On our first morning, we’ll ascend the Barrowford Locks and head towards FoulridgeTunnel. ..The tunnel that a cow famously passed right the way through after falling in the canal at one end but was unable to get out. These days we’ll have to keep a look out for canoeists which have recently been granted permission to transit the tunnel. Once the lights are in our favour, we’ll set off through the 1640 yard long darkness ourselves and aim to moor for the evening somewhere around Barnoldswick.
The following morning we’ll pass through Greenberfield - this really is God’s own country as we skirt along the Dales National Park and the most scenic parts of the canal. We’ll aim to descend Bank Newton locks and look for a mooring in Gargrave. Gargrave is a lovely little village with an attractive church and numerous walks… If we’re lucky, we might even be in time to catch a bus to Malham for a (strenuous) walk up the Cove and see the Malham Tarn – the source of the River Aire. Gargrave can get busy later in the day as the hirers from various bases tend to arrive there late afternoon/early evening so it might have meant an start to the day to beat the masses.
After a peaceful night we’ll continue our journey along a lovely rural, winding section of canal with a few Swing bridges to contend with and then send the crew ahead with Walkie-talkies to see if there is space centrally. If not, we’ll tie up on the way into town. That’s the nice thing about Skipton – even when it’s busy, a reasonable mooring can usually be found a short walk away from the centre. We’ll spend 2 nights here so we can explore the Castle, numerous pubs/restaurants, the Springs Branch (on foot) and maybe even buy a pie from Stanforths Famous Butchers before we set off on the journey towards Silsden (where it can get a little busy with hire-boat traffic before we moor in Riddlesdon - close to the top of the Bingley 5 rise so we can be first in the queue when the locks open the following morning. WE’LL become the entertainment for the many gongoozlers that invariably gather on the flights as we descend and continue our route toward Shipley or Saltaire where we’ll spend our last evening together and our guests can depart the following morning.
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Barrowford to Shipley/Saltaire
Including Foulridge Tunnel & Bingley 3/5 Rise locks
22nd- 29th October 2019 (7nights)
From: Barrowford (Leeds & Liverpool Canal)
To: Shipley (Leeds & Liverpool Canal)
HIGHLIGHTS: Saltaire for Salts Mill,
Bingley 3 and 5 Rise,
East Riddlesden Hall (National Trust),
Bank Newton Locks,