Waterways, Canals and Boating Holidays

in Hebden Bridge in Sheffield

Yorkshire has more than 100 miles of coastline, dozens of rivers and reservoirs and an ancient canal network.  Once at the heart of our textile industry, they’re great places to explore and enjoy.  Gently stroll along miles of tranquil towpaths, stopping off in towns and villages along the way, or cruise along at the helm of your very own narrowboat.

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Yorkshire’s Canal Network

For those wanting to stay a bit drier, there’s the canal network to explore.  

Canal & River Trust looks after around 270 miles of inland waterways, covering an area which stretches from South Yorkshire to the River Tees in the North East. Yorkshire’s waterways, including the 127 mile long Leeds & Liverpool Canal and large freight ways of the River Aire, combine rural appeal with historic purpose.

Get out and enjoy our wonderful canals and rivers.

The canals and rivers provide countless opportunities for walking, cycling, wildlife spotting, picnicking, angling canoeing or canal boat holidays. They weave through famous attractions such as Clarence Dock in Leeds, with bars, shops, restaurants and a casino, through to the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain at Standedge Tunnel, near Huddersfield, built by navvies with enormous difficulty.  Huddersfield Narrow Canal runs for 20 miles and near Lock 23E in Slaithwaite, you’ll find the country’s only working Guillotine Gate on a narrow canal.

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is one of the most spectacular in the country. Unlike many other canals, boats sit above the canal bank so you really can watch the world go by.  It meanders through some of the most picturesque countryside in England, taking in some of Yorkshire’s most famous historic towns and villages along the way.  The canal weaves its way through the Yorkshire Dales, into Skipton and onto Bingley, home to the Five and Three Rise Locks, which are often described as wonders of the waterways, before reaching the World Heritage Site of Saltaire village.

Visit Sowerby Bridge Basin, home to Tuel Lane Lock, the deepest lock in England, and the joining point of Calder & Hebble Navigation and Rochdale Canal.  The Rochdale Canal climbs up the Calder Valley through the towns of Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden to its summit at Walsden. A gentle walk with plenty of stopping places.

This assortment offers a unique blend of bustling city centre lifestyle and dramatic countryside landscapes – an ideal contrast for a short break.

Yorkshire’s waterways play host to a whole range of events throughout the year – from small, charity walks and Towpath Tidy days, to annual festivals such as the Waterways Festival in the pretty market town of Skipton in May and the Rushbearing Festival in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax. Why don’t you explore Yorkshire’s canals and unleash the possibilities just waiting to be discovered.

Take to the Water

Passenger trips

Cruise the Ouse with City Experiences

If you’re a fan of history or searching for an unconventional way to explore the city, embarking on a cruise with this firm is an ideal way to view York from a fresh angle. 

Self-drive day boats

Take a trip from Keighley. Various companies offer achoice of narrowboats and wide beam canal boats for hire from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Silsden.

Boating Holidays – Narrow Boats and Hotel Boats

Don’t forget too that you can change the view from your self-catering accommodation minute by minute, by choosing a canal cruiser. 

Embarking on a canal boat holiday from Silsden, offers the chance to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.  From vibrant city centres, industrial history and mills, to rugged hills, wooded valleys and moors, there’s a wide variety of landscapes to see.

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

Croft Mill

Croft Mill Yard, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AB, United Kingdom

Ensuite Rooms near Universities & City Centre

12 Brandreth Close, Sheffield, S6 3JW, United Kingdom

Nutclough Cottage – Log Fire and Valley View – Sleeps 2

37 Lees Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8HB, United Kingdom

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