Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Leeds to Skipton

After spending a week in Leeds it was time to move on and along the Leeds Liverpool canal to the countryside.  The first leg of the journey passes through 12 locks over 10 miles as the canal climbs out of Leeds through Armley and Kirkstall.  These are not the best areas and boaters are advised to reach Rodley before stopping overnight.   As it was a long leg I collared Dave on his day off to come and help.  We left his car at Apperley Bridge, a few miles beyond Rodley and caught the train back to Leeds to get the boat. Thankfully the weather was dry and even reasonably warm given the poor start to August and we spent a pleasant day cruising up to Apperley Bridge.

The first of many small staircases

Moored above Apperley Bridge locks 

After spending a couple of wet days at Apperley Bridge I moved on through Shipley to Saltaire - the town famously built by Titus Salt to house the workforce of his large mills.

Salt Mills - Saltaire
Just beyond the mills the canal returns to tree lined countryside and offers a quiet mooring spot.

Today I faced the famous Bingley 5 rise locks, and the less well known 3 rise which bring the canal up onto the valley side where it then meanders along the contour line for around 14 miles to Skipton. While the locks are manned and therefore easier, the stretch from Bingley to Skipton has 16 swing bridges each of which needs to be opened to let the boat through and then closed afterwards. Remembering this from my last trip over the L&L I decided to once again enlist Dave's help along with an old friend of ours Piet van Anraad.  Unfortunately Piet is disabled following a fall and it seemed only fair to let Dave steer so yours truly ended up operating the locks and swing bridges.  Still a very good trip which would have taken me two days on my own and involved a fair amount of acrobatics as most of the bridges operate from the non-towpath side which makes operating them single handed quite tricky.
Approaching Bingley 5 Rise

Almost there Lock 4 of 5  think

View from one of the many swing bridges

And finally moored up in Skipton where we retired to Bizzie Lizzie's for a well earned plate of fish and chips

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