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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Canal Paths

When I decided to move to England there were loads of this that I was expecting and looking forward to about the country and culture. But I have come to love something I did not even realize existed.

When I think of canal's I think of Amsterdam and Holland. I do not think of England. Yet there are loads of them in England. They are wooded affairs which cross all parts of England. They used to be used as "roads" for carrying all manner of goods be slow moving barges pulled by horses or donkeys before engines made their debut. Now they are used as recreational spaces and long canal boats leisurely make their way through locks which the boat operators open and close themselves. The old towpaths that the horses used to plod along are now used by walkers of dog, runners, cyclists, and commuters.

I have come to love them. The paths wind along the canal varying in widths and maintenance level. They offer up a large variety of views from rolling English vista's to peeks into others back gardens. They offer a traffic free place to ride your bike, run or walk enjoying a cool breeze and a shaded path on a sunny day. The wildlife, occasionally if you are quiet enough, share a bit of their world with you as you travel by. Wildflowers and trees vary your view and provide the occasional fruit snack as you pass. I have been riding loads along the River Wey canal path on a regular basis and try and explore other canal pathways as well. They offer up what I like to think of as a secret view of England.

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