Posts Tagged ‘Skipton’

Wednesday 10th August 2016 

We were up a bit earlier today as we had a few locks to negotiate & the weather forecast has predicted rain by mid afternoon.


Gates Closing!


We a few peaceful days under the trees at Gargrave, we traded on Saturday & Sunday. It wasn’t anything like Skipton but the Sunday saw a few sales & an order for two mugs  from nb Kiandra, owner Artist Mike Bowman & his wife were lovely neighbours for the few days, Mike works from his narrowboat when they are out cruising http://www.mikebowmanimages.com . We also had a surprise visit from my lovely friend Nichola who worked with us in Slawit & her hubby…….they brought wine!

We set off about 9.15am & as we got to Scarland Lock the last one at Gargrave we already had a queue behind us, the very wide Hotel Boat Teal whom we had already seen on our travels a few weeks ago, such lovely folk & another widebeam hire boat.  We hadn’t come across another narrowboat to lock with but the skipper on Teal said one had passed him just before us, so we opted to miss the water point just before Bank Newton Bottom lock to see if we could catch them for the flight of six.


Beautiful Cottage at Lock37 Bank Newton


Hire boat Nutmeg waiting for us to catch up


We did catch up with them at the 2nd of the six & locked the rest together, which was sensible as the flight was very busy for the Leeds & Liverpool so saving the water by sharing is best & helps keep the pounds in between at sensible levels.


Hotel Boat Teal catching us up again!

The cruise from Bank Newton Top Lock to East Marton was an absolute pleasure with spectacular scenery as the canal twisted & turned around the Yorkshire Dales, the sun was shinning & the wind was minimal.



You can just see another boat as the canal snakes through the Dales

The canal started to close in a bit as we neared East Marton & became quite wooded as we approached the moorings,


A sad sight on any canal.

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We arrived at East Marton just in time to catch Carole on The Wool Boat who sold me some knitting needles, I’m going to try & relearn the art of knitting this winter starting with some wrist warmer fingerless gloves. I sold her a beautiful chunky blue necklace from the jewellery collection, so two happy ladies on two trading boats.

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It seems that the locks were busy today due to a slight backlog yesterday coming from Greenfield Locks due to a hire boat getting cilled in one of the locks, no-one was hurt & she was refloated by the end of the day.

We had moored on the water point as we needed a top up & as Carole & Colin were leaving to head for Gargrave we popped into their spot. You can just see us, second boat on the towpath side.

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Just as we got settled on the mooring the rains came down, a well timed very enjoyable day.

3.5 Miles      9 Locks     0 Swing Bridges       4.25 Hours


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Friday 5th August 2016  We left Thorlby Bridge now that the wind had eased abit & started the very short trip to Gargrave, the scenery was now becoming very beautiful & this was Yorkshire as I imagined it……


We spotted a cormorant on the way & a flock of young swans grazing in a field!


The first lock for a while was Holme bridge lock at the bottom of Gargrave, just past the lock it looks very pleasant & idyllic to moor, however the side is far too shallow unless you use a plank, not ideal with furry friends aboard! We completed Eshton Road lock & Hitherland Lock, filled up with water at the services ( which have a brand new shower room…..ssshhhhh!) then found a mooring alongside the school playing field.


This is the Piano Raft you can find him on Facebook “pianoraft”, th young man & his son that own her have set themselves a target of 20yrs to get the piano from Liverpool to London.  4 years in they are at Gargrave.  She has no engine so they punt or haul her along, gathering help along the way, Yes, they do use the bath tub as a rowing boat!




I believe by the time I wrote this post he is on the way to Skipton. Good luck fella.

This will be home for a couple of days & hopefully a bit of trading as well.


2 Miles    3 Locks     2 Swing Bridges  



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Tuesday 6th August 2016    We have had a fabulous 13 days in Skipton, trading, exploring the town, meeting some lovely folk & helping out a couple of hire boaters. The first was a lady who fell in just as Colin was passing with the dog, he managed to pull her out, no damage but very shaken while her hubby secured the boat & another couple who had no confidence in their abilities & asked us to turn the hire boat around in the basin so they could take it back to base a couple of miles down the canal, we helped them turn around in the quiet of the evening with no other boats around only for then to crash into Skipton bridge!

So we manoeuvred ourselves across the basin to get a pump out from the lovely folk at Pennine Cruisers & a diesel top up before we headed to the next swing bridge (Brewery) & the water point just beyond. (there is also another water point outside the Herriott Hotel at the next swing bridge (Gawflat, just a few hundred yards)

Skipton basin

We filled up, made a last visit to the supermarket & the wine warehouse & started on our way.  It was very windy today & we hadn’t planned to go very far as we are wasting time until the Canal Festival at Botany Bay on August bank Holiday weekend, so once out in the countryside again we decided to stop just before Thorlby swing bridge. if you look carefully at the picture below you can see a red narrowboat heading towards Skipton snaking its way along the winding canal. The view from here was lovely.


The boat moored in front was the charming couple we had moored with at Silsden a couple of weeks earlier, so we had the obligatory catch up. We made sure the pins were doubled & ropes secure as it was blowing a hooley across the hills.

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We decided to watch the weather & stay until the wind died down, probably a couple of days, but the peace was nice after the hustle & bustle of Skipton.

3 Miles       0 Locks     3 Swing Bridges

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Thursday 21st July 2016  When we arrived yesterday  we walked along the busy towpath in Skipton to see what other moorings were available as we wanted to trade here for a few days, just past the Ice Cream Tug there are 14 day moorings through to the next swing bridge, Brewery Swing Bridge.

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( There is a Wine Warehouse & a large Morrisons located just to the left of the Brewery Swing Bridge) just before the bridge you can look over the Aquaduct.

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Just past the swing bridge is another water point, then more moorings right up to the Herriotts Hotel where there is yet another water point & the large Aireville Park which is great if you have dogs.

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We got up this morning had some breakfast & I wandered under the Belmont road bridge to see if any moorings had become vacant, yes, a long stretch just pass the Ice Cream Tug was now empty so we quickly untied & made our way down to get comfortable for a few days, plenty of footfall, should be ok for trading.

Having secured a decent spot for a few days we decided to spend today exploring this busy little town.

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There is an abundance of independent shops, great pubs, cafes & restaurants. I have to mention The Beer Engine a micro brewery hidden just off the beaten track behind the Pennine Cruisers day boat hire. If you like Real Ales give it a look. The fish & Chip shop Bizzie Lizzies is excellent too, you can’t miss it overlooking the basin but you’ll smell it before you see it.

Bizzie lizziebeer engine

Skipton Castle  was built in 1090 as a wooden motte-and-bailey by Robert de Romille a Norman baron. In the 12th century William le Gros strengthened it with a stone keep to repel attacks from the Kingdom of Scotland to the north, the castle elevated Skipton from a poor dependent village to a burgh administered by a reeve. The protection offered by Skipton Castle during the Middle Ages encouraged the urbanisation of the surrounding area, and during times of war and disorder the town attracted an influx of families. It is now one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England and is open to the public.

Skipton became a prosperous market town, trading sheep and woollen goods: its name derives from the Old English sceap (sheep) and tun (town or village). A market stemming from its formative years still survives in its wide main street 4 days a week, although now it is a general market rather than livestock, In the 19th century, Skipton emerged as a small mill town connected to the major cities by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and its branch Thanet Canal, now known locally as ‘Springs branch’. The Skipton Building Society was founded in the town & Chocolate makers Whittakers are now based in the town,  established in nearby Cross Hills. Ida Whittaker began making chocolates there in 1903, taught by the wife of the vicar of Kildwick.

Below is a set of photographs from the start of The Springs Branch to the castle.




The trip boats used to go right up to & through the castle but Skipton wasn’t unscathed by the awful floods od Boxing Day 2015 & the heavy rains caused a breach to the castle wall so the trip boats can only go about half way up The Springs Branch now as far as the restored water-mill which is now a showroom for furniture & interiors


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We spent 4 hrs exploring the town & wandering the cobbled streets.


We enjoyed lunch on the way then watched some boating activity in the basin on the way back & later popped up to the bridge for some Fish & Chips, very delicious they were too.


We like Skipton a lot & are looking forward to the rest of our stay here & a few days trading.


0 Miles  0 Locks  0 Swing Bridges    0 Hours






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Wednesday 20th July 2016   The temperature was much more reasonable today & there was a bit of a breeze, so we headed off planning to stop in Kildwick for lunch then on to Skipton as we now needed water.

First we passed the picturesque long term moorings at the farm just near  Cowling swing bridge.  Lovely moorings with a pungent aroma!

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The canal is pretty here & the views across the valley are fabulous, this is the Yorkshire I had envisaged, rolling hills & quaint little communities nestled in the hillside with their history still profoundly visible although now much updated around the canal side areas.

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Kildwick is a very pretty village & the canal again seems to be above the road as we pass through.

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We are starting to see more boats now, especially hire boats & day boats, this family came towards us really pleased with themselves for their  boat handling & the chap said ” I did that well, was I on the right side?” my reply was ” Yes, you did that well but no you weren’t on the right side of the canal, lesson learned for next time!” they then promptly drove themselves straight into the bushes!

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We stopped for a bit of lunch just near Bradley. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the village. The Bradley section of the canal was completed in 1775. Upon entering the village there is a swing bridge crossing the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.  On 22 April 2007, a Polish war memorial was unveiled by the canal, in memory of seven Polish airmen who died when their plane crashed near Skipton in 1943.

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Shortly after passing through Snaygill we arrived in Skipton. First port of call was the water point & rubbish disposal at Gallows Footbridge. The water points are immediately under the footbridge & its easy to miss them, there are 3 day moorings on the other side, as it looked busy on this lovely hot sunny day & not knowing what other moorings were available we just reversed over to the last slot on the 3 day & decided to have a look at what else was available whilst we walked the dog & got a much needed ice cream.


It is busy at the 3 day moorings with multiple water points opposite & endless hire boats, day boats & charity boats going up & down. There is a Tesco Express right beside the footbridge & the main town centre is just a few minutes walk from the water point side.

6 Miles  0 Locks     10 Swing Bridges     3.5 Hours




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