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Leeds & Liverpool Canal routes

Leeds & Liverpool Canal Routes - from Kildwick

Updated 15 August 2018:
The current water shortage has forced Canal & River Trust to close all the locks on the eastern side of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. For the next few weeks we won't be able to use our normal base at Barnoldswick, so we have set up a new temporary one at Kildwick - about twelve miles to the east. This gives you relaxing cruising in beautiful scenery around the market town of Skipton.
Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Thorlby

Skipton Pool Relaxation 34 miles 0 locks 10 hours

One Way Map

A quiet cruise through glorious scenery on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, with pretty villages and the market town of Skipton, plus lots of good walks. There are no locks on this route - instead you have lots of swing bridges!
Leaving our base, head westwards towards Gargrave, through pasture land on the edge of Airedale. Turn just below Holme Bridge, on the edge of Gargrave. The Masons Arms in the village is worth the walk. For a longer walk, catch the bus from Gargrave to Malham, then do a three hour circular walk taking in Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet's Foss waterfall.
Then go back, and moor in Skipton. The Castle is an essential visit, and the town has excellent shops, a thriving market, good pubs and restaurants (including renowned fish & chips just by the canal) and a proper cinema.
After Skipton, keep along the side of the valley, passing the pretty village of Kildwick and the rather larger Silsden. Eventually you pass through green space above Keighley, to arrive at the top of Bingley 5 rise locks. There are moorings here, and a turning point. Walk down the flight, the tallest staircase in Britain - an astonishing feat of engineering, working now exactly as intended when it was built two centuries ago.
On your return trip, visit East Riddlesden Hall, a small National Trust house (Bridge 197A). From Bridge 197, you can catch a 662 bus to Keighley Station, and take the steam train to Haworth - walk up the narrow cobbled street to the Bronte Parsonage Museum. The same bus in the other direction will take you to Saltaire, a huge mill complex, with substantial model village for its workers. Its creator was Sir Titus Salt. The streets of the village are named after his many children and grand-children. Sir Titus built a church for his particular brand of non-conformism. He was a strict tee-totaller, so he created a large and impressive educational institute, but no pubs... Today you can explore some of the buildings. See an interesting video about the rise and fall of the mills, an amazing kitchen shop, an excellent bookshop, a not-to-miss Diner - and a display of work by local lad David Hockney. Also visit Cliffe castle in Keighley, the home of another Victorian textile tycoon, Henry Butterfield. For more train trips, take the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway (start by bus from Skipton coach park - or vintage bus on certain days). And don't miss Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle Railway - you can plan a day with visits to Dent or Appleby. Not to mention proper cinemas such as the Plaza, Skipton (right by the canal) or Odeon Keighley

Kildwick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Our pop-up base at Kildwick

Kildwick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Historic boat Kennet at Kildwick

Thorlby, Leeds & Liverpool Canal


Skipton, Leeds & Liverpool Canal


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Short break from Barnoldswick - Customer Reviews

"Delightful scenery, peaceful. Other boaters & walkers very helpful & friendly. Gargrave village charming & good place to restock provisions." - Mr Rushworth, Warwick

"Everyone on the waterways was very friendly! and helpful. Beautiful scenery. Woolly Sheep Inn in Skipton was excellent. " - Ms Galton, Leicester

"Thanks for a great break. We had a terrific time and met some great people on the way. The staff at Barnoldswick were efficient, friendly and very professional. Special thanks to Sam for the help and advice given to my wife who is a non-swimmer and first time boater. Our trip East out of Barnoldswick was everything we could have asked for. We paired up with two different boats for most our lock transits on outr trip and on the final morning after an early start my wife worked the locks at Greenberfield single handedly thanks to the initial instructions from Sam and the help of the other boaters on our previous two days. We are bitten by the bug and will definitely be back again. " - Mr & Mrs Crook, Warwick

"Everyone friendly. The pub at East Marton (Cross Keys) was very friendly. Took the dessert home! The lock keeper at Greenberfield Locks was amazing." - Mr McCarthy, Somerset

"Very relaxing." - Mr & Mrs Nuttall, Dorset

"Fun active holiday with beautiful scenery en route. Fellow travellers helpful. Masons Arms substantial, good reasonably priced food." - Mrs Gregory, Somerset

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