First trip to Skipton

For our first proper ‘holiday’ on NB Earl we decided to head for Skipton. This would involve stays in Leeds, passing through Saltaire and up the famous Bingley Five Rise.

Date Final Location Engine Hrs Notes Start time End time
21/08/16 Granary Wharf, Leeds

Moored at Granary Wharf

Moored outside Fazenda, Granary Wharf

56.8 Quiet run up to Leeds. Wind was strong causing some problems getting in to sides & away. Had to throw into reverse at Clarence Dock to avoid the water taxi coming out. Mooring outside Leeds Lock very limited with awkward crossflow from the Aire. Taxi also uses the same landing steps – who has priority? Got in at Granary Wharf allowing us to shop at Leeds Station (newspaper & M&S), a refreshing beer at The Hops and dinner @ Fazenda (50m away). Best parking in town! 11:00 15:30
22/08/16 Apperley Bridge Marina (opposite)

Apperley Bridge Marina

Paddling by Apperley Bridge Marina

63.0 Wet climb out of Leeds, through what is often referred to as Bandit Country, although CRT lock keepers reported no sign of trouble this year and weather today would keep them tucked up at home. New house & apartment construction by the canal will probably help as more people are using the towpath and overlooking it. Stopped raining and came out sunny at Newlay 3 Locks and surroundings becoming more rural. Lock keepers reporting only 8-10 boats a day despite being holiday period. It has been quiet since the floods last winter. Rodley is pleasant village with moorings & pub, beyond becomes totally rural up to Apperley Bridge. 10:15 16:15
23/08/16 72hr Moorings, Bingley

Damart at Bingley

Damart factory beside the Bingley 3 Rise

69.2 Latish start. Stopped above Dobson 2 Locks to water and dispose. Water incredibly clear (sometimes unnervingly so seeing the rocky bottom) up most of the way to Shipley but also with lots of weed. Slow progress as no help or lock mates at any of the locks. Still pressed on to the bottom of the Bingley 3 Rise (under shadow of the Damart factory) – perhaps not the best mooring site with lots of train and traffic noise. Near the pub just above Dowley Gap seemed more favoured. 10:50 17:45
24/08/16 72hr Moorings Skipton

Bingley 5 Rise

Bingley 5 Rise staircase locks

76.7 Other than noise no problems on Bingley mooring. Pushed across to join queue when 3rd narrowboat of the day arrived at base of locks, then enjoyed a 2hr ride up the 3 and 5  Rises with Mel (single handed going up to get water before returning down) and a lady he had met the previous day who had never been aboard before. After the Bingley locks there is nothing but swing bridges barring the way to Skipton. Much more traffic up here including the hire fleets of Pennine, Snaygill and Silsden Boats, but lots of lovely countryside. Keighley 7day moorings looked good for an overnight stop of the way back, reached at 12:45 so about 4.5 hrs down from Skipton. After finding the M&S Food Hall in Skipton, we ate in the Fish & Chip Restaurant by the bridge. 09:45 17:30
25/08/16 Keighley 7day Moorings 81.7 Late fried brekkie before a bit of shopping. After checking diesel prices at Pennine & Snaysgill decided to fuel at Pennine in Skipton at the junction (10p cheaper per litre). Put on 145l which brought fuel to within an inch or so of the top. Then set off back to the Sanitary Station to fill and dispose, eventually departing at 12:45.¬† Snaysgill Swing Bridge needs serious work, I couldn’t move it any better than Teri the previous day. No help today through swing bridges so seemed to take longer, in reality¬† the time back to Keighley was pretty similar. Met some of the hire fleets rushing back towards base, presumably for 9:00 Friday returns, otherwise just us and the herons & ducks & swans. Also spotted a deer in a field as we approached one swing bridge. 12:45 17:30
26/08/16 Shipley Gallows Bridge 24hr Mooring

Going down Bingley 5 Rise

Plenty of gongoozlers at Bingley on a sunny day

86.4 Late start after tidying front locker once we had discovered the oils & maintenance box was full of water, presumably after some of the lock wall waterfalls over the previous few days. I think the box of rubber gloves is lost as they are all saturated. Pootled down to Bingley 5 Rise by 12:30. Teri suddenly realised she had left her keys in the last swing bridge which entailed a brisk 5-10 mins walk back for me. Arrived just as a boat was coming through and the keys were there. The boat gave me a lift back and we then shared down the locks with them as far as Saltaire after they had stopped for showers and the lockies had lunched. The couple had Dutch guests aboard who they had met when on their other boat – a 105 yr old dutch barge moored near Rotterdam. After returning to Doncaster they are due to go out to Holland for a couple of months. Looked at moorings by the cricket club entering Saltaire but all decent armco moorings taken. Also tried just past the visitor moorings but too many rocks in the water, so ended up on the 1 space at Shipley 24hr. The area is a bit littered but by the access to the private moorings and overlooked by flats so hopefully ok for a night. There can’t be a much better sight from a boat than coming down the Bingley 5 Rise with the town and Damart factory lying beyond. However, not too much time for sightseeing as 57′ leaves little room for manouevre between gates, cills and waterfalls washing the back deck. (Note: Tell Paul Balmer (Waterway Routes) he has the 9.0 hour data repeated on the map and the 9.5 hr is missing.) 11:00 17:00
27/08/16 Rodley by Rodley Boat Centre 90.7 After a quiet night set off in sunshine. At the first swing bridge the excitment of the day was provided by the cyclist who, in trying to avoid a speed hump on the towpath (needed on this section), clipped the bollard and went over his handlebars into the canal. Luckily I had already moved away from the landing so he had a wet landing. A couple more of his group came along and helped him out. Seemed ok and later on we saw him riding back in the opposite direction. At Field 3 another boat turned up just as we were going down the top lock – shame. Anyway we both filled with water above Dobson 2 (about 13:45) and then went down together. As we exited it started raining. Couldn’t get moored at Apperley Bridge Marina so no chance to check chandlery. It then bucketed down on the stretch to Rodley, thankfully not much to do so only 1 person getting wet. Then good timing eased off as we arrived at Rodley. There was space on the 7day moorings between pub and swing bridge but glad we moored on the armco before that as the pub was having an outdoor music festival. 10:45 16:15
28/08/16 Granary Wharf 48hr Moorings 96.0 Pleasant, dry day with no wind and some sun as we pottered back down to Leeds on our own. Evidence of recent vandal attacks on the Newlay 3 since we went up – trying to gemmy off the anti-vandal locks, setting light to paddle gear, etc. – what do they get out of it? The poor lock keepers are running a constant battle to keep things operating. The Stables at Oddey 2 Locks provides a welcome ice cream (or tea, cake, etc if you want it). Managed to reverse into the middle of the official 48hr moorings at Granary Wharf without hitting anything. May go for one of the outer wall positions in future as the walls are longer than the pontoons, making it easier to tie up. 10:00 15:15
29/08/16 Lemonroyd Marina

CRT Office Leeds

CRT Office opposite Leeds Lock

99.4 Set off through River Lock with company. Exit and pick up was easier than thought taking it slowly and a couple of other boaters to close the gates after us, flow comng past on the river seemed less. The other boat was going on to York in a few days but had never done the automated locks so Teri gave a lesson. 11:00 14:30