Hire a traditional narrowboat and explore the picturesque scenery of the Pennines cruising the Leeds Liverpool Canal to the North and the Calder & Hebble and Rochdale Canal to the South.
The Leeds & Liverpool Canal follows the contours of the land between the two cities, making its way through glorious views of the Yorkshire Dales and giving you the opportunity to navigate staircase locks and stop to visit mill towns with stone cobbled walls.
The middle trans-Pennine canal, is only 33 miles long, but packs in a lot of locks! It was fully reopened in 2002. On the Yorkshire side, boaters cruise through romantic scenery and stone-built towns as they climb towards the summit. On the Lancashire side, the architecture gradually changes to red brick as you approach Manchester, with its bustling feel and canalside activities.
Re-opened in 2001, this canal is a spectacular combination of wooded countryside, views of the moors, and reminders of the textile industry, from weavers' cottages to giant mills (stone for wool, brick for cotton) now reused for today's needs. You will also discover Standedge Tunnel along this waterway, which is the longest and highest canal tunnel in Britain.
These three canals are linked on the Yorkshire side by river navigations. The Calder & Hebble is an old navigation, hidden in the trees. The Aire & Calder successfully mixes boaters on holiday with environmentally friendly bulk transport.
Week holidays: Explore Northern England on an 'out and back' holiday starting from Sowerby Bridge. You can go up the Rochdale towards the summit, then back down to Brighouse and beyond. Enthusiasts like to go right over to Rochdale and back. Or you can set off down the valley to Selby, or onto the L&L to Bingley - hard work but great fun. Experienced crews can do a good part of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
Alternatively if you are an experienced boater, why not try a one way trip. With a choice of three routes covering the Leeds Liverpool Canal, Rochdale Canal or Huddersfield Canal, a one way trip is a great way to explore this area of outstanding natural beauty. However, due to the amount of locks and bridges in this area, a one way option does require previous cruising experience including working locks.