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Byline: Paul Routledge

A HOSEPIPE ban I can understand, but shutting Britain's longest canal because of the drought up 'ere? It's done nowt but rain lately, yet British Waterways has closed the most scenic 60-mile section of the Leeds and Liverpool canal between Wigan Pier (yes, it does exist) and Gargrave in North Yorkshire.

An indefinite shutdown at the height of the tourist season is hitting boat businesses and holidaymakers alike. And if rainfall of biblical proportions doesn't come, the Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow canals may also have to close.

Fortunately, the towpaths are still open. The 200 year-old Leeds and Liverpool, which crosses the Pennines in its 130-mile length, is fantastic for walking or cycling.

One of these days I'm going to ride the whole distance on my trusty Raleigh Arena, which is so old it still has trade union stickers on it dating from the 1980s campaign against Thatcher's laws.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 6, 2010
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