The Leeds-Liverpool Canal was once one of the main arteries that gave life to the Industrial Revolution. Some 200 years since it was first built, it now links gritty northern towns with glorious countryside and provides an ideal place for kayaking.
“I kayaked part of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal from Burnley’s Reedley Marina to Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales with Greg Brookes of the Canal & River Trust for a piece in The Times and absolutely loved the experience. Highlights for me included going through the mile-long Foulridge Tunnel and stayed at the gorgeous B&B Blakey Hall Farm and Skipton’s Coach House on the way, with a magnificent evening meal at the White Swan at Fence
– probably my favourite pub meal of all time.”
James, Yorkshire's Best Adventures
About kayaking the Leeds-Liverpool Canal:
The Leeds-Liverpool canal is a 200-year-old antique that’s just been spruced up by a number of youth groups along its length to offer the country’s first coast-to-coast kayaking trail.
Stretching from Liverpool’s old docks to the hip city of Leeds, the route takes in gritty urban areas, gorgeous rolling hills and some fabulous country pubs, inns and B&Bs along the way.
Highlights of a trip, depending on where you start, include doing the magnificent Bingley Five Rise Locks with a dizzying 1:5 gradient and the mile-long Foulridge Tunnel that you need special dispensation to kayak through.
Tours are self-guided on the trail set up by the Canal & River Trust and sponsored by controversial media tycoon Richard Desmond.
The plan is to eventually offer 10 youth hubs along the length of the canal – each one will provide a place for young people to hang out, learn new skills, care for the canal and build a sense of community.
The hubs may eventually offer kayak hire to people wishing to do a day or two on the canal itself.
A seven-day licence to kayak the canal costs £14.16.