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Rochdale or Leeds-Liverpool


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#1 Inger

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

We're planning on a one-week trip on the Rochdale canal or the Leeds-Liverpool canal, this summer.

There will be four of us, all adults, and we have some experience of narrow-boating. This will actually be our sixth narrow-boat trip in the U.K (we're from Sweden.)

We are primarily looking for a quiet trip with beautiful scenery, nice towns and villages and plenty of pubs serving good ale along the way. We have little interest in canal history and are very keen to avoid industrial areas (be they historical or modern) and big cities (having had some bad experiences of that previously).

Having done some research on the internet, it seems that the best choices would be doing the Rochdale canal from Sowersby bridge and westwards, or the Leeds-Liverpool canal starting in Skipton.

Given our preferences for beautiful scenery and good pubs - which one would you recommend?
If the Leeds-Liverpool canal would be the best one, what route would you recommend, starting and ending in Skipton?
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#2 The Dog House

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

We're planning on a one-week trip on the Rochdale canal or the Leeds-Liverpool canal, this summer.

There will be four of us, all adults, and we have some experience of narrow-boating. This will actually be our sixth narrow-boat trip in the U.K (we're from Sweden.)

We are primarily looking for a quiet trip with beautiful scenery, nice towns and villages and plenty of pubs serving good ale along the way. We have little interest in canal history and are very keen to avoid industrial areas (be they historical or modern) and big cities (having had some bad experiences of that previously).

Having done some research on the internet, it seems that the best choices would be doing the Rochdale canal from Sowersby bridge and westwards, or the Leeds-Liverpool canal starting in Skipton.

Given our preferences for beautiful scenery and good pubs - which one would you recommend?
If the Leeds-Liverpool canal would be the best one, what route would you recommend, starting and ending in Skipton?


Not yet done the Rochdale but done the L&L a few times now.

The route we have done in a week from Skipton is an 'out and back' but it takes in some of the best canal scenery you will come across in the UK system.

Skipton through the tunnel at Foulridge and turn at Nelson back through Skipton down the Bingley five Rise (A must do if you are on the L&L) - you can wind at the bottom of the three rise or in Dowley Gap if you don't want to go into Shipley but if you do that you immediately have to come back up the three and five rises which is a bit pointless really.

We pressed on through Shipley (It's not bad actually) and took in Saltaire too which is worth a visit. Moored at a really nice spot just short of Field Top lock, turned and returned to Skipton.

Easily do-able in a week with 4 adults, but it does take in some towns which is not really avoidable TBH.

Good pubs in Skipton, Gargrave, East Marton, Farnhill

ed to add a couple of 'taster' pics.

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Edited by MJG, 05 February 2012 - 11:02 AM.

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#3 journeyperson

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

We're planning on a one-week trip on the Rochdale canal or the Leeds-Liverpool canal, this summer.

There will be four of us, all adults, and we have some experience of narrow-boating. This will actually be our sixth narrow-boat trip in the U.K (we're from Sweden.)

We are primarily looking for a quiet trip with beautiful scenery, nice towns and villages and plenty of pubs serving good ale along the way. We have little interest in canal history and are very keen to avoid industrial areas (be they historical or modern) and big cities (having had some bad experiences of that previously).

Having done some research on the internet, it seems that the best choices would be doing the Rochdale canal from Sowersby bridge and westwards, or the Leeds-Liverpool canal starting in Skipton.

Given our preferences for beautiful scenery and good pubs - which one would you recommend?
If the Leeds-Liverpool canal would be the best one, what route would you recommend, starting and ending in Skipton?


Welcome! If you want to avoid industrial areas that will limit the distance you can go on either of these canals, they are both a mixture of beautiful scenery and industrial or post industrial areas; you really have to take the beauty and the beast. I would suggest the Leeds & Liverpool from Skipton. Head West and if you run out of countryside turn round and head back and go East of Skipton for a while. The Rochdale is lovely but you are usually in a valley and the views aren't as majestic as on the L&L.

I like a drink but I'm not an expert on the pubs on either canal.

Edited by journeyperson, 05 February 2012 - 10:36 AM.

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#4 Albion

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:50 AM

I agree with both MJG and Journeyperson but, maybe I would as I live in Skipton :lol:
The scenery on their suggested route is lovely and, only just off the canal basin in Skipton, you have the best pub for real ales in the area, The Narrow Boat in Victoria Street. If you happened to hire from Pennine Cruisers for example you could almost fall into The Narrow Boat from Pennine's entrance archway.
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#5 pearley

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:27 PM

Sorry, wouldn't agree about the scenery on the L & L being better than the Rochdale. Different yes. The Rochdale may be in a valley but if you go over the summit you see the majestic hills rising on either side of the canal. And you can't help wondering how those early engineers squeezed a road, canal and railway in such a small space. Bloody hard work though and plenty of pubs!
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#6 tillergirl

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:35 PM

Cannot comment on the Rochdale as only done west from Skipton on the LL. Stunning scenery but bloody hard work!! Though well worth it IMO. If you go onto Jim Shead's website you may find some photos of both canals to compare. Whichever you choose I'm sure you will enjoy it.
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#7 journeyperson

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:46 PM

Sorry, wouldn't agree about the scenery on the L & L being better than the Rochdale. Different yes. The Rochdale may be in a valley but if you go over the summit you see the majestic hills rising on either side of the canal. And you can't help wondering how those early engineers squeezed a road, canal and railway in such a small space. Bloody hard work though and plenty of pubs!


That is exactly my point. You are looking at hills rising on either side and added to that you are accompanied in the small space by a road and a railway a lot of the time.

I still think it's great and I will be going that way again some time.

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Edited by journeyperson, 05 February 2012 - 01:59 PM.

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#8 Matthew Dowson

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:55 PM

Both brilliant, and both different. Fewer locks on the L&L, so it depends what you want. This type of post, Rochdale or L&L has been answered lots of times in the past, so a search should get you lots more views. You'll have a great time whichever you do. You're clearly going with Shire Cruisers who are an outstanding hire company with great boats.
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#9 rgreg

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

Welcome! If you want to avoid industrial areas that will limit the distance you can go on either of these canals, they are both a mixture of beautiful scenery and industrial or post industrial areas; you really have to take the beauty and the beast. I would suggest the Leeds & Liverpool from Skipton. Head West and if you run out of countryside turn round and head back and go East of Skipton for a while. The Rochdale is lovely but you are usually in a valley and the views aren't as majestic as on the L&L.

I like a drink but I'm not an expert on the pubs on either canal.

I would totally agree with this; it was the first canal trip we did and probably still my favourite. I think it fits your criteria nicely and there are some excellent hire companies there.
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#10 Janet S

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:14 PM

If you plan to do the Leeds & Liverpool, rather than starting and finishing in Skipton, how about starting at either Foulridge or Barnoldswick and heading towards Skipton and maybe on to Bingley?

That way you'd avoid the towns and get the very best from the wonderful countryside and also have time to actually enjoy Skipton, which is a fabulous little place.

Shire Cruisers have a base at Foulridge, and Canal Boat Escapes are based just outside Barnoldswick.

Janet
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#11 Inger

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for all the good advice and lovely pictures:-)

We decided on the Leeds-Liverpool canal and will start and end in Barnoldswick. We're very axcited about it and are looking forward to a (hopefully) great holiday in the Pennines.
Anything we shouldn't miss?
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#12 MartinClark

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

Anything we shouldn't miss?


Well, you can't miss Bingley Five Rise Locks - one of the waterway 'wonders'. If you go far enough eastwards, the canal will take you through Saltaire but it is well worth stopping and visiting the mill and the village, which was a 'model' industrial village with all the facilities provided for the workers (except a pub).

You can't miss the many swing bridges - you have to go through them!

I hope you received my email and that it was useful.

Edited by MartinClark, 07 February 2012 - 08:58 PM.

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#13 'TheBitch'

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for all the good advice and lovely pictures:-)

We decided on the Leeds-Liverpool canal and will start and end in Barnoldswick. We're very axcited about it and are looking forward to a (hopefully) great holiday in the Pennines.
Anything we shouldn't miss?


Don't miss The Bollywood Cottage in Gargrave. Super Indian food. The pubs in the village not the greatest, so have a nice bottle of wine after dinner.

Located here

Try and catch the market in Skipton as you pass through.
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#14 journeyperson

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:30 PM

Don't miss The Bollywood Cottage in Gargrave. Super Indian food. The pubs in the village not the greatest, so have a nice bottle of wine after dinner.

Located here

Try and catch the market in Skipton as you pass through.


I'd agree about the pubs in Gargrave. It's a pretty village and has two or three pubs but they're all a bit non-descript. We were there at lunchtime and ended up in the Masons Arms by the church. Nice enough inside, the food and beer were fine but it was a hot day and the beer garden doubled as the smoking area.
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#15 The Dog House

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:45 AM

Thanks for all the good advice and lovely pictures:-)

We decided on the Leeds-Liverpool canal and will start and end in Barnoldswick. We're very axcited about it and are looking forward to a (hopefully) great holiday in the Pennines.
Anything we shouldn't miss?


As well as the 5 rise already mentioned make sure you do the tunnel at Foulridge - it's quite an easy one to do compared to some on the system as it's one way and operates on 'traffic' lights, it's an interesting experience.

If you need groceries while down that end the Morrisons at Nelson has a dedicated mooring which is at the rear of their car park - the gate into it operates on a BW key.

I would also say Saltaire is worth a visit/walk-around, the uniformly built streets and houses are very interesting to see, along with the former mill building which is just great.

If you are going from Barnoldswick you will no doubt be going with Canal Boat escapes the proprietor of which is a member on here and it's highly likely your handover/lock tuition will be done by Janet S also a CWDF member.
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#16 David Mack

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:14 PM

You could do both.

Canal Boat Escapes offer one way trips form Barnoldswick on the L&L to Hebden Bridge on the Rochdale and Shire Cruisers offer one way from Foulridge (L&L) to Sowerby Bridge (at the end of the Rochdale).

David
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#17 Janet S

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

If you decide to go with Canal Boat Escapes, then yes, there is a very good chance that I'll be conducting your handover and your lock tuition and I'd be delighted to do so!

Both the Rochdale and the Leeds/Liverpool have their own challenges, but you are sure to have a holiday to remember, whichever you choose.

The Rochdale is possibly my favourite canal, as we love to do locks, but it's very heavy going to try and do in a week. The Leeds/Liverpool is a bit more gentle, but the swing bridges can be a challenge...

Whichever you decide on, I'm sure you'll love it!

Janet
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#18 Inger

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

We will be going with Canal Boat Escapes, so we hope to see you in july, Janet:-)
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#19 Janet S

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:23 PM

We will be going with Canal Boat Escapes, so we hope to see you in july, Janet:-)


I only just spotted your reply Inger! I'll try and make sure I do the handover for you...in the meantime, any questions you may have, then please ask.

Janet
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in one hand - something deep fried in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming........................ "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"


#20 Inger

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

Last week, we did the Leeds and Liverpool canal, from Barnoldswick to Saltaire and back, then on to The Foulridge tunnel and back to B'wick.
We 're teally happy with our choice of route, and of narrowboat operator.
The scenery was absolutely stunning. The Yorkshire Dales are truly pretty, what with all the green hills, white sheep and grey stone houses and drystone walls.
The number of locks and bridges were perfect to keep us occupied bur not overworked. Only downside was that many of the paddles were broken, and the Clough paddles were nearly impossible to open.

We moored in some wonderful spots and went to several really good pubs, where we had good food, and very good beer:)
We particularly liked the Narrowboat Inn in Skipton, Cross keyes at East Marton, and the Fisherman's in Bingley. We missed out on the Bollywood Cottage, but had a lovely Indian meal at the Agrar in Skipton. One thing we absolutely cannot understand is why Foster's is the biggest seller in English pubs (according to a pub owner we talked to). Why drink Foster's or Stella or Heineken, when you have such wonderful, locally brewed ales and bitters?

We thouroughly enjoyed the trip, and our friends who were on a narrowboat for the first time also loved it!
The only problem was that it was far too short. We'd hardly got on the boat when it was time to disembark. And, admittedly, the weather could have been a bit better. But, then again, you don't go to England for a holiday in the sun;)

So thanks for all the tips. And also a great many thanks to Karen and Richard at Canalboat Escapes :)

Edited by Inger, 26 July 2012 - 08:46 PM.

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