The Lune Aquaduct, Lancaster

There are few things more relaxing than sailing on a canal boat on a fine day. With average speeds not exceeding 4 miles per hour on English canals, slowing right down – in every sense – is almost mandatory. I’ve enjoyed a lot of boat trips over the years with sightseeing from the water often being on my itinerary when visiting new towns and cities. Today’s little journey took me along a short stretch of the Lancaster Canal in my home county of Lancashire.

We boarded the generously proportioned Kingfisher at the Water Witch Pub which is just a short walk from the centre of Lancaster. Kingfisher Cruises operates a range of excursions throughout the year and more frequently during the summer season. We had opted for a short sail which would take us just a couple of miles outside the city but taking in a very significant landmark.

The heavens opened as we boarded, making it necessary to stay under cover for the first part part of the journey. I was lucky to have a seat near to the front of the boat and was quickly outside as soon as the rain stopped.

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The boat meandered serenely through the tranquil water, lush green banks on both sides.


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Our destination came into view: the Lune Aquaduct.

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Completed in 1797 to take the Lancaster Canal over the river Lune, the Aquaduct has grade 1 listed status. It is over 200 metres long and spans the river 16 metres below. Built from sandstone, five arches support the water trough. Designed and constructed by John Rennie and Alexander Stevens respectively, the structure cost nearly £50,000 – more than twice the estimated budget.

The sun was shining as we approached the Aquaduct, so the skipper decided it was safe for us to disembark to better enjoy the scenery.

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A group of children was getting ready to enjoy a kayaking session, their bright multi-coloured vessels like an art installation against the sandstone.

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It would have been nice to spend more time on the Aquaduct but it wasn’t possible to moor there for more than 10 minutes, and another trip was to follow after ours. It was time to turn the boat around and sail back.

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9 thoughts on “The Lune Aquaduct, Lancaster

  1. Eunice August 6, 2019 / 11:20 pm

    What a coincidence that you should write about the Lancaster canal – my latest blog post features a short section of it which I recently walked along into Garstang and back, and yesterday I walked another short section from Glasson Dock for a future blog post.

    I love canals and the Lancaster is one of my favourites as it’s so scenic. If you haven’t already been/seen it there’s another aquaduct at Garstang which carries the canal over the river Wyre – this was also built by John Rennie but is much shorter than the Lune one. The river down below is accessible from the aquaduct and is a nice spot for a picnic on a sunny day – I’ve yet to experience the Lune one but it’s on my list for the future 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North August 7, 2019 / 7:12 am

      The boat company also runs trips from Lancaster to the new marina at Garstang, next to Barton Grange garden centre. We called there on the way home and thought it would be nice to make that longer trip in the future.

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      • Eunice August 7, 2019 / 7:56 am

        You had me confused for a minute with the name of the garden centre – I didn’t realise that’s a Barton Grange one as there’s a Barton Grange further down the A6 towards Preston but on the other side of the road, so nowhere near the canal. Garden centres aren’t really my thing so I’ve never been to the new one but next time I’m passing I might stop off and have a mooch round the marina. The canal trip sounds good though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome to the Beautiful North August 7, 2019 / 8:02 am

        It’s definitely Barton Grange and definitely at Garstang next to the Canal. The marina adjoins the car park.

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  2. Eunice August 7, 2019 / 8:16 am

    I’ve seen the marina several times from the road as I’ve been passing – the last time just two days ago – but never actually been there. I know there are several Barton Grange garden centres here and there – we have a local one here – but it’s very confusing having two on the same stretch of road. I parked at the other one a couple of weeks ago when I went to photograph a fire damaged pub close to it.

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    • Welcome to the Beautiful North August 7, 2019 / 9:53 am

      To be very precise, the area is Brock, which is between Preston and Garstang but a bit nearer to Garstang. It has a Preston post code But the Garstang area dialling code.

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  3. Sandra August 7, 2019 / 7:09 pm

    Sounds idyllic. I may have struggled with walking on the viaduct though! Safer in the boat!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shazza August 8, 2019 / 6:32 pm

    Looks a lovely thing to do. I’ve seen the aqueduct on my one and only bike ride on the cycle paths round there. Woh, that must have been a couple of years ago now. Time flies, though not on canal boats. X

    Liked by 1 person

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