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Out & back boating holiday into the Pennines - to Walsden

Narrow boat near Todmorden

25 miles 62 locks 25 hours

One Way Map Seven night holiday

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). Keep on to Lock 32, above which you can turn and moor up. Walk on to the summit, a spectacular gap in the hills.

Navigation notes

This is one example of routes which our customers enjoy. Distances and times shown are for the return trip. You can vary the distance to suit you, because there are plenty of turning points ('winding holes') marked in the guides on your boat. Information we provide about specific waterways or suggested routes is for general reference only. Please see more about route availability.

This journey has a lot of locks but is well worth the effort. The reason for turning at Lock 32 is that it's the last practical winding hole before the summit. Passage onto the summit is sometimes only permitted for boats making the onward passage to Littleborough.

This trip gives you time for walks, the pub or simply to sit and unwind.

Lock training with Shire Cruisers, Sowerby Bridge

Instruction, Lock 1

Mytholmroyd, Rochdale Canal


Brearley, Rochdale Canal

Feeding the ducks

Brearley, Rochdale Canal


Hebden Bridge boat hire with Shire Cruisers, Rochdale Canal

Hebden Bridge

Lob Mill near Todmorden, Rochdale Canal

Lob Mill

Boating near Todmorden, Rochdale Canal


The Great Wall of Tod

The Great Wall of Tod

Copperas near Todmorden, Rochdale Canal


Walsden near Todmorden, Rochdale Canal


How to Book

Use this form to check availability. When you find the boat you want, click 'Book this holiday now' and you can pay your deposit or hold for 48 hours - or ring 01422 832712.

The counties are the names of the boats, not where they start from! Click the map for routes, and the boat for details

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Trip Reviews

"Walkleys Clogs - very interesting & a very helpful man there. Highly recommended. Sweet shop - Hebden Bridge. Excellent toyshop/museum in Todmorden (also a wonderful antique/junk shop). Lots of good pubs. Walked to the high reservoirs." - Dr Siklos

"Wild deer on wooded side of canal. Ate at White Hart in Todmorden. Really good food. Ate at Stubbing Wharf which is also good then cinema in Hebden Bridge." - Mrs Wade, Norfolk

"Again we had a great time - it's the best feeling moving slowly through the beautiful Calder Valley. we had a friend come down through 2 locks with us & she loved it too." - Ms Green, Norfolk

"The landscape was brilliant. All the people we met were very friendly. We cycled on the towpath which was very good and well maintained." - Mrs Wragg, Cambridge

"Thoroughly enjoyed. Met loads of people - boaters & non boaters." - Ms Collins, Devon

"Scenery, people excellent. Walk to Hardcastle Crags & Heptonstall really nice. Did 10 mile circular walk featured in Richlow Guide & a 9 mile circular walk from Todmorden to Stoodley Pike. Liked Hebden Bridge, also Grandma Pollard's pies." - Mr Rolliston, Stafford

"Absolutely fabulous! Great pubs, great beer, great food. Very friendly people everywhere we went. Rained only at night (thanks!)." - Mr Donovan, Buckingham

"Varied - some industrial, beautiful rural scenery. People very friendly & welcoming. pubs excellent, low cost, home cooked meals, reasonable locality to canal. Stoodley Pike walk from Bridge 25, walked to Summit from Lock 30. Took bus to Heptonstall from Hebden Bridge." - Mrs Jackson, Worcester

"Very scenic canal. We loved Stubbing Wharf pub. Excellent value, lovely food. It really helped, going up with a 'lock buddy'. We met some true characters!" - Mrs Thompson, Norfolk

"Scenery breathtaking, especially at the summit. People very friendly, whether in restaurants, pubs, or boaters. Loved the restaurants and coffee bars in Hebden Bridge." - Mr Sedgewick, Oxford

"Markets in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden worth visiting for bread, cheese, vegetables and fish. Walkers along towpath at locks friendly." - Jane Stevens, Huntingdon

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