Epic five years towpaths walk

Published: Monday, 16 October 2017

A FATHER together with his daughter has just completed what can only be described as an epic walk of five years from London to Bolton along the waterway towpaths.

It all started five years ago from their Limehouse home in February 2012 and recently finished in Bolton where they were both born, Alan Tilbury reports.

Around 300 miles

Lucy Hopkins and her father Ian clocked around 300 miles of towpath walking, with it all starting as being an adventurous  'something to do', with one, two and three days stints over the years, always starting from where they left off simply rambling northwards.

The first stint was from Limehouse to Camden Lock, and then carried on together when they had time to spare, with it all starting as a bit of fun when they saw each other, Lucy being away from home for long periods travelling Europe as a performer, she explaining:

Little by little

"We did it little by little, and would always pick up exactly where we left off to ensure that we walked the whole way. It was a bit of a pilgrimage back to our roots."

Leaving the Thames on to the Regents Canal they then took the Grand Union all the way to the Trent, then the Trent & Mersey and Bridgewater canals, ending along the mainly disused Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal to eventually arrive at Bolton five years after they first started.


On completing the walk, the duo celebrated with a meal and drink at Ye Olde Man and Scythe pub, where Ian, a member of the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal Society, drank in his youth.

Of the epic journey Lucy commented:

"Each stretch of the canal has been really different and there are some really beautiful parts. It was really interesting trekking the country, going deep into England.

"It has been great to spend time together and we are really proud of our achievement."