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Having had a few days to clean and re-stock the boat since our last guests departed, we'll aim to pick up the new folk in either Shipley or Saltaire... depending on train times we can spend a couple of hours on the visitor moorings in Saltaire itself before heading off towards our suggested mooring spot near the bottom of the Bingley 3 rise so as to get in the queue for assisted passage up both flights the following morning.
As we ascend the locks, WE’LL become the entertainment for the many gongoozlers that invariably gather on the flights. Once at the top, we may stop for a brief visit to the tea-rooms there or if time is short, continue on our way towards Riddlesden . After a night on the visitor moorings (or anywhere we fancy) we’ll have a leisurely start and enjoy the scenic cruise towards Silsden (where the canal gets a little busier with hire-boat traffic) and hopefully end our day's cruising in Skipton - We’ll send the crew ahead with Walkie-talkies to see if there is space centrally and 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 in Skipton 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 rambling journey towards Gargrave where we’ll aim to get moored around lunchtime - Gargrave can get busy later in the day as the hirers from various bases tend to arrive there late afternoon/early evening. 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.
The following morning, we’ll leave Gargrave and begin the climb up Bank Newton Locks and onto the most scenic parts of this canal. This really is God’s own country as we skirt along the Dales National Park. Today we’ll pass through Greenberfield and Barnoldswick before we attempt to moor for the night just before the Eastern Portal of Foulridge Tunnel…. 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. The following morning, once the lights are in our favour, we’ll set off through the 1640 yard long tunnel ourselves and soon after, begin our ascent of Barrowford locks to reach the summit of the canal and moor for our final evening in Barrowford for our guests to depart and catch their train the following morning.
Shipley to Barrowford
24th April - 1st May 2018 (7 nights)
From: Shipley (Leeds & Liverpool Canal)
To: Barrowford (Leeds & Liverpool Canal)
HIGHLIGHTS: Saltaire for Salts Mill,
Bingley 3 and 5 Rise,
East Riddlesden Hall (National Trust),
Bank Newton Locks,