Still following the canal towpath, I arrived at the Dock Lane swing bridge - the first of several on this stretch. It used to lead to a dry dock, now infilled and built on. You might recall that back in February (HERE) I mentioned a new housing development that had just been started here, called Swanside. I was interested to see that it is taking shape and people have already moved into some of the homes that look onto the canal, though the whole development is far from finished. What I'd call 'terraced houses' the developers call 'mews', though they look quite pleasant.
The photo above is taken from almost the same spot as the first image in my February blog post. There used to be a modern factory building here. Perhaps there is more demand these days for houses than factories, or maybe it is down to what the town planners decree.
Beyond the building site, there's a railway bridge and then another swing bridge known as Oddie's Bridge. (Boaters work hard on this canal!) There weren't many people about. I passed a few dog walkers and a couple of cyclists and a jogger passed me.
Some colourful canal boats brightened the scene, perhaps moored up for the winter. This one was for sale, offers over £10,000. Interested?
It's getting a bit more rural now. Looking back, you can perhaps spot the railway bridge in the distance.
Even though most of the leaves have now fallen, it's surprising what colour there is when the sun shines and picks out the oranges and yellows, with the blue sky reflected in the water.
Another swing bridge! This one carries Buck Mill Lane over the canal. Beyond and on the right bank there's an area of protected woodland known as Buck Wood. It has a rich history, explored on the Friends of Buck Wood website HERE. In Edwardian times (1908), an innovative open-air school was built here, to rehabilitate children made sick by the squalor of the inner-city slums. It closed at the outbreak of WWII in 1939, having helped some of the city's poorest children. Read more about it HERE. It's interesting.
From this point, the canal takes a sweeping curve to the right, through the woods, and there is a three rise lock known as Field Locks. But by now, I'd walked for over an hour, so I decided it was time to turn for home. Conveniently, following Buck Mill Lane to the left took me down to the River Aire in the valley bottom.