Getting out and about at the minute is the only thing that is keeping us sane. These canal walks are amazing – not just because of the beautiful scenery you experience on the walks, but also the history. You will walk past old mills and along towpaths that used to be so pivotal to the economy. You get to witness great feats of engineering as there were no heavy pieces of machinery to build the locks and the canals – it was all man power. They are much more tranquil places these days where you can take in the wildlife and nature as you stroll along. We’ve picked a selection of the best canal walks in Yorkshire to enjoy this year.
1. Skipton & Gargrave
Starting at Gargrave this Yorkshire canal walk displays some of the most idyllic scenery God’s Own Country has to offer. You get to walk through chocolate box villages, serene canal life, and a little bit of woodland. If you don’t mind coming back on yourself, you can just meander along and follow the Leeds and Liverpool canal – otherwise head towards Flasby and then the untouched village of Stirton. You can take in the breathtaking views of Pendle Hill and enjoy the charm that the Yorkshire countryside has to offer.
2. Saltaire to Bingley
As this one starts in the model village of Saltaire, you can enjoy the beauty that is its Salt Mills – the whole place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walk offers some industrial charm and a chance to be reminded of a bit of Yorkshire’s past. Head out towards Bingley following the canal along. You’ll see some beautiful countryside along the 3-mile walk. At Bingley you can enjoy the Five Rise Locks – a feat in engineering back before there were machines to do the work. It’s one of our favourite canal walks in Yorkshire.
3. Colne Valley Walk
This walk starts at Standedge Tunnel Marsden, the birthplace of poet Simon Armitage is a beautiful place to visit and follows the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. You follow the canal through the villages of Slaithwaite and Milnsbridge. We recommend stopping for some great pizza at Anello’s in the village of Slaithwaite. You can cut your walk short at any point – it’s around 3 miles to Slaithwaite. There are some beautiful views such as working Mills and some unparalleled scenery.
4. Pocklington Canal
Pocklington Canal in East Yorkshire is 9.5 miles and heads through nine locks. It’s a brilliant and gentle stroll through beautiful countryside. You’ll get the chance to witness lots of wildlife. You can enjoy Allerthorpe Woods along the way. Being from East Yorkshire ourselves, this is a walk that is close to our hearts.
5. Hebden Bridge Canal
Hebden Bridge, the bohemian town in the Calder Valley has a great walk along the Rochdale Canal. The canal walk is nice and flat making it a comfortable ramble. It’s a nice, peaceful walk where you can bear witness to some gorgeous views. You can head towards Mytholryod and enjoy the views of the Walkley’s Mill before heading back to Hebden Bridge and chilling in the park.
6. Calder and Hebble Navigation
Starting in Wakefield the Navigation is an end-on junction with the Aire and Calder Navigation. It runs upstream through Mirfield, then on to the Huddersfield Broad Canal, to arrive at Sowerby Bridge, where there is another end-on junction, this time with the Rochdale Canal. It’s 21 miles long so there are many different walks you can do. We tend to get do a section and then get a bus back to the car.
7. 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.
Feature Image credit: Pixabay