Famous for being the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, from your starting point in Skipton you can go east to Leeds or west to Liverpool and discover England’s canal heritage against a backdrop of rolling hills.
Explore the counties of North Yorkshire and Lancashire as you’ve never seen them before. Cruise the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to discover some of the country’s most beautiful canal scenery, quaint cafes, award-winning pubs and restaurants and lesser-known pathways to popular attractions.
Skipton is easily accessible by road, the train station is just 40 minutes from Leeds and it’s rail line connects to the picturesque and historic Settle to Carlisle route. It is also just 30 minutes by road from Leeds Bradford Airport.
Short break canal holidays can include the market town of Skipton, home to one of England’s best preserved medieval castles, before exploring the countryside to the west . Venture east to Bronte country, National Trust’s Riddlesden Hall, Bingley Five-Rise locks and the UNESCO Heritage Town of Saltaire. In a week you can explore both directions, and longer canal holidays cover the whole canal length.
Comfortably accommodating 2 adults, with a main bedroom, bathroom and open plan kitchen with two chairs in the lounge, you can meander along the canals in style. If friends decided to join your journey, there is a space to create a guest air mattress for two in the living area. Within minutes on board you’ll enjoy a charming canal boat experience. How far you go depends on how often and how long you wish to stop. You decide the route and the pace to go as far or stay as near as you wish.
Blue Otter Skipton
Tel: 07345 306950
50 foot narrow boat | 1 bedroom | Suitable for 2 passengers
Full Week Routes
Leeds and return: 60 miles, 58 locks
The emergence of Leeds as an industrial powerhouse was one of the reasons for the creation of the Leeds-Liverpool canal. A week’s cruising will take you through tranquil woodlands and picturesque villages, such the 17th century village of Kildwick, past historic sights such as National Trust Riddlesden Hall, the UNESCO Heritage Site of Saltaire and down engineering masterpieces such as Bingley Five Rise Locks. The descent into Leeds is green and scenic, dispelling all preconceived notions of an industrialised landscape, to suddenly arrive in the centre of the city behind the main train station. The city centre visitor moorings at the wharf allow for 2 nights complimentary stay before making your way back to Skipton.
Burnley and return: 74 miles, 60 locks
From the market town of Skipton cruise across the Pennines and over the highest point of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal near Barnoldswick. Just past here, a cow named Buttercup is reported to have floated through Foulridge Tunnel in 1912 and was revived with rum at the other side. The scenery becomes more industrial with the town of Nelson being followed by Burnley and its old waterside buildings. The historic Weaver’s Triangle museum and mooring in the city centre has recently been renovated, as has much of Burnley’s pedestrian area. One hour cruising past Burnley is a beautiful countryside mooring spot for the night before turning around and cruising back to Skipton.
Bingley and Foulridge: 68 miles, 52 locks
This route takes in the two iconic parts of the canal with contrasting views of woodlands and wide open countryside, dotted with points of interest along the way. From the market town of Skipton in the direction of Leeds, the canals are flanked with woodlands taking you to the Bingley Five Rise, a staircase of five locks lowering you 60 feet down the Aire valley. Visit the model village of Saltaire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to it’s founder in Victorian times, Sir Titus Salt, designed to improve the live of his mill workers. Today the mill is a gallery and art space, home to a permanent David Hockney exhibition. Return past Skipton and then cruise into the rural Yorkshire Dales countryside to Foulridge – perhaps venture through the tunnel
Short Break Routes
4 nights – Skipton to Barrowford and return – 24 hours and 30 locks and 2 tunnels
4 nights – Skipton to Saltaire and return – 22 hours and 22 locks (including Bingley Five Rise)
Long Weekend Routes
Travelling West from Skipton direction Liverpool
3 nights – Skipton to Foulridge and return – 18 hours and 30 locks
Travelling East from Skipton direction Leeds
3 nights – Skipton to Bingley-Five Rise and return – 18 hours and 20 locks (including Bingley Five Rise)