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Week long breaks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Canal boat holidays on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

On a 7-night boating break from Silsden you can cruise the Leeds & Liverpool Canal west to Barnoldswick or east to Leeds

Barnoldswick and back (38 miles, 30 locks, 22 hours)

Travelling in the direction of Liverpool along the Leeds & Liverpool 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.

After Gargrave you’ll cruise alongside the Yorkshire Dales with 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. After the three locks at Greenberfield you’ll reach Barnoldswick with a couple of large supermarkets within walking distance.  There’s a choice of places to eat, including The Fountain Inn. The Pendle Way connects to the canal at Cockshott Bridge no. 152.  Turn your boat at the winding hole just before Long Ing Bridge no.153.

Foulridge Tunnel & back (48 miles, 30 locks, 24 hours)

Follow the route above to Barnoldswick and continue on, soon reaching the canalside Anchor Inn at Salterforth.  Next it’s Foulridge Wharf before the entrance to the 1.49km long Foulridge Tunnel. Passage through the tunnel works on a traffic light system which allows each boat 20 minutes to get to the other end. After the tunnel, you can turn around just after Wanless Bridge no.145 to head back to Silsden.

Apperley Bridge and back (27 miles, 32 locks, 20.5 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. After Saltaire, you’ll go through Shipley with Ring O ’Bells pub and Waterside Restaurant & Bar.  Five miles later you’ll reach Apperley Bridge, with a fish and chip shop and choice of pubs including The Stansfield and Dog & Gun.  There’s also at café at the marina.

Leeds and back (44 miles, 54 locks, 32 hours)

Follow the route to Apperley Bridge and continue following the Aire Valley to Leeds.  You’ll pass through Rodley, home to the Canalside Rodley Barge pub, The Railway Inn and The Owl Inn. Soon after you’ll reach the canalside Abbey Inn and the three locks at Newlay.  Less than a mile later you’ll go through Forge three locks and then you’ll reach Kirkstall with Cistercian Abbey ruins and Abbey House Museum. The canalside West End House pub is next to Wyther Bridge no.223.  Cruise on into the vibrant waterside city of Leeds, and moor up in Leeds Dock.  From there you can visit the waterside Royal Armouries Museum and walk to visit the Victorian shopping arcades and many great places to eat out.

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

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