No matter where you are in Wigan, it seems that you are never too far away from the canal. It just seems to form part of the fabric of the place, it's part of the town's DNA.
Now we have all seen the images of Wigan Pier and the industrial parts of the canal system, but just either side of all that there are some quite spectacular stretches of water that really do take you away from all the hustle and the bustle of daily life.
Just a stone's throw away from the industrial estates of Martland Mill lies the hamlet of Crooke, nestled right by the water as it passes out in the direction of Parbold and on towards its destination in Liverpool
There is a community living right on the canal bank and I captured this image on a lovely quiet and still day as the sun was just starting to take hold. The pure definition of tranquility.
On completely the opposite side of the town, to the north, the canal heads out towards East Lancashire and ultimately in bandit country in Leeds.
However, before it leaves us it passes through Haigh Country Park and then on out through the Red Rock area of Wigan. It's quite a remote part of the canal system, with hardly any road access here at all and rolling fields either side make it a great place to come and relax.
I shot this image on a late summer afternoon, just as the sun was dropping below the clouds to give us a spectacular skyline. The warmth of the sunshine and the complete quiet all around took you right away from the traffic and buzz of the town just a couple of miles away.
It is always great to get out to see the canals and to enjoy them, marveling at their construction and how they have stood the test of time.
Ane of course, every so often you come across something that just makes you smile.
I came across this one morning and it just made me laugh, not the greatest piece of recycling ever, but I suppose it wasn't smashed into a million pieces on the footpath or roadway, so every cloud and all that.
There are lots more images of the canal that I have taken out on my travels and if you are interested you can view them on "the canal" page in my gallery.