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   (0.9 miles from the centre of Skipton)
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    £25
    Per room, per night
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 167 reviews
    Rating from 167 reviews
    Newly refurbished Skipton hotel with ensuite double & family guest rooms. Free Car Parking, 30 minutes of initial free Wi-Fi, nearby food outlets. Family friendly. Pets accepted.
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    Rating from 167 reviews
  • Grassington   (6.5 miles from the centre of Skipton)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £250
    Per Week (Seasonal) Sleep 4.
     
    Fully equipped Wharfedale caravans near Skipton with 2 bedrooms. Showers & beautiful views. Located on a quiet caravan park/farm site within the Bolton Abbey Estate. Sleep 4.
     
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  • Skipton   (0.2 miles from the centre of Skipton)
    Prices from
    £55
    per night (2 sharing)
     
    Skipton guest house with two recently renovated en-suite rooms. Ideal for couples. Free Wi-Fi, bike and luggage. Room only. Close to restaurants and cafes.
     
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Accommodation in Leeds City Centre

  • Leeds   (0.3 miles from the centre of Leeds City Centre)
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    £25
    Per room only
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 425 reviews
    Rating from 425 reviews
    Budget family friendly Leeds hotel. Discount room rates available for families and the business traveller. Wi-Fi service.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 425 reviews
    Rating from 425 reviews
  • Leeds   (0.2 miles from the centre of Leeds City Centre)
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    £25
    Per double room per night
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 492 reviews
    Rating from 492 reviews
    Modern Leeds City Centre hotel with B&B & DB&B deals. 1/4 mile to train station and short walk from The Corn Exchange. Public parking nearby. Pet friendly. Wi-Fi service.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 492 reviews
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  • Leeds   (0.8 miles from the centre of Leeds City Centre)
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    £20
    Per person, includes breakfast.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 75 reviews
    Rating from 75 reviews
    A recently refurbished guest house offering modern accommodation in a warm city atmosphere. The Brookfield hotel is less than 1 mile from the from the vibrant Leeds city cen...
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    Rating from 75 reviews

Accommodation in Hebden Bridge

  • Hebden Bridge   (0.9 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge)
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    £30
    Per person B&B (Based on 2 sharing)
     
    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   (0.5 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge)
    Sleeps 2
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    £70
    Per night (sleeps 2)
     
    Hebden Bridge holiday accommodation in a lovely woodland setting. Level access for people with limited mobility. Easy walking to town and National Trust properties. Dogs welcome
     
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  • Hebden Bridge   (0.2 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge)
    Sleeps 4
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    £322
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 4
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 7 reviews
    Rating from 7 reviews
    This stone built, end terrace cottage is in the town of Hebden Bridge and sleeps four people in two bedrooms.
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Accommodation in Marsden

  • Slaithwaite   (2.9 miles from the centre of Marsden)
    Sleeps 3
    Prices from
    £400
    Per Week (Seasonal) Sleeps 3
     
    Beautiful Grade II listed cottage in the stunning backdrop of the Colne Valley. Secluded setting with beautiful views. Horses & dogs welcome. Free parking & Wi-Fi access.
     
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  • Meltham   (3.5 miles from the centre of Marsden)
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    £40
    per person per night B&B (based on 2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 471 reviews
    Rating from 471 reviews
    Charming Victorian hotel on the edge of the Peak District near Holmfirth with restaurant, bar, lounge and beauty salon. Ideal for weddings & corporate events with stunning gardens.
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  • Huddersfield   (0.4 miles from the centre of Marsden)
    Sleeps 6
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    £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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Accommodation in York & City Centre

  • York   (0.3 miles from the centre of York & City Centre)
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    £25
    Per room, per night
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 751 reviews
    Rating from 751 reviews
    Newly refurbished central York Travelodge with discounted parking, 30 minutes of initial free Wi-Fi, early check in/ late check out & family rooms. Breakfast box. Pet friendly.
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  • York   (0.4 miles from the centre of York & City Centre)
    Prices from
    £35
    PPPN B&B (based on 2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 173 reviews
    Rating from 173 reviews
    Special Offer
    Spring Special 3 for 2 in February & March
    Luxurious B&B accommodation in York, perfect for a short break in the historic city. On site restaurant and bar, within easy reach of attractions and next to the River Ouse.
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  • York   (0.4 miles from the centre of York & City Centre)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £135
    Per night (sleeps 4) two night minimum stay
     
    With a stay at The Saxon House - B&B in York, you'll be minutes from York Barbican and close to York Castle Museum. This bed & breakfast is within close proximity of National Ce...
     

Accommodation near Saltaire

  • Bradford   (3.1 miles from the centre of Saltaire)
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    £25
    Per room, per night
     
    Modern Bradford Hotel near to Bradford Forster Square train station. Limited chargeable car parking, en-suite double and family rooms, breakfast box. Pet friendly. Wi-Fi access.
     
  • Leeds   (4.3 miles from the centre of Saltaire)
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    £25
    Per room, per night
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 173 reviews
    Rating from 173 reviews
    Newly refurbished Bradford hotel set 1 mile from Pudsey train station with double & family ensuite rooms. Chargeable onsite parking, 30 minutes free Wi-Fi. Pet friendly.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 173 reviews
    Rating from 173 reviews
  • Keighley   (5.1 miles from the centre of Saltaire)
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    per room per night from
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 29 reviews
    Rating from 29 reviews
    Budget Keighley Hotel on the outskirts of the town centre and close to the station with free parking, WiFi and restaurant adjacent. Ideal for Bradford and Leeds.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 29 reviews
    Rating from 29 reviews