Rodley to Shipley – 27th April 2018
After being dropped off again in Rodley, we set off westwards past the Owl Swing Bridge towards Apperley Bridge. We’d been forecast heavy rain, but it was only light at this point. It wasn’t to last! The railway hugged the canal for a while then we turned south and reached Apperley Bridge Marina on the far bank. There were a number of newer housing developments here. Just after Dobson’s Locks we came to Toby’s Tea Room for a snack and a rest. It was named after a horse, not the owner and had a number of gazebos where we could sit with our snacks. As we walked on, the canal turned north to wind round the hill at Thackley. Here the railway line cuts through the hill in a two mile tunnel. A couple of large canoes were being paddled towards Apperley Bridge by four man crews. They had to duck to pass under the swing bridges! We then followed round to the south after the three rise locks at Field and the rain became heavier. Just to our right is the village of Esholt which was the outside location for Emmerdale Farm from 1976 to 1996. The River Aire is again parallel to the canal into Shipley. After Oddies Swing Bridge we see the junction to the now filled in Bradford Canal. The rain now became very heavy and we had hail for a short spell. We were glad to see the clock tower of Shipley come into view and soon reached our hotel from the towpath. After removing over-trousers and boots we retired to the Noble Comb for lunch.