The canals were once busy and bustling areas which were carting our materials for industry up and down the country – a far stretch from the slow paced idyllic settings they have become. All along the canal walks there are mills, old warehouses and other signs of the great industrial revolution that took place in the Victorian era. They’re used these days as beautiful leafy retreats on canal boats and nice calm walks. We have put together some of our favourite West Yorkshire canal walks for you to enjoy this summer.
1. Todmorden To Hebden Bridge
This is a nice easy walk, which has plenty of wildlife as well as beautiful scenery for a nice half-day walk. Along the way, you will come across several historic mills with beautiful architecture, as well as a selection of locks, which are our favourite thing about canal walks. There is something peaceful about the pace of canal life.
The engineering skills needed to have created such a thing is bewildering and makes for a great talking point whilst you open and close the locks. The walk is around 5 miles, and you can choose to walk back the same route after a nice bevvie in Hebden Bridge or you can get a train back to Todmorden.
2. The Aire and Calder Navigation
The Aire and Calder canal walk is a beautiful nature walk that is ideal for all skill sets. It’s a great walk in between Leeds and Wakefield that takes in the Thwaite Mills and other interesting points of interest along the towpath as you wander along. It’s around 10-miles, so, quite a big walk but a wonderful one at that.
3. The Five Rise Locks
Set off from the model village Saltaire where you can enjoy the unique architecture of the Salt Mills in the UNESCO World Heritage spot before heading away from the industrial charm out towards Bingley. When you arrive at Bingley you can enjoy the amazing feat of engineering which is the Five Rise Lock. It’s a really special place and a great way to see how things were done back in the Victorian Times.
4. Huddersfield Narrow Canal
This 8-mile stretch passes through some of West Yorkshire’s most beautiful villages Milnsbridge, Slaithwaite and Marsden. We can’t recommend Anello’s pizzeria in Slaithwaite enough if you’re looking to have a lot on your walk. When you get to the end of Stanedge Tunnel, you can take in Britain’s highest, deepest and longest canal tunnel. The best thing about West Yorkshire is its beautiful historic buildings, and there are mills and other amazing buildings along the leafy woodland walk also.
5. Leeds City Centre
The Leeds Liverpool canal is an amazing thing – it’s one of the more unique canal walks in Yorkshire. The amount of varying walks you can experience along it is amazing. We love this city walk as it’s hard to believe you’re in the heart of the town surrounded by heritage buildings, restaurants and transformed mills. Heading out of town you can go towards Rodley and experience Canal Mills Armley mills and some sections also run parallel to the River Aire. On a summer’s day, it’s great to watch the waters glisten as you ramble along the towpath.
Read More: 7 Of The Best And Most Scenic River Walks In Yorkshire
Feature Image Credit: Photo © G Laird (cc-by-sa/2.0)