Midweek Break boating holiday to Dewsbury - from Sowerby Bridge
Four night weekend break 30 miles 40 locks 21 hours
A midweek break which takes you down the sleepy Calder Valley, past Brighouse, home of the famous brass band.
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 route is largely on river navigations. In normal conditions the rivers are placid but in prolonged wet weather they can flow too fast for safe navigation. In such cases boats wait at safe moorings while flood water recedes - usually quite quickly.
Elland 3 miles 5 locks 3 hours
Arrive at our base in one of the 200-year old canal warehouses at Sowerby Bridge. After a thorough briefing, you set off, and travel along the side of the valley to Salterhebble Locks, where we meet you and take you through your first three locks. You then do another two locks on your own, hidden away in the trees. At Elland you have a choice of two canalside pubs, one with food, or lots more in the town up the hill - along with shops, takeaways and a Co-op supermarket. and of course good pubs and restaurants.
Dewsbury 12 miles 15 locks 8 hours
Next day you head down, past glimpses of lakes, to Brighouse, a busy small town with interesting shops and a Sainsbury's with its own moorings and of course good pubs and restaurants. From Brighouse you go down into the River Calder. Pass under a towering motorway viaduct, a reminder of the world you left behind - and who cares which motorway it is? The river provides a sweeping contrast to the canal cuts with which it alternates, as it winds its way down the wooded valley to Mirfield. The locks grow further apart and the whole landscape is gentler. A dramatic cutting leads to Double Locks (which are not joined). Turn left at the bottom and go along the short arm to Dewsbury Basin, where The Leggers pub awaits you. Ask whether you can moor in the basin - if not, there will be space on the arm or at the bottom of Double Locks. From the basin, it's quite a walk into the cntre of town.
Brighouse 9 miles 9 locks 5 hours
You could make a detour down through Mill Bank Lock to Figure of Three, to view the repair works to the lock which was damaged so badly by the immense force of water in the February floods. From Double Locks, return up the valley. Pause at Shepley Bridge for shopping, various pubs or the proper ironmonger's shop. Then carry on to Brighouse. Quiet moorings in the basin between the two locks, or outside Sainsbury's above. It's a very short walk into town, with good pubs and restaurants, two supermarkets and shops.
Salterhebble 4 miles 11 locks 4 hours
On your return journey, you can take in more details of this historically important navigation, significantly older than most of the canal system - partly designed by John Smeaton, of Eddystone Lighthouse fame. You have splendid views of the hills. At the top of the last lock, detour right along the short Halifax Arm, and overnight here (Brewer's Fayre and ordinary pub). From Salterhebble, you can take the bus up to Halifax; you should not miss the recently restored Piece Hall, where merchants used to buy and sell cloth, and you now have interesting little shops, and lots of events.
Sowerby Bridge Wharf 2 miles 0 locks 1 hour
A short sail without locks brings you back to base by 0900.
This trip gives you plenty to see and do, with the highlight of the Hepworth gallery.