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Customer blog

12 Sep

7 day out and back Sowerby Bridge to Castleford / Huddersfield

Posted by Trisha Duckworth

This was a week’s holiday from Sowerby Bridge. Due to lack of water our preferred routes were unavailable but actually this route proved both leisurely and interesting.

Picked the boat up at 1pm for the briefing.  Got underway at 2pm to wait at Salterhebble Locks for instruction.  Even if you have been on other canals before, this instruction is invaluable because the locks on this route are different.
Most of the locks were set for us so we made it to Brighouse by 6.30pm where we moored for the night.  We ate at Bellini’s Italian restaurant but there are many pubs and restaurants in Brighouse to choose from.

After a leisurely start we headed towards Mirfield.  The rain got steadily heavier and so we tied up just before Battyeford Lock.  We could then walk across the road bridge to the Pear Tree Inn where we enjoyed a roast dinner until the rain eased off.

We continued to the bottom of the Dewsbury Arm where we moored overnight.  A short walk along the Dewsbury Arm for a drink at Leggers before eating on board.


We continued towards Castleford, swapping between canal and river, which was interesting because of yesterday’s rainfall and having to carefully check the river water gauges before proceeding.  At lunchtime we tied up just before Fall Ing Lock and visited the Hepworth Museum in Wakefield for a bit of culture.  After the Stanley Ferry aqueducts and swing bridge we came across electric locks for the first time.

As it was a Bank Holiday, the Griffin pub in Castleford wasn’t serving food but the landlady happily directed us to various takeaways that were open.  After a Chinese takeaway on board, we visited the Griffin for a drink and a chat with other boaters.

The route leading to Castleford had seemed very busy with many boats, so we decided to turn back and head up the Huddersfield Broad Canal.  We stopped overnight again just before Double Locks and walked to the Nelson pub.  Not a huge menu but the landlady was very friendly, and a burger was just what I wanted that evening.

We stopped in Mirfield and looked around the town centre before shopping at the Co-Op to top up supplies.  In the afternoon we headed up the Huddersfield Broad.  The canal was very quiet but we saw many cyclists.  As it was the last week of the summer holidays, we came across several families out for walks, many of whom asked us how locks worked and what it was like living on a boat for a week.

After operating the electrified bridge No 17, we moored up at Aspley Basin.  We ate out in Huddersfield that night.  As a university town, there are many pubs and restaurants to choose from.

We spent the morning exploring Huddersfield, including the statue of Harold Wilson outside the train station, and walked to find the Huddersfield Narrow canal, which was closed to boats (until the following week) for lack of water.
In the afternoon we retraced our route back to the Calder and Hebble.  During our trip up and down the Huddersfield Broad, we didn’t see another moving boat.  It was very peaceful after the busyness of Castleford.  Moored overnight in Brighouse again and ate at Meze Restaurant.  Delicious food and with their midweek special offer it was great value, too.
Tied up in Elland for lunch and a walk around the town.  We continued back to the marina arriving about 5.30pm.  Ate at Firehouse Restaurant.  The town was very busy on a Friday night but they found a table for us.
Glad we were already at the marina and didn’t have to rush back for 9am.  An unexpected treat was seeing the annual Rushbearing Procession set off from Sowerby Bridge.  We had ringside seats at Gabriel’s Coffee Lounge while we ate breakfast outside in the sunshine.