter You're not likely to see a washing line on the station - but copies of this image are available from post cards to A3 prints - click here for details.

Carnforth Station Leave the station and walk across the car park. Either turn right into Haws Hill, or walk ahead into Market Street (we did the latter, as we wanted to look in the bookshop - but it was closed for the bank holiday). Whichever road you take, turn right on to Lancaster Road (the A6). Walk along the main road until you come to Alexandra Road. Turn left here, then left again into Towpath Walk. Turn right along the path between numbers 8 and 9. Turn right onto the towpath.
the Canal Turn, Carnforth Before leaving Carnforth the first canal side pub (the Canal Turn) is passed - or paused at! The canal, A6 and railway run quite close together until you reach Bolton-le-Sands. Here the canal curves past the east of the settlement, while the road and railway follow the more direct route to the west. For most of the walk along the towpath there are good views over Morecambe Bay.
Hest Bank is about half way through the walk. There is a choice of refreshment: cross the canal to reach the Hest Bank Hotel, which has a garden running down to the canal bank; or leave the towpath and walk towards the beach, where there is a tea room/deli.
Heron in flight, Lancaster Canal near Hest Bank

The canal becomes more rural for the next two or three miles, until the outskirts of Lancaster are reached. It was along this section that we saw the pictured heron.
Lancaster Canal, outskirts of Lancaster
Lancaster Canal, Lune Aqueduct The Lune Aqueduct, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country, can't really be appreciated from the towpath - but we didn't walk down to view it from the industrial estate below!
walking back to Budle Bay There are a number of places at which you can leave the towpath to walk into the city. We left at the bridge following this photograph to find refreshment - the mills buildings pictured are either side of Moor Lane. We returned to the towpath to walk to the Auction Mart car park, where we had left our car.

Other walks near here:
Arnside Knott

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