Northern England

Discover a hidden world of history…

Yorkshire Canals
Yorkshire Canals

Explore the Pennines with a boating holiday on the three main waterways which cross the Pennines – the Leeds Liverpool to the North and the Calder & Hebble and Rochdale Canal to the South.

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal, is the most northerly of the trans-Pennine canals, makes its way through glorious scenery from major cities to the edge of the Dales. It has staircase locks, swing bridges and other features which give it a strong identity which matches the grandeur through which it strides.

The Rochdale Canal, in the middle, was fully reopened in 2002. On the Yorkshire side, boaters marvel at its romantic scenery and stone-built towns as they climb towards the summit. On the Lancashire side, the buildings gradually change to red brick as you approach Manchester, with its busy new canalside life.

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal, to the south, was re-opened in 2001. Short and heavily locked, the canal combines wooded countryside, moorland views, and reminders of the textile industry, from weavers’ cottages to giant mills (stone for wool, brick for cotton) now reused for today’s needs. It climbs from either end towards the longest and highest canal tunnel in Britain. You will see dramatic construction works, of 19th and 21st century canal and railway builders.

These three canals are linked on the Yorkshire side by river navigations. The Calder & Hebble is an old navigation, hidden in the trees. The Aire & Calder is a modern waterway which successfully mixes growing pleasure traffic with environmentally friendly bulk transport.

Our Recommendations….A one week out and back starting from Sowerby Bridge. You can go up the Rochdale nearly to the summit, then back down to Brighouse and beyond. Enthusiasts like to go right over to Rochdale and back. Or you can set off down the valley to Selby, or onto the L&L to Bingley – hard work but great fun. Experienced crews can do a good part of the Huddersfield Narrow.

Alternatively, for experienced crews, why not try a one way trip. With a choice of three routes covering either the Leeds Liverpool Canal, Rochdale Canal or Huddersfield Canal, a one way trip is thebest way to explore this area ofoutstanding natural beauty but does require previous cruising experience including working locks (of which there are plenty to keep you fit and active!)