Skipton Canal Basin, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Skipton Canal Basin, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

The Yorkshire Canal network with the two great North and South Pennine Rings is one of the most popular leisure waterway networks in Britain. Whether you explore them via tow paths on foot and two wheels or on a canal boat holiday or short break, canals are a great way to explore the region's landscapes and history. The navigable river and canal network in Yorkshire winds through some of the county’s great cities including Leeds and York, and past some of Yorkshire’s most famous attractions including World Heritage Site Saltaire along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Royal Armouries alongside the Aire & Calder Navigation in Leeds city centre.

Canalsides are also where to head for many great festivals and events like Skipton’s annual Waterways Festival. Wonders of Britain’s canals also feature on the network like the long Standedge Tunnel cut through the Pennines at Marsden near Huddersfield and the ultimate lock challenge – the Five-Rise Locks at Bingley.

Five-Rise Locks, Bingley - Leeds & Liverpool Canal (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mgspiller/375947692/in/photolist-3bMPqb-3bHmr2-5fQkHr-zdQ9L-zdQtz-4vVS3H-cXkHUh-cXkLn5-cXkKwu-cXkJKs-cXkGUU-4w14vb-8SUc5o-5fUG6d-aC9RbJ-5Afr2s-5Afr2m-CNfig-aWi5tp-aKBJ8p-boTUEt-boWCut-boXS1a-bp12K2-boTXA4-boVpFz-boXgsg-boVvAt-boZcjZ-5Abkox-5Abkov-5Afr2C-5AbkoB-5Afr2w-boTwHp-boTzUP-5Afr2d-AJyET-AJwu8-AJwub-AJwu5-AJyEV-x5wNX-aKBHsp-aKBGJ2-s74jx-s74jD-s74jJ-4vVqdt-aCLKQa)

Five-Rise Locks, Bingley - Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Skipton, Bingley & Saltaire

The North’s canal star is the 127 mile long Leeds & Liverpool Canal (longer if you include canal branches!). The Yorkshire section between Skipton and Bingley was the first lock free stretch to be opened in the 1770s. Today the Leeds & Liverpool is the backbone of the Pennine Rings, incredibly popular for canal boat holidays and short breaks. Top spots along the canal include Skipton on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales with its breathtaking canal basin, site for a popular annual waterways festival and where to pick up day boat trips. Bingley and Saltaire, two locations close to each other in West Yorkshire are other highlights. At Bingley sits canal wonder, the Five-Rise Locks and at Saltaire the canal flanks World Heritage Site Salts Mill, a waterways hub hosting numerous festivals and events.

Stubbing Wharf boat trips on the Rochdale Canal, Hebden Bridge

Stubbing Wharf boat trips on the Rochdale Canal, Hebden Bridge

Rochdale Canal – Hebden Bridge & Todmorden

One of three Pennine canal crossings, the 33 mile long Rochdale Canal from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge is a favourite Yorkshire Canal with many offering some of the most pleasurable boat cruises and tow path walking and cycling experiences particularly around Calderdale towns Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. Striking canal features are at Todmorden where canal meets railway at the ‘Great Wall of Todmorden’. The canalside at Hebden Bridge is a picturesque scene of waterfront inns and moored canal boats.

Clarence Dock & the Royal Armouries, Aire & Calder Navigation, Leeds

Clarence Dock & the Royal Armouries, Aire & Calder Navigation, Leeds

Aire & Calder Navigation - Leeds

The River Aire first became navigable to Leeds in 1700, and quickly became a commercial success story, transporting coal out from the mighty Yorkshire coalfields. The great Aire & Calder Navigation stretches from Leeds to Castleford (10 miles/5 locks) and on to Wakefield (17 ½ miles/10 locks). It connects with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at River Lock in Leeds city centre near the station.

Today the leisure hub of the Aire & Calder is around Clarence Dock overlooked by the Royal Armouries Museum and flanked by shops, restaurants and renovated canal warehouses with luxury apartments. The canal tow path from Leeds to Mickletown is part of the Trans Pennine Trail, easily accessed from Leeds city centre near the Corn Exchange. A bridge leads across to Brewery Wharf where you'll find waterfront inns and restaurants always bustling in summer.

Sowerby Bridge Wharf (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/108700614@N04/12860298834/in/photolist-7nAs9b-bRNSJt-48QA1S-9ij2bm-9nXQyr-ckyt9f-4SqWbW-kAqoNf-kAqntG-kAowDP-9iRfN4-ncT2tE-kAqiGJ-kAofba-kApZrL-kAoip2-8Xct1W-48Qy1L-48LBvz-48LvRF-kAsTwo-kAostV-kAq7xE-kAojAk-kAtryi-kAnUZV-48LAjp-kAv8jv-kAwRy8-kAqA5p-48Lvb8-kAqNmP-kAqaCN-kAoxFi-kAsioz-kAo9xM-kAwPoV-kAtL6D-kAz2pq-kAtqYn-kAtHJe-kAwtTe-kAwtb2-kAt7oM-kAqPYK-kAxfh3-kAv9P4-kAqWr4-kAv7zp-kAv1YV)

Sowerby Bridge Wharf

Calder & Hebble Navigation - Sowerby Bridge

The success of the Aire & Calder Navigation triggered pressure for improvements around Wakefield and the broad cut Calder & Hebble, mostly a river navigation, was then built, becoming operational to Sowerby Bridge in the 1770s. The father of canal construction, James Brindley was an advisor to the project and today it is West Yorkshire’s Sowerby Bridge basin near Halifax (also a meeting point for the Rochdale Canal) which is the major hub for leisure craft and the start of many a canal boat holiday or short break. Sowerby Bridge affords easy access onto the North and South Pennine canal rings. Some of the UK’s most spectacular canal architecture and some wonderful canalside real ale inns are down here in the valley at Sowerby Bridge. Shire Cruisers on The Wharf offer canal boat hire.

Standedge Tunnel, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Marsden (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewfarquhar/1243676848/in/photolist-7hzE6j-ayLrdU-ayLrjW-89Htd7-89Ee2r-ayLD3f-ayLE5N-ayJ3jg-ayHWQD-ayHXbZ-ayHXFz-ayJ27x-ayHYrK-ayLFbS-ayJ2F8-ayHZAt-7hN2xG-ayLB4W-ayLvHu-ayHVnD-ayLuxS-ayLy3W-ayLuXo-ayHR8K-5WG8tx-2TUaNh-2TUbnQ-89EdJ6-5XZ7gf-89Ed9F-89Ed1Z-89HsBY-89Hsad-89HsMf-89HsVj-5BbSsV-5WFUk6-4CAy9m-5XZ82h-8heQsE-5WFRtx-5WFZvK-5WFXV8-89Ef8F-4CwenF-5DUHHw-2TTZzG-nf8fum-nfqmR1-89Huju)

Standedge Tunnel, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Marsden

Huddersfield Canals – Marsden & Huddersfield

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal stretches for 20 miles from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire to Ashton under Lyne, Greater Manchester. Navigable to leisure craft since 2001, this beautiful Yorkshire narrow canal passes through wild Pennine moorland. Top spots along its route include Pennine town Marsden home to the River Top Brewery, independent shops and a stunning Victorian Mechanics building all overlooked by mighty Marsden Moor.

Visit the Standedge Tunnel visitor centre with 30 minute guided boat trips through the 3 mile long tunnel under the Pennines – one of the great wonders of Britain’s canal network. The Huddersfield Broad Canal running through the centre of Huddersfield is only around 4 miles long and connects the Narrow canal to the Calder and Hebble Navigation.

York Boat on the River Ouse from Lendal Bridge (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allan_harris/6806113359/in/photolist-679Sde-fFGDQh-DrgU-66B6AW-bnr7o4-fFpcGM-9D13cy-nyFEzc-91VdBz-9gX9pg-98Ssw2-9CX8Ea-CqDk2-chmgQu-xwmKk-xwmGM-9gWYoM-cubp6E-fquSNh-fqgBKc-ao4DyP-dw532c-f6uEo-eDuCTq-dwazAG-fqg4Nk-fFFUxj-cubo5C-deBsVP-deuvBU-dwazxY-9c9AC2-deBsG5-9Jsd1d-fFpaV2-deuAsi-Drzo-deBunt-fs8jFV-fs8jYT-2T7Mrs-deBu7z-cubr7E-aeYtcZ-dDdbhC-deBueH-cubtmf-cubpUU-cubp3S-cubpd5)

York Boat on the River Ouse from Lendal Bridge

South Yorkshire Navigations – York, Ripon & Selby

A magical mix of navigable rivers and canals culminate at historic York where the River Ouse, navigable since Viking settlement, runs through the heart of the city passing pretty Rowntree Park. Upstream the Ouse flows into the River Ure, joining the Swale Navigation. One of the best ways to see York is by boat trip along the Ouse - York Boat offer daily boat trips from February to November from city centre landings at King's Staith and Lendal Bridge.

Canals proper around York include the little Ripon Canal, a 2.5 mile long broad canal. Pick up canal boat cruises at Ripon Canal Basin. The peaceful Selby Canal 12 miles south of York is a backwater of the Aire & Calder. Today it’s popular with boaters heading on up to Selby to see one of the great hidden gem abbey churches in England dating back to 1069. Look out too for work in progress on two South Yorkshire Canals - The Barnsley Dearne & Dove Canals - which link the river Calder at Wakefield to the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation at Swinton. Barnsley sits midway between these two canals.

The Pocklington Canal – East Yorkshire

Rural canal treasure The Pocklington Canal in East Yorkshire is 9 ½ miles long, stretching from Canal Head near Pocklington to East Cottingwith where it joins the River Derwent. Thanks to considerable restoration by The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society in recent years over half of this Yorkshire canal is now navigable and it is one of the region’s finest for wildlife. The canal’s 9 locks and 4 road bridges are all Grade II Listed.

Accommodation in Skipton

  • Skipton   (3.0 miles from the centre of Skipton)
    Sleeps 11
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    £1,800
    Per break (sleeps 11)
     
    Beautifully presented Yorkshire Dales cottage with 6 bedrooms, wood burner stove, double height ceilings with arched windows, decadent dining room & private garden. Short breaks.
     
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  • Skipton   (3.0 miles from the centre of Skipton)
    Sleeps 10
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    £430
    Per week (seasonal) sleeping 10
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 6 reviews
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    Sleeps 10 - Yorkshire Dales 5* self catering farmhouse cottage, Skipton nearby. Beautiful views, private garden, family friendly, pets welcome & car parking.
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  • Skipton   (2.9 miles from the centre of Skipton)
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    £40
    Prices per person per night
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 121 reviews
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    Special Offer
    3 night discount on 5 Star Skipton B&B - £5pppn off
    Luxurious Grade II listed Georgian B&B guest house in Cononley near Skipton. Superb breakfasts, beautiful gardens, wi-fi internet access and car parking available.
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Accommodation in Leeds City Centre

  • Leeds   (2.0 miles from the centre of Leeds City Centre)
    Prices from
    £35
    Per person (Based 2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 170 reviews
    Rating from 170 reviews
    Hotel in Leeds within walking distance of Yorkshire County Cricket Club & rugby stadiums. Great rooms, licensed bar & onsite restaurant. Free WIFI & parking. Groups welcome.
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  • Leeds   (0.6 miles from the centre of Leeds City Centre)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £145
    per apartment per night (sleep 2-4)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 40 reviews
    Rating from 40 reviews
    Luxury Leeds city centre apartments with private parking, free WiFi & fully fitted kitchens. Studio, one & two bedroom accommodation. Apartments with a balcony available. Sleep 2-4
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  • Leeds   (0.1 miles from the centre of Leeds City Centre)
    Prices from
    £20
    Per Person Per Night B&B
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 682 reviews
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    Leeds city centre hotel perfect for business stays or leisure visitors. En-suite rooms. On-site bar. Located by the train station and near the Royal Armouries.
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Accommodation in Hebden Bridge

  • Hebden Bridge   (0.9 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge)
    Prices from
    £30
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    Idyllic rural Hebden Bridge B&B, overlooking the beautiful Calder Valley, with a comfortable lounge and three rooms with en-suite or private bathrooms. Delicious breakfasts.
     
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  • Hebden Bridge   (2.9 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £245
    Per Week, Seasonal (Sleeps 4)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 7 reviews
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    Hebden Bridge self-catering cottage ideal for walkers and cyclists, and families seeking a relaxing stay in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Parking. WiFi. Sleeps 4.
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  • Hebden Bridge   (2.8 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £245
    Per Week, Seasonal (Sleeps 4)
     
    Hebden Bridge holiday cottage providing spacious and light accommodation in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Perfect for families, walkers and cyclists. WiFi. Sleeps 4.
     
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Accommodation in Marsden

  • Huddersfield   (0.4 miles from the centre of Marsden)
    Sleeps 13
    Prices from
    £1,500
    per 2 nights (seasonal) Sleeps 13
     
    Classic Victorian country house on the edge of the Marsden Moor Estate near Huddersfield. A perfect wedding venue set in 7 acres of private grounds. Dinner parties and activities.
     
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  • Huddersfield   (0.4 miles from the centre of Marsden)
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    £850
    Per week (seasonal) Sleeps 6
     
    5 Star Gold cottage on the edge of Marsden Moor near Huddersfield. Stunning rural setting with amazing views. Three bedrooms, terrace, BBQ and walks from your door. Sleeps 6.
     
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  • Meltham   (3.6 miles from the centre of Marsden)
    Prices from
    £150
    Price Per Week (seasonal) sleeping 2 -7
     
    Holiday cottage & apartments available for short term lets in Meltham, near Huddersfield & Holmfirth, ideal base for the Pennine Way & local golf facilities.
     
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Accommodation in York & City Centre

  • York   (0.1 miles from the centre of York & City Centre)
    Sleeps 18
    Prices from
    £410
    per short break (seasonal) Sleeps 4 to 18
     
    Special Offer
    Christmas Shopping Offer 2-9 Dec
    Award-winning accommodation in the heart of York city centre comprising 3 stylish townhouses and 1 apartment. Private parking, free WiFi and short breaks. Sleep 4 to 18.
     
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  • York   (0.1 miles from the centre of York & City Centre)
    Sleeps 2
    Prices from
    £450
    Per week, seasonal (sleeps 2)
     
    Stylish contemporary cottage with private parking in York city centre. Free WiFi, electric woodburner and walled garden. Close to attractions. Short breaks available. Sleeps 2.
     
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  • York   (0.6 miles from the centre of York & City Centre)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £65
    Per Night (Sleeps 4)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 28 reviews
    Rating from 28 reviews
    City centre York apartments for business or leisure, with WiFi and free parking. Suitable for families, with skyline views toward the city and modern facilities. Sleeps 4.
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Accommodation near Saltaire

  • Bradford   (5.2 miles from the centre of Saltaire)
    Sleeps 8
    Prices from
    £420
    per week (seasonal) Sleeps 6+2
     
    Stunning Gold Award cottage on the edge of Thornton village, birthplace of the Brontes, 5 miles from Haworth. Free WiFi and courtyard garden. Beautiful rural location. Welcome pack
     
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  • Haworth   (6.2 miles from the centre of Saltaire)
    Sleeps 5
    Prices from
    £25
    Per night
     
    Haworth holiday park with camping pods. On-site facilities include play areas, a bar, a shop, communal WiFi and a games room. Laundry facilities and toilets on site. Sleeps 5.
     
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  • Bingley   (1.7 miles from the centre of Saltaire)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £185
    Per week - short breaks available
     
    Charming cottage on a working farm near Bingley and Saltaire, perfect for Bronte Country and the Dales with private parking, garden and original beams. Onsite facilities for horses
     
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