Let’s start climbing

Saturday 18th June 2016 – Woodend to Dobcross

We woke up this morning to a dry day and a forecast of no rain. With the drying out conditions we thought we would take advantage and get the bikes out. We headed down the path that follows an old railway line. It was the first serious outing for the bikes so we were pleased with that and the bike performed as well as they could (for fold ups with 20 inch wheels) although one of the brakes collapsed on one of the bikes so we will need to buy a small clasp when we get to a bigger town and can find a bike shop.

On the way back to the boat we came across the Friezland Bowling Club which was having an open day. The chap there was explaining about the bowling they do which is called Crown Bowling. I have never heard of it. Essentially it is the same as regular lawn bowls except it is played on a deliberately arched green and each game can be set up in any direction you like. Uphill, downhill, left to right or right to left. Also the Jack is the size of a regular bowl and is delivered with a bias.

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Got back to the boat at lunch time and headed off. Over the next two days we must start climbing in earnest up the river valley towards the summit of the Huddersfield Narrow canal at an elevation of 646m ASL. This means heading up 18 locks. Our strategy will be split the locks evenly between Saturday and Sunday. At the summit the canal cannot go any higher as it runs straight into the Pennines. At this point the canal is engineered to stop climbing and just go straight through the Pennines in a very special tunnel (more on this in Mondays blog)

On our climb today we came across Lock 23 W (shown below). It is difficult to see but what you have here is a river with a canal and lock built over the top of it with a railway on top of that. So the river, the canal and railway are all on top of each other.

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At the end of the day we took the dogs for a short walk into the village of Dobcross or at least that was the plan! The villages around here were used in the filming of the film called Brassed Off. (A great movie BTW)

Dropped in at the Navigation pub and met and had a pint with Ronnie the retired butcher who then recommended we walk up the hill proper to the village square and the pub called the Swan. We took the advice and head to the square which was just lovely (see below)

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And into the Swan which was very authentic and a wonderful establishment run by Tim the publican who made us feel very welcome and showed us around including a tour of the upstairs theater where they hold plays etc. He also gave the dogs some treats as it was well passed there dinner time and they were quite hungry as mum and dads short walk had turned into a two hour pub crawl.

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