header header
Saturday boats Monday/Friday boats Weekend routes Midweek routes Leeds & Liverpool routes

Long boat holiday routes from Sowerby Bridge

For everyone

Long boat holiday routes in Yorkshire and the north

One Way Map 14 or 21 Day Trip

In 10/11 days or a fortnight, you can do one of these longer routes, or simply take more time to enjoy one of our One-Week Routes.
And for experienced boaters, we have the most fantastic Rings, or our Adventure Holidays.

10, 11 or 14 night holidays

Bingley

Bingley 5 Rise Locks, on a long boat holiday Long Boat holiday on the Aire & Calder Navigation

110 miles 118 locks 55 hours

Sail down the leafy Calder & Hebble Navigation past Brighouse, and through wide river sections and narrow cuttings to Wakefield, where there are good moorings not too far from the bright lights. Then on to Stanley Ferry to see the famous aqueducts and two very convenient and contrasting pubs.
You are now on the Aire & Calder, which is still a thriving commercial waterway, though there are now many more pleasure boats than barges. Electric locks and a wide channel help you speed (relatively) round to Leeds, where you sail past the regenerated waterfront.
Then join the Leeds & Liverpool Canal which quickly escapes along its own way through fields and woods, with spectacular views of old West Riding industry - particularly Sir Titus Salt's Italianate mills and model town at Saltaire, with its Hockney museum. There are several staircase locks along the way, which culminate in the Five Rise Locks at Bingley, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways.

Hebden Bridge and Wakefield

Brearley, Rochdale Canal on as long boat holiday Long boat holiday at Brighouse on the Calder & Hebble Navigation

58 miles 78 locks 40 hours

Leaving our historic canal basin, your journey begins with the excitement of a new tunnel and the deepest lock in the country. The canal gradually climbs through woods, fields and small stone towns to Hebden Bridge. This old mill town nestles in a fork in the hills, houses piled tier upon tier. Hebden has excellent shops and is full of surprises - everything from horsey clothing to hand-made pottery. Untie, and go on up the valley, its sides closing in with crags and trees and views of the moors high above. A stream runs alongside, and the locks are set among woods or stone cottages. The Pennine Way crosses at Callis. Turn above Lock 14, and enjoy the steep walk up to Stoodley Pike, a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars.
Return to Sowerby Bridge and on down the Calder Valley through the woods to Brighouse. Good shopping, including a Sainsbury's with its own moorings, and plentiful pubs. Carry on through wide river sections and narrow cuttings to Wakefield, where there are good moorings not too far from the bright lights. Don't miss the Hepworth art gallery, with fixed and visting exhibitions of Barbara Hepworth sculpture and other modern art, in an amazing building by the river with convenient moorings nearby. Finally, make your way back to base.

Navigation notes

This is a straightforward journey suitable for beginners and experienced crews.

Rochdale and Brighouse

Littleborough, Rochdale Canal on a long boat holiday Long boat holiday at Brighouse on the Calder & Hebble Navigation

51 miles 120 locks 55 hours

Go to Hebden Bridge - see above. Carry on to Todmorden, completely untouristy yet with much to enjoy - fine Victorian buildings, especially the Town Hall, a lively market and many places to eat and drink, all dominated by a curving railway viaduct.
From here the going gets serious & more Alpine than Pennine. Pass the Great Wall of Todmorden, go under a splendidly overdone Gothic railway bridge, then stop at the Cross keys (much recommended). Keep going, with high hills on either side, to the summit, the second highest (just) in England at 600'. Now you start the steep drop into Littleborough, 12 locks in 2 miles. Visit the secondhand bookshop, then carry on past Clegg Hall (a Grade 1 listed ruin) and through the edge of Rochdale - surprisingly sylvan - and to its centre. Carry on to Lock No. 50, and turn just below.
Return to Sowerby Bridge and on down the Calder Valley through the woods to Brighouse. Good shopping, including a Sainsbury's with its own moorings, plentiful pubs and time to relax. Finally, make your way back to base.

Navigation notes

This journey needs an active, committed crew - it has a lot of locks!

14 night holidays

Skipton

Long boat holiday near Skipton on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Moorings at Skipton on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

136 miles 128 locks 70 hours

Go to Bingley - see above.
Carry on along the hillside, with wide views of Airedale to one side, and the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park on the other. Pretty villages and lots of swing bridges - much easier these days - take you through to Skipton, Gateway to the Dales. Don't miss the castle! This return journey needs long days and good timing.

Check availability

Use this form to check availability. When you find the boat you want, click 'Book this holiday now' and you can pay your deposit or hold for 48 hours - or ring 01422 832712.

The counties are the names of the boats, not where they start from! Click the map for routes, and the boat for details

Choose a route: Starting when? How long for? Which day of the week? How many people (inc. infants)?

Trip Review

"Moored at Rochdale & had rides on the trams and visited the Museum of Science & Technology in Manchester (very good)." - Mr Perkins, Westmorland

"Sowerby Bridge to Foulridge & return (first 3 weeks); Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge & return. Grand Départ at Skipton & Slisden. Skipton to Carlisle Railway. Gargrave to Morecambe by train. Clarence Dock - Leeds. All Leeds attractions/museums. East Riddlesden Hall. Temple Newsam. Hebden Bridge - towpath walk to Littleborough. Haworth by bus. K&WVR railway. Heptonstall by bus then walked to HB. Grandma Pollards Fish & Chips. Enjoyed 'The Moorings Pub & Kitchen' last night." - Mr & Mrs Thistlethwaite, Cambridge (Australia)

"Thoroughly enjoyable experience. The scenery towards the summit is stunning. People were largely very friendly. We had an excellent meal at the White Lion in Hebden Bridge." - Mrs Challand

"Variety of scenery from industrial to countryside. Pubs varied from locals to chains but all good. People met were friendly & helpful - especially on other boats. " - Mr Pick, Buckingham

More Reviews