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Midweek Break boating holiday to Wakefield - from Sowerby Bridge

For everyone

Midweek boating break to Wakefield on the Calder & Hebble Navigation

Yorkshire Canal Map Four night weekend break 42 miles 52 locks 27 hours

A midweek break which takes you down the sleepy Calder Valley to Wakefield, where you can visit the Hepworth gallery - or go shopping....

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 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.


Lock instruction with Shire Cruisers Boating near Halifax on the Calder & Hebble Navigation

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.


Mirfield on the Calder & Hebble Navigation Broad Cut near Wakefield

Broad Cut 15 miles 19 locks 10 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) and Figure of Three (which is two locks) before you end up at Broad Cut, with pleasant moorings outside the Navigation (which does pub food till late, 7 days).


Thornes, near Wakefield, on the River Calder in Yorkshire Working the locks on the Calder & Hebble Navigation

Shepley Bridge 12 miles 12 locks 6 hours

Carry on, and soon you are in Wakefield. You can moor right outside the stunning new Hepworth Wakefield, with sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and changing contemporary works. If you don't fancy the culture injection, there's fantastic shopping in town. Turn and start back, stopping overnight at Shepley Bridge.


Battye Ford near Mirfield, boating on the Calder & Hebble Navigation Brookfoot near Elland on the Calder & Hebble Navigation

Salterhebble 10 miles 16 locks 7 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).


Tuel Tunnel Lock, Sowerby Bridge Sowerby Bridge Wharf

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.

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.

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Trip Reviews

"Everyone we met was very friendly & helpful. The waterways (to Wakefield) were much less industrial than expected. Very green and luscious with many herons & kingfishers." the Masters - Worcester

"Picture postcard weather & loved the blend of country, town, industry & wildlife. Everyone really friendly & real cameraderie with other Shire's users. Pubs mixed (Colliers Arms - 5*). just loved the meandering & all things canal." - Slater - Devon

"Beautiful scenery, very friendly helpful people." - Mrs Nozedar, Buckingham

"The scenery was a mixture of urban and woodland. People were always keen to help whether at locks or where to find somewhere to eat." - Joanne, Suffolk

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