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Yorkshire canal adventure holidays

For experienced boaters

Canal adventure holidays on the northern waterways - Sprotborough

One Way Map 14 or 21 Day Trip

If you like serious boating, long hours and have lots of experience, then we have some challenges for you.

Our One Way trip via Wigan is specially demanding, as is the Cheshire Question Mark.

Have a look also at some of these:

7 night adventure trips

Rochdale

Yorkshire boating holiday, Lock 46, Rochdale Canal Yorkshire canal holiday, Lock 49, Rochdale Canal

42 miles 98 locks 45 hours

This enables you to cross the summit, the second highest (just) in England at 600’.
Leaving our historic canal basin, your journey begins with the excitement of a new tunnel and the deepest lock in the country. The canal gradually climbs through woods, fields and small stone towns to Hebden Bridge. This old mill town nestles in a fork in the hills, houses piled tier upon tier. Hebden has excellent shops and is full of surprises - everything from horsey clothing to hand-made pottery. Untie, and go on up the valley, its sides closing in with crags and trees and views of the moors high above. A stream runs alongside, and the locks are set among woods or stone cottages. The Pennine Way crosses at Callis.
So to Todmorden, completely untouristy yet with much to enjoy - fine Victorian buildings, especially the Town Hall, a lively market and many places to eat and drink, all dominated by a curving railway viaduct.
From here the going gets serious – more Alpine than Pennine. Pass the Great Wall of Todmorden, go under a splendidly overdone Gothic railway bridge, then stop at the Cross Keys (much recommended). Go on to the summit, a spectacular gap in the hills. Pause at the Summit Inn, your first in Lancashire, before making the steep drop into Littleborough, 12 locks in 2 miles. Turn near the railway station, or possibly go on past Clegg Hall (a Grade 1 listed restored ruin) and through the edge of Rochdale - already surprisingly sylvan - and to its centre. Turn just below Lock 50.

Navigation notes

This journey is recommended for experienced crews only. The western half of the Rochdale Canal is not yet in as good condition as other canals and you may experience difficulty or delays. Some of the locks can be hard work. We will give further details in the Route Companion posted to you in good time before your holiday. Lock 50 is the practical limit for an out and back trip of a week.

Bingley

Yorkshire canal holiday, Bingley 5 Rise Mooring at Saltaire

110 miles 118 locks 55 hours

Sail down the leafy Calder & Hebble Navigation past Brighouse, and through wide river sections and narrow cuttings to Wakefield, where there are good moorings not too far from the bright lights. Then on to Stanley Ferry to see the famous aqueducts and two very convenient and contrasting pubs.
You are now on the Aire & Calder, which is still a thriving commercial waterway, though there are now many more pleasure boats than barges. Electric locks and a wide channel help you speed (relatively) round to Leeds, where you sail past the regenerated waterfront.
Then join the Leeds & Liverpool Canal which quickly escapes along its own way through fields and woods, with spectacular views of old West Riding industry - particularly Sir Titus Salt's Italianate mills and model town at Saltaire, with its Hockney museum. There are several staircase locks along the way, which culminate in the Five Rise Locks at Bingley, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways.

14 night adventure trips

Sheffield

Sprotbrough Lock Sheffield Canal Basin

158 miles 114 locks 70 hours

Not an obvious holiday destination, but a fascinating canal journey through a rapidly rejuvenating area to the newly restored basin near the city centre. Enthusiasts enthuse; try it. Not so many locks, and many of them are electric, but still quite a long return journey.

Goole

Yorkshire boating holiday, Lock 46, Rochdale Canal Yorkshire canal holiday, Lock 49, Rochdale Canal

105 miles 70 locks 50 hours

This takes you to Goole Docks, where you can take a guided boat tour to see the ships.
Travel down the Calder & Hebble Navigation to Wakefield, and take time to visit the Hepworth. Then on to Stanley Ferry and down the Wakefield DYke (properly 'Branch') of the Aire & Calder Navigation to join its main line at Castleford. Stop to see the curving Millennium Bridge across the river, and visit the flour mill museum. Keep on through Ferrybridge, where so much coal used to come by boats to feed the mighty power stations. Through Knottingley, and the canal becomes astonishingly remote, with enormous skies stretching over the flat, rural landscape. Eventually you arrive in Goole, and moor near the Sobriety Project, a waterways museum run by and for people being helped to overcome challenges in their lives.
Goole is a canal town, built from nothing by the Aire & Calder to make a port at the furthest inland point where ships could come up the tidal Aire, one of the three great rivers which combine to form the Humber Estuary. You can see many buildings from that period, and examples of the fixed and (astonishingly) floating cranes which lifted the Tom Puddings (square barges or 'pans') which brought coal in long snaking trains to be lifted into ships, for coastwise transport to the power stations of London. You are not allowed to take your boat into the docks, but hitch a lift on one of the museum's excellent guided boat trips. You may see ships unloading, and if you're lucky see one coming through Ocean Lock, or catch Exol Pride bringing oil from the refineries at Immingham to Rotherham.

Navigation notes

You need to be sure not to cross the invisible line into ABP's dock. Stop by the Sobriety Project or Goole Boathouse.

Liverpool

Liverpool Docks Liverpool Docks

From Barnoldswick base: 164 miles 104 locks 80 hours, plus 14 miles 14 locks 8 hours for Rufford Branch

See the western side of the Leeds & Liverpool, culminating in the magnificence of Albert Dock. Quiet moorings here are a short walk from the city centre with shops, culture and more shops. Tate North and the Maritime Museum are actually in the dock where you moor. On the way back, take time to see the Rufford Branch.

Navigation notes

Your passage into Liverpool is supervised, and must be booked well in advance (Canal & River Trust, Wigan 03030 404040). You will need additional information from us about your boat. Only certain days of the week are available in each direction.

This holiday is only available on boats based at Barnoldswick.

York and Ripon

Ripon Basin Moorings on the River Ouse at York

189 miles 82 locks 70 hours

Sail down the leafy Calder & Hebble Navigation past Brighouse, and through wide river sections and narrow cuttings to Wakefield, where there are good moorings not too far from the bright lights. Then on to Stanley Ferry to see the famous aqueducts and two very convenient and contrasting pubs.
You are now on the Aire & Calder, which is still a thriving commercial waterway, though there are now many more pleasure boats than barges. Electric locks and a wide channel help you speed to Castleford; keep on the main line of the Aire & Calder Navigation towards Knottingley. This section briefly passes through an industrial hinterland, but is full of interest because much water-borne freight comes through - in barges, push-tows and tankers. At Bank Dole you leave the main line and its electric locks, to drop into the Aire as it winds through farmland, stopping occasionally at pretty brick-built villages. And so to Selby, where you can explore the ancient Abbey and market.
Then enter the tidal Ouse, and go up to Naburn, where you leave the tidal section. Go on up the river to moor in the very centre of York. Having seen all you can of the city, go on to Ripon, newly restored and the northernmost point on the waterways.

Navigation notes

Necessitating a passage on the tidal Ouse, this trip is available only to very experienced crews subject to our stringent conditions and consent. Crews should allow a minimum of two weeks for this trip, to cover possible waiting time. Only available May to September and in stable, dry weather. Customers must be prepared to take a different route if in our judgement wet weather makes the Ouse likely to flood. You will require our York Pack for details.

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Liverpool - Customer Reviews

"Our chosen route surpassed our expectations, and we recommend it to other boaters. The scenery was very varied and much more rural than we expected since we went through several former industrial towns. An amazing entrance to Liverpool. Dressers Arms (Wheelton) highly recommended. Take bus in Liverpool!" - Mr Glover, Somerset

Buxworth - Customer Reviews

"Scenery delightul, especially top of Huddersfield Narrow. Surprisingly secluded considering proximity to towns & cities." - Mrs Kemp, Worcester

Sheffield - Customer Reviews

"All very green even through Doncaster to Sheffield." - Mr Mach, Hereford



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