For some reason we had expected a longish day’s travel: instead we left East Marton at 9.20 and had moored at Gargrave by 12.30. I walked until the first locks at Bank Newton. It’s a very winding stretch of canal with wonderful views. To my right, sometimes close and sometimes in the distance I could see the lane that we followed yesterday as a short cut. Alan dropped well behind Blue Point because a black Labrador repeatedly jumped into the canal to swim in front of the boat. Finally it’s owner called it to heel. We were bemused by many signs along the canal, just across the dry stone wall, saying BAD LEAK. What did this mean? I couldn’t see any signs of water leaking down the embankment.

The six Bank Newton locks were despatched with efficiently. There is noticeably more boat traffic now that we have passed Blackburn / Burnley, with quite a number of hire boats, so we crossed with a couple of pairs of boats. We passed one hire boat in the pound before the final lock in the flight. They should have gone ahead of us but had a rope around their prop and the lock keeper was helping them sort it out. They passed us at Gargrave later so all was OK. We had slight waits at the three remaining locks as we were hard on the heels of another boat.

This is a very pleasant mooring spot at Gargrave and it’s a short walk into the village centre. The houses are all beautiful stone, with new builds blending in seamlessly with the old, but the A65 road to Settle and the Lakes channels very large lorries through the centre and makes crossing the road tricky if you don’t walk to the one crossing. The River Aire was following a gentle path through a wide gravel bed and looked very attractive indeed, with stepping stones across. The rain held off this afternoon, the washing dried on the line and we had a very pleasant walk around exploring every lane and quieter back road.

Zigzagging through the valley

Liz operating a Clough ground paddle

Lock with a view

Today we did 3.93 Miles and 9 Locks

Statistics so far:-

2576.84 Miles, 1519 Locks, 137 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 45 Tunnels


2 Responses to Gargrave

  1. carrie says:

    Wow – that’s stunning scenery! Love it. Mmmm… I’m wondering about venturing up there myself now 🙂

  2. nblazydays says:

    It certainly is the most wonderful scenery. There are several flights of locks, including the Wigan flight, so it helps to team up with another boat, also would be better for the bit between Blackburn and Burnley. The main difficulty is the water levels and restrictions are already in place this year. We like travelling in the sunshine but that rain is really necessary! Not that its a shallow canal as you travel along, they just don’t have the water to pumnp into the flights of locks.

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