Sowerby Bridge


41 Miles & 52 locks 


3 Days Cruise. 


Follow the Calder & Hebble navigation upstream following the same route as the Brighouse trip but after arriving in Brighouse continue along the canal through more manual locks to Elland. Just after is Salterhebble Locks, a set of three locks with the bottom lock being an electric guillotine lock. After the middle lock there are full facilities including toilets, elsan disposal, water point & general waste bins. Above the top lock the canal turns left and to the right is the former Halifax branch which is now closed. From here continue for approximately ½ an hour to arrive in Sowerby Bridge which marks the end of the Calder & Hebble navigation and the start of the Rochdale canal. There are plenty of morning spaces for either a short break or an overnight stop with access to full facilities including toilets. A short walk from here is Tuel lane lock which at 6 metre (19ft 6 inch) deep is the deepest lock in UK. This route does not include travel through this lock but it is well worth a look at and you may even see another boat going through. Adjacent to the moorings is Sowerby bridge wharf which has undergone major refurbishment in recent years and is home to Shire Cruisers along with many other businesses including restaurants and coffee shops. There are lots of shops including a supermarket in Sowerby Bridge so an ideal place to take a short break and go for a walk around. A 3 day cruise with lots of locks but includes plenty of time to take a break and walk around Sowerby Bridge. Ideal for groups who are looking to travel further than on weekend but without going for a full week.



Salterhebble Guillotine Lock.jpg

Salterhebble Guillotine Lock

Tule Lane Lock.jpg

Tuel Lane Lock

Salterhebble Locks.jpg

Salterhebble Locks

Sowerby Bridge.jpg

Sowerby Bridge


49 Miles & 46 locks 


3 /4 Days Cruise. 


Head downstream following the Leeds (Leeds Dock/Clarence Dock) route passed, Stanley Ferry, Castleford and Woodlesford to arrive at Leeds Dock in Leeds City Centre. From here continue along the river to arrive at Lock 1 of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. After joining the canal immediately head though lock 2 just beyond and continue along the canal to arrive at Oddy Locks which is a staircase lock and one of many on this canal. Staircase locks are made up of numerous locks in a row but unlike a normal lock flight there are no pounds in between and instead the top gate on one lock is also the bottom gate for the lock above. From Oddy locks, continue along the canal passed Aire Valley Marine to arrive in Kirkstall where just beyond is Kirkstall Lock. This is swiftly followed by Forge Locks and Newlay Locks, two sets of staircase locks which are both operated by Canal & River Trust lock keepers, see CRT website for opening times. Having passed though the locks continue along the canal though 3 swing bridges to arrive in Rodley and either turn here if space allows or continue through 2 more swing bridges to the winding hole just after swing bridge 216 where there is plenty of space to turn around. An ideal trip for those wanting to travel though Leeds and learn about staircase locks without completing the weeks cruise to Skipton. This route can be completed in three days but overnight mooring on the upwards journey must be near Aire Valley marine or at Kirkstall Visitor moorings in order for passage through Forge/Newlay locks to Rodley and back to be completed in the same day. Kirkstall, Forge & Newlay locks are all locked overnight due to vandalism and although mooring below the locks in Kirkstall should not be a problem, extra care should be taken especially if young groups are onboard. Therefore, the route is best completed in four days to allow safe overnight mooring in Leeds either in Leeds Dock (Clarence Dock) or at Granary Wharf next to Lock 1 of the Leeds & Liverpool canal on nights 1 and 3 with overnight mooring in Rodley on night 2. 

Lock 1 Leeds & Liverpool Canal.jpg

Lock 1-Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Forge Locks.jpg

Forge Locks

Granary Wharf.jpg

Granary Wharf




65 Miles & 24 locks 


3 Days Cruise


Follow the Stanley Ferry, Castleford and Goole routes, downstream and at the Junction just beyond Pollington lock, turn right to join the New Junction Canal. Immediately after pass over Went aqueduct and then slight further is the first on many electric lift bridges which require a CRT key to operate. Unlike most canals, this canal is a fairly straight canal so most groups will notice how easy it is to spot the lock/ lift bridges in the distance. Shortly after pass through Sykehouse lock and continue along the canal through the numerous lift bridges. Having passed Braithwaite the canal passes over the Don aqueduct, which unlike most aqueducts it has guillotine flood gates which prevent flood water entering the canal when the river is in flood. Just after is Bramwith junction where the main canal to Doncaster/Sheffield heads straight ahead but this route turns sharp left to join the Stainforth & Keadby Canal. Shortly after is Bramwith lock and Bramwith Swing Bridge where there is moorings and facilities. From here continue though through the swing bridge and along the canal to Stainforth where there are also moorings and a winding hole a little further on. An ideal trip for groups wanting to travel slightly further than a normal weekend with the option of experience electric lift bridges not seen on the canals near Wakefield. 

Sykehouse Lift Bridge.jpg

Sykehouse Lift Bridge

Bramwithe Swing Bridge.jpg

Bramwith Swing Bridge

Don Aqueduct.jpg

Don Aqueduct