Short breaks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Short break canal boat holidays on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Cruise through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to Skipton, Gargrave, Bingley or Saltaire on a short break from Silsden

At 127 miles, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is the longest single canal in the country, crossing the Pennines and linking the wide waterways of Yorkshire with those of Lancashire and the River Mersey. From the vibrant centres of Leeds, Liverpool, Wigan and Burnley, to the awe-inspiring vast areas of open space of the moorlands at the canal’s summit and the peace of the wooded Aire Valley, the scenery of this canal varies dramatically.

Weekend/3-night breaks from Silsden

Skipton, Gargrave & the Yorkshire Dales and back (23 Miles, 6 locks, 12.5 hours)

Travelling in the direction of Liverpool along the canal from Silsden, you’ll first pass canalside warehouses, enjoying views of Airedale’s steep green hills.  There’s a series of historic swing bridges along this section of the canal, each needing to be unlocked and lifted.  Within two miles, the canal passes through the village of Kildwick, with its 17th century coaching inn, The White Lion. Next you’ll continue along the valley of the River Aire, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.  Two miles later the village of Bradley has an excellent pub – the Slaters Arms, serving homemade food and real ale. A mile later, the route passes the Bay Horse pub at Snaygill, before reaching the outskirts of Skipton.  Here a little arm (the Springs Branch) branches off the canal to moorings outside Skipton Castle.  Dating back to 1090, this motte and bailey castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in England, and is well worth a visit. Skipton also offers visitors a range of places to eat, including The Yorkshire Rose pub, Royal Shepherd, French Bistro des Amis, Bean Loved coffee bar and Cock & Bottle pub. Heading west out of Skipton, you’ll travel a further three miles through the hills to Gargrave.  There are three locks to pass through before reaching moorings and a winding hole in the centre of the village. Gargrave is on the River Aire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you can access 680 square miles of some of England’s finest walking country.  In Gargrave there are plenty of pubs, including The Mason’s Arms.  There are also shops and a post office.

Bingley, Saltaire and back (18 Miles, 22 locks, 13.5 hours)

It takes around 3.5 hours to reach the top of the Bingley Five Rise locks, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways.  These cavernous chambers raise (or lower) boats 18 metres.  They open directly from one to another, with the top gate of one forming the bottom of the next. It takes around one-and-a-half hours to pass through and there are lock keepers on hand to help.  On the way to Bingley from Silsden, you’ll pass through a series of swing bridges, Stockbridge and Riddlesden, with the National Trust’s East Riddlesden Hall not far from the canal.  A few miles after Bingley, you’ll reach the UNESCO World Heritage town Saltaire, near Shipley.  It was founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the woollen industry.  Salt wanted his workforce to be healthier, happier and more productive, so he moved his five mills to a new green site away from the overcrowded town centre of Bradford.  The mills were housed in beautiful Italianate buildings. And he built stone houses for his workers with community facilities, including a hospital, library, school and park.  Today, Saltaire is a popular tourist destination with shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries, including the wonderful David Hockney Gallery.

Mid-week/4-night breaks from Silsden

East Marton and back (32 miles, 24 locks, 19 hours)

Follow the weekend route to Skipton and Gargrave then continue west to the historic market town of Barnoldswick.  This beautiful rural stretch along the Yorkshire Dales has mountain views in the distance.  At Bank Newton there are seven locks to travel through which take you up on to the Pennines.  Two-and-a-half miles later you’ll reach East Marton you’ll find the Abbot’s Harbour Restaurant and a medieval church. Continue on to turn soon after South Field Bridge no.159.

To check availability and book click here or call us on 0117 463 3419.

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