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How many of these scenic canal spots have you visited?

Take a look at ten beautiful images that were voted highly for their scenic qualities in our Rate this Scene study and discover how many you've been to.

Delph Locks

We've been asking you to get involved in our science of scenic beauty study and take part in our Rate this Scene research project.

And you have, in your thousands. We've had over 10,000 uploads of our wonderful canals, and over 780,000 votes.

The Data Science Lab team at the University of Warwick are already crunching the data and looking into exactly what it is about the pictures that prompted you to score them so highly for their scenic qualities. However, in order to increase the accuracy of the analysis, we need more votes cast and more photos uploaded, so we've brought Rate this Scene back for 2022.

The outcomes from all of the votes will, over time, help us to protect what's important to you and improve our canals and rivers in areas where its most needed.

Whilst we gather more data, why not take a look at the ten highest rated scenic pictures from last year. Are there any you recognise? How many have you been to?

1. Huddersfield Narrow Canal

This picturesque image was captured near Mossley in Tameside, Greater Manchester. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal scales the Pennines and its summit is the highest stretch of canal in Britain.

It is also home to Britain's longest, deepest, highest canal tunnel, the mighty Standedge Tunnel.

Photo credit: Huddersfield Canal Mossley

Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Mossley

2. Lodgefield Bridge, Staffordshire

Bridge No. 102 is a former accommodation bridge over the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, a 46 mile stretch of water that runs through softly undulating West Midlands countryside and skirts round the edges of Birmingham.

Photo credit: Roger Kidd

Bridge 102, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

3. Bridge 156, Powys

Meandering through the Welsh countryside, the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is one of our most beautiful and peaceful waterways following the line of the Usk Valley through the Brecon Beacons National Park.

You can enjoy a family day out close by and see the wonderful sites of Brecon Basin, Llangynidr locks or Goytre Wharf, with its historic limekilns. Pop in for a snack at Pontymoile or any of the numerous canal side pubs or cafes.

Photo credit: John Duckfield

Trees line the canal leading to a bridge and reflect in the water

4. Brows Bridge, Glasson Branch (Lancaster Canal)

Alongside an impressive variety of birdlife in the winter, the Glasson Branch of the Lancaster Canal affords lovely views across Morecambe Bay to the high fells of the Lake District.

Photo credit: Karl and Ali

Brows Bridge, Glasson Branch Canal

5. Shropshire Union Canal, near Wheaton Aston

The Shropshire Union Canal is a charmingly rural and isolated waterway for much of its length, and a great place to take time out.

The canal ends at Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum, where, alongside its fascinating collection of historic working boats, you can discover interesting facts and stories through our new QR Audio Trail.

Photo credit: Paul Buckingham

Shropshire Union Canal, near Wheaton Aston

6. Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet Avon Canal

The 16 locks that form the steepest part of the flight at Caen Hill are a scheduled ancient monument, and are one of our seven wonders of the waterway.

Here, you can become a wildlife explorer and follow our Caen Hill Locks Trail. Hunt for minibeasts, spot dragonflies, collect leaves and look out for birds as you go.

Photo credit: Steve Daniels

Empty lock below a flight of locks, lined by trees along the towpath.

7. Meadow Bridge, No 99, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

This pretty autumnal scene gives the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal its second spot in your ten most scenic images from our Rate this Scene game.

Why not get artsy whilst the leaves are still falling and head out to gather your own cosy snaps?

Photo credit: Roger Kidd

Meadow Bridge, No 99, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

8. Delph Locks, Dudley No 1 Canal

The Dudley No.1 Canal joins the Stourbridge Canal at Delph Flight. Raised water overflow points on the locks create spectacular waterfalls when the canal is high in water.

This flight is known as Delph Nine Locks, although there are actually only eight, since it was rebuilt in 1858. When you're there, you can still spot the overgrown remains of the old flight.

Photo credit: David M Lear

Delph Locks on the Dudley No 1 Canal

9. Red Rock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Red Rock moorings are situated along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and prove to be a serene place to be when the sun is setting.

A well-loved link between the bustling cities of Liverpool and Leeds, this 127-mile canal is a doorstep destination for many, offering a slice of rural tranquility just a stone's throw away from busy urban areas.

Photo credit: Dave Green

Red Rock moorings, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

10. Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

Gaining a second spot in your top ten, this oasis of calm along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal oozes relaxation and peace.

The Mon & Brec is a haven for wildlife and a favourite with nature-lovers, walkers and cyclists. The northern section forms part of the Taff Trail Long Distance Footpath, a 55 mile route that can be walked or cycled, starting at Brecon Basin and ending in Cardiff.

Photo credit: Alan Jones

Sun shines through trees lining the canal

Discover beauty on your doorstep

Did you enjoy looking at these beautiful pictures?

These ten images are just a snapshot of some of the scenic areas in our canal network. You may not have spotted your favourite doorstop destination, but all areas across England and Wales made it into the top 50. With 30,000 images up for rating, that's pretty impressive.

If these areas featured are a little far for you to visit, you can always see what's local to you and discover the beauty on your doorstep.

Rate this Scene

Don't forget, you can still use our Rate this Scene tool and vote for what you find beautiful. Just click on the box below.

Last Edited: 13 May 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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