SKIPTON AND RETURN
You can do this route from :
Athena at Skipton.
Cruise through outstanding scenery through the Yorkshire Dales to Skipton which is probably the most handsome town along the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
As the gateway to the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, people travel the length and breadth of the country to visit this charming market town. With its famous 900 year old castle, romantic ruined priory and historic cobbled High Street, Skipton is endlessly rich both in history and outstanding natural beauty.
The scenery is beautiful, with countless hillocks and distant mountains, as the canal twists and turns along its meandering path.
Near the small village of East Marton there are Moorings on the right, and the Cross Keys Inn awaits you on the left bank, also the Abbots Harbour a cosy restaurant serving home cooked food just past bridge 162 on the left, or via a lane by the Cross Keys.
The 268 mile long Pennine way joins the towpath for a short distance here, you will notice that the stones here abound with fossils.
The 6 Bank Newton locks interrupt the outstanding scenery with excellent views across the valley to the hills and moors beyond.
The canal crosses the river over the stone built Priest Holme aqueduct and more locks take you around Gargrave.
Locks 41-30 require a Handcuff key which should should have in a cupboard in the boat, or hanging up.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park borders the Canal. Some of England's finest walking country is contained in this area of fine views, deep valleys , open moorland and rugged hills.
Gargrave is a much visited attractive village with some pretty stone cottages.
There are various pubs and local stores.
There are visitor moorings before lock 32 and the village is off to your right.
It is just over 3 hours cruising to here.
The canal now turns south east towards Skipton with open countryside and moorland topped hills, and begins a 17 mile lock free pound (after lock 30). However there is an abundance of swing bridges that require a Handcuff Key and some that require a Watermate Key!!
Skipton is soon approached and there are moorings on the towpath side only after bridge 176 and before and after bridge 178 . It is 3 hours from Gargrave.
Spend some time exploring Skipton and the surrounding area.
Skipton is probably the most handsome town along the Leeds and Liverpool canal. You can moor about one minutes walk away from the centre. As the gateway to the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, people travel the length and breadth of the country to visit this charming market town. With its famous 900 year old castle, romantic ruined priory and historic cobbled High Street, Skipton is endlessly rich both in history and outstanding natural beauty.
Skipton Castle is a magnificent Norman castle with 17th century additions that dominates the High Street. The 6 massive round towers have survived since the 14th Century. Open daily 10-6pm.
The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is a heritage railway 1 mile north of Skipton, catch a bus from the town centre. A 4 mile round trip either steam or diesel powered.
The preserved railway was part of the former Midland Railway route from Skipton to Ilkley.
On leaving Skipton the canal continues down the valley of the River Aire , with breathtaking views.
The village of Bradley has an attractive waterfront, and there is a pub the Slaters Arms ¼ mile up the hill , take the 1st turning on the right over the lift bridge. Visitor moorings on the tow path side only.
The village of Kildwick has some nice restored Canal buildings, now private residences. There are good moorings here. The streets are extremely steep and one goes under the canal. Kildwick is steeped in history, St Andrew’s is a historically significant church. Fragments of 9th century crosses have been excavated from its walls, evidence of the Anglos Saxon church built here before the Norman Conquest.
Turn around just after Bridge 187 and you can moor on the village side after passing bridge 187 again once you have turned around. It is 2.5 hours to here from Skipton. The White Lion Hotel serves excellent food and is near the canal.
Alternatively turn around at Bridge 183a Farnhill Bridge which is 1.5 hrs from Skipton, and then moor back in Skipton for the night.
So carry on back to the marina taking time to see what you didn't have time for on the way! It is 8.75 hours back to your starting mooring at South Field farm
NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.
Maps and Guides
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