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Bootle | Litherland | Netherton | Aintree | Melling

City of Liverpool


Dock Link


Stanley Dock Branch


0-3 miles


Bootle to Melling
3-12 miles


Maghull to Burscough
12- 24 miles


Rufford Branch


Burscough to Wigan
24 - 34 miles


34 - 37 miles


Leigh Branch


Former Lancaster Canal South


Johnson's Hillock to Cherry Tree
47 - 54 miles


54-59 miles

Towpath Treks

 The Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Bootle to Melling

The canal leaves the industry of Bootle and winds through Rimrose Nature Reserve before passing 1970s housing estates and then the famous Aintree Race Course. The canal is on an embankment for much of this stretch and has good views of the dock cranes at Seaforth and Litherland. This section has been designated as a cycle path to encourage its use.


City of Leeds


127.25 miles


Shipley to Leeds
115 -125 miles


Stockbridge to Shipley
109 -115 miles


Skipton to Stockbidge
99 - 109 miles


Gargrave to Skipton
93 -99 miles


Greenberfield to Gargrave
87 - 93 miles


Foulridge to Greenberfield
82-87 miles


Burnley Lane to Foulridge Tunnel
75 -82 miles


71-75 miles


Rishton, Church and Hapton
59 - 71 miles

Click on the photographs to see a larger image and more information
blogs: route map: access map:  
Leeds Liverpool Canal Liverpool Bootle

Bootle has always been seperate from its neighbour Liverpool. As the docks of Liverpool expanded along the banks of the Mersey rich people like dock engineer Jesse Hartley moved from their riverside villas to new houses in Bootle. Bootle's most notable landmark is the Triad building, a tall office building which over looks the area. Below the Triad is the Strand Shopping Centre. The high street looks a bit run down these days but there are new buildings going up around the Strand and the bus and railway stations have been refurbished. The area around the canal was regenerated in the 1980s.

There is access to the towpath at bridge #2A, Bootle The Strand Station is within walking distance.

Bootle Basin Crane Curiosity Canal at Bootle Stanley road Changeline bridge Bootle
Flats now stand on the site of a Goods Warehouse, the basin and wharf remain A wharf side curiosity Bootle Basin

compare with this view from the 1900s

Stanley Road Bridge Leeds Liverpool Canal Milepost Willow Trees
#2A Stanley Road 
 Changeline  Bridge 
 LPool 3 Miles
 Leeds 124 ¼ Miles
 By Stanley Rd
Willow Trees Towards Litherland Road Bridge #2B
Litherland Road Bridge Litherland Road Bridge Litherland Road Bridge
Litherland Road Bridge #2B Dedication Plaque on Litherand Road Bridge Litherland Road Bridge #2B Information Plaque
Marsh Lane Bridge #2C Marsh Lane Bridge Brick Wall
A large brick wall backs on to the towpath. Looking towards Bootle Marsh Lane Bridge #2C Marsh Lane Bridge #2C Bricked up archway
Gas Works Bridge 2E
Gas Works Bridges 2D and 2E Bridge #2E Information Plaque
Empty Buildings by the Canal Looking towards Bridge #2G Information Plaque Stop Plank Slots under Bridge #2G
Bridge 2G
L'Pool 4 Miles
Leeds 123¼ Miles
Bridge #2G Ruins by the Canal The Canal near Litherland

In the 1907 book "Liverpool" Dixon Scott describes Litherland and the canal. "...across a frail little swing bridge; and whilst one end of the bridge is immersed in that bad-tempered outburst of industrialism, the other shares an atmosphere of positively Quakerish demureness. Mild old Georgian residences, placidly sunning themselves among their groves and lawns, are respectfully waited upon by an irresistable village street of shops and inns and a post office. [...] It is that highley prosaic thing, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, that has apparently served to keep this idyll unspotted by the world. It curves like a defensive moat between the birdsong and the harsh imbroglio a biscuits-throw beyond, and upon the frail structure tha crosses it not the mostreckless electric car in the world would ever dream of venturing. It is the weakness of that bridge that has proved the place's strength."

Seaforth and Litherland Station is within walking distance of the Litherland bridges 2I and 2J

Looking towards
Bridge #2H
Bridge #2H Tescos and Bee Hives at Litherland Litherland BW Depot
Litherland Depot Litherland Litherland Lift Bridge
Litherland BW Depot Looking towards Bootle Litherland Bridges and Bridge House the site of the old Litherland electronic lift bridge built 1922 with its 1975 replacement behind, Bridge 2J.
Litherland Lift Bridge
Site of Litherland Lift Bridge with the footbridge #2I  and bridge keepers house Bridge #2J A Litherland Boathouse Bridge #3
Litherland Canal Litherland Canal Litherland Canal
New Housing with Bridge #3 L'Pool 5 Miles
Leeds 122¼ Miles
next to a winding hole, the former site of Sefton Tannery with Bridge 3A New Housing by the Canal
Litherland Canal
Litherland Litherland view south from Bridge #4 Site of an old Swing Bridge looking towards Bridge #4
Litherland Canal Litherland Canal
Bridge #4 view north from Bridge #4 Site of an old Swing Bridge Site of an old Swing Bridge
Rimrose Valley Country Park
Rimrose Valley Country Park L'Pool 6 Miles
Leeds 121¼ Miles
Gorsey Lane Bridge #4A

Cooksons Bridge

Gorsey Lane Bridge 4A Nr Gorsey Lane Swifts bridge #5
Gorsely Lane Bridge #4A Canal-side Housing Swifts Bridge #5 Fleetwood's Bridge #5A
Fleetwoods Bridge #5A Leeds Liverpool Canal Milepost Netherton Canal
Fleetwood's Bridge #5A Milepost
LPool 7 Miles
Leeds 120¼ Miles
Along the towpath in Netherton

Along the Canal

Netherton Swing Bridge  #6 Towpath at Netherton Copy bridge #7
Netherton Swing Bridge #6 Netherton Swing Bridge #6 Along the towpath in Netherton Looking towards Copy Bridge #7
Leeds Liverpool Canal Milepost  
Copy Bridge #7 MilePost
LPool 8 Miles
Leeds 119¼ Miles

#7A Dunnings Bridge


Aintree is famous for its Grand National Steeplechase and was once home to the British Grand Prix in Forumla One motor racing. On race days you can hear the horses and commentary from the towpath. As the canal leaves Aintree it leaves the urban and enters a more rural setting with suburbas and wasteland alongside the canal.

Old Roan Station is a short walk from Old Roan Bridge #7D

Old Roan Bridge #7D
The canal in autumn Bridge #7C and #7D Old Roan Bridge #7D The canal in Aintree
Leeds Liverpool Canal Milepost Aintree Racecourse Blue Anchor Bridge #8
Towards Bridge #8 MilePost
LPool 9 Miles
Leeds 118¼Miles
Looking over Aintree Racecourse Blue Anchor Bridge #8
Blue Anchor Bridge #8 Blue Anchor Bridge #8 Along the canal at Aintree Hancocks Swing Bridge #9
Hancocks Swing Bridge #9
View from Hancocks Swing Bridge River Alt flowing under the canal

L'Pool 10 Miles
Leeds 117¼ Miles

Looking towards Hancocks Swing Bridge #9
Canal at Aintree

The M57

Ledsons Bridge #9C New housing by the canal at Waddicar New housing by the canal at Waddicar
Holmes Bridge #10 Canal at Melling
Holmes Bridge #10 Holmes Bridge #10 View from Holmes Bridge A weedy canal nr Melling

The 15th Century church at Melling is built from locally quarried stone. Melling remians a village and is much smaller than its rival Maghull. The name Melling suggests the village dates back to the early Anglo-Saxon invasions. A field near the border with Maghull called "Six Butts" is likely the place that the menof Melling went to practice the longbow as required by law. Today the most noticeable feature from the towpath is Melling Stone Bridge, a fine red sandstone bridge in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal style. Melling had its own pottery industry and stone jars were made here and taken along the canal to Hartleys Jam Works at Aintree. Scottish potters came to Melling to work. The potery works were destroyed by fire in 1928.

Leeds Liverpool Canal Milepost Melling Stone bridge #11 Melling Stone Bridge #11 M58
 LPool 11 Miles
 Leeds 116¼ Miles
#11 Melling Stone Bridge Looking towards Melling Stone Bridge #11 M58 in the background
 former Clare's Bridge in foreground
  Bridge 11A
  World War Two Defence at Melling Guarding the Railway #11A
Leeds Liverpool Canal Maghull



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