Canal Holidays Guide to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal

The Yorkshire Dales

The longest single canal in Britain and yet the least crowded, this canal is noted for its Yorkshire Dales scenery and famous canal landmarks such as the Bingley Five Rise locks. A one week holiday includes the best rural parts of the canal across the Pennines.

Cruising the Canal

Travel west from our Bases in the Skipton area and pass through the beautiful and dramatic scenery of the Dales countryside with its rugged moorland, limestone caves and gorges.

Turn at Foulridge and return past Skipton, with its 900 year old castle and ancient street market, towards the Bronte country around Keighley.

Take a steam train along the 'Railway Children' line to Haworth and its Parsonage, home of the Bronte sisters. Further east along the canal reach Bingley Five Rise, a staircase of 5 locks lifting the canal 60 feet from the Aire valley. If time permits, cruise to Saltaire, the Victorian village built by Sir Titus Salt for his workers, and visit the David Hockney exhibition in the former Salt's Mill.

In a more energetic week it may be possible to cruise as far as the thriving city of Leeds, mooring outside the new Royal Armouries attraction.

Bingley Five Rise
Leeds Canal Basin

Distance, Time, and Locks

68
miles
about 40
hours
cruising
52
locks
  • A week allows ample time to cover the central section of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal around the historic market town of Skipton, 'Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales'.

Leeds Liverpool Canal Location
Routes in a Google Map

Places of Interest

Skipton: Castle, market, shops

Gargrave village

East Marton double bridge

Foulridge Tunnel

East Riddlesden Hall

Worth Valley railway; Haworth; Bronte Parsonage

Bingley Five Rise Locks

Saltaire; Hockney exhibition

Leeds: Royal Armouries; Kirkstall Abbey; Art Gallery, Museum; arts, music, shops

Skipton on the Leeds Liverpool Canal

Possible Holidays

One Week
The central section of the canal described above is a good one week holiday.

Short Breaks
Mid-week and weekend breaks are available from Bases 12 & 13(Silsden).

Longer Holidays
In a two week trip it will be possible to extended the above route over the Pennines through Lancashire to Wigan Pier, or to Leeds, or if really energetic, possibly to both.



Customer Comments

Read what some of our previous clients say about the Leeds - Liverpool Canal.

Start Point - Silsden
"Well equipped boat; beautiful and interesting scenery; relaxing (yet active!) way to travel; great pub at Kildwick; beautiful moorings at Greenberfield top lock. DO visit the Bingley five-rise lock if you have time; DO traverse the canal between Silsden and Foulridge for its beauty; DO visit the White Lion pub in Kildwick; DO spend a day in Skipton (Venice in Yorkshire??); DO visit the Lock Stock & Barrel pub in Skipton, but DO NOT bother with the Black Horse; and if you want a night ashore in a lovely hotel with a very nice restaurant, stop over at Steeton Hall in Steeton (near Silsden)."
JL, USA

Silsden - Foulridge
"The boat was excellent, very clean and tidy and had everything we needed. We headed right from the boatyard (standing in the boat yard looking towards the canal) and then came back passed the yard and continued on towards the Bingley five rise. I think this was an excellent choice. From Silsden to the mile long tunnel is lovely scenery and just enough locks!! Back the other way towards Bingley is slightly better scenery but not far before you reach the five and three rises and they would be particularly hard work. Make sure you stop for a curry in Skipton and don't forget to try a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord bitter. Saltair is worth walking to and Morrisons do a good breakfast!"
SLW, UK

"This was a fantastic holiday - a week was too short. Where else can you literally 'push the boat out', 'rock the boat' and touch people with barge poles (or not)!!! Things we learned during the week: plan your route before you go and allow plenty time for locks. Buy a guide book! We didn't and regretted it."
MC, USA

"Staff were friendly & helpful and gave good instruction for beginners. Scenery is beautiful & varied. So who needs good weather?!"
CH, UK

"Fellow holiday makers and walkers were really friendly and to be able to moor and go to the supermarket or a pub was a pleasant novelty! The countryside was delightful and we saw a great deal of wildlife - some rather tame ducks made for an entertaining morning!"
MP, USA