After five years on a narrowboat, I’ve finally reached the end of the canal network

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A quest to find the long-lost Cumbria stretch of the Lancaster Canal turns into an adventure in ‘extreme narrowboating’

“Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, it was possible to travel all over England, north, south, east and west, by river and canal; there was not a county you could not visit, hardly a town you could not reach by water, if you liked and if you were not (and what lover of boats and rivers ever was or will be?) in any particular hurry to get there.”
William Bliss, The Heart of England by Waterway (1933)

This is the end. I can’t go any further. I’ve come as far as possible; to the northernmost limit; the same latitude as Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula and parts of Alaska. It’s taken me years to reach here by boat. But in case you wonder, I’m not floating in pack ice in the Arctic; I’m in northern Lancashire, on the border with Cumbria at 54 degrees north, at today’s northernmost limit of the navigable network of inland waterways of England and Wales.

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