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March 4, 2016

canal walks with julia bradbury.

(Repack)

Seasoned stomper Julia Bradbury dons her walking boots once again and this time she is exploring her own British backyard, travelling along the country's network of canals and their accompanying tow-path trails. This sees her navigating Highland glens, rolling countryside and river valleys, as well as our industrial heartlands, following these magical waterways as they cut a sedate path through some of the country's finest scenery.

Canal_Walks_1of4_Caledonian.avi


Episode 1
Julia kicks off her tour with a visit to the Scottish Highlands. Against the stunning backdrop of Ben Nevis, her walk starts near Fort William where she embarks on her eight-mile trip along the Caledonian Canal, the majestic waterway that cuts through beautiful mountain country and is regarded as one of the most ambitious canals of its time. Julia's journey tells the story of one of the greatest canal engineers, Thomas Telford, whose ambition was to create not only an engineering marvel, but also badly needed jobs and wealth for the Highlands. Two hundred years on, it is now one of the most popular walking trails in the country.

Episode 2
Julia starts this walk in Birmingham, which surprisingly boasts more canals than Venice. But her mission isn't to seek out gondolas or ice cream - it's to discover how the city, through its canal network, became the epicentre of the Industrial Revolution. It's also the start of Julia's two-day walk along the historic and picturesque Worcester & Birmingham Canal, which cuts a 30-mile path through to the River Severn. The highlight of the canal is a dramatic two-mile flight of 30 locks which lower the canal by 220 feet. Negotiating this flight of locks is considered to be a rite of passage by boaters, and it's definitely one for the tick list for walkers.

Episode 3
This walk starts in the beautiful world heritage city of Bath, where the Kennet and Avon Canal provided a 19th century 'canal superhighway' between the country's two most important ports, Bristol and London. But only forty years later the trade along the canal was usurped by rail travel, leaving the once great waterway neglected and derelict. Julia's 20-mile walk, along what is arguably the most picturesque stretch of the canal, tells the story of how the waterway was restored to its former glory after it was awarded the biggest ever lottery heritage grant. The walk ends at the spectacular Caen Hill flight of locks, listed as one of the seven wonders of British waterways.

Episode 4
Julia's final walk takes her to North Wales, where two hundred years ago the great engineer Thomas Telford had to overcome seemingly impossible challenges in order to access the valuable slate industries of Snowdonia. In doing so he created a masterpiece of 19th century engineering - an aqueduct 126ft high and spanning a 1,000ft across the vale of Llangollen. To find out why it has become a world heritage site, Julia follows the cut of the Llangollen Canal, starting at the picturesque Horseshoe falls. Her six-mile walk takes her along the winding Dee valley, ending on the aqueduct that Telford described as 'a stream through the skies'.

Originally Posted 24/05/2011

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