On a sunny day in July 2020 we enjoyed a family day out on a canal boat in Skipton in West Yorkshire.
We had a great day out on the beautiful Leeds and Liverpool Canal. We booked our Canal boat with Pennine Cruisers as my brother recommended them.
Captain Your Own Canal Boat
We arrived at the canal basin in Skipton at 9am for a short briefing before setting off down the canal South East towards Keighley. My husband and brother quickly learnt how to control the boat and they did a great job of manoeuvring us down the canal and managing the swing bridges. There are no locks on this stretch so we didn’t need to worry about that. I had a short turn controlling the boat, which was ok, but I wouldn’t have felt confident driving it alongside parked boats or passing others coming the other way.
There were 9 of us altogether, including my family of four my brother’s family and grandparents. We all enjoyed the day and it was lovely to enjoy the scenery at a slow pace with plenty of space to sit or read or colour in. We were lucky to get a mainly sunny day. I did wonder how our experience may have been hindered by bad weather. It was lovely to sit at the front of the boat enjoying the sunshine and the views. The kids even climbed on top to enjoy a rooftop tour down the canal.
Skipton Canal Boat Sights
There is a war memorial not far from Skipton right on the side of the canal and we stopped to take a look. You can park up anywhere along the canal whenever you fancy. It was interesting to read about the seven airmen who lost their lives during WW2. There are details about this at the following link – Yorkshire Aircraft.
We saw lots of birds and wildlife including herons and squirrels. There were some lovely views of woodlands and beautiful valleys.
Food and Drinks on the Canal
Around midday we enjoyed a lovely lunch of pies and picnic snacks along with Champagne and homemade scones with cream and jam (thanks to my Mum). There was a hob on board allowing us to make hot drinks, which was nice. The cupboards contained all the basic items you would need to make a simple meal and there was crockery and cutlery as well as a sink to wash up. There is also a toilet onboard.
There are various places to stop and eat and drink on the canal, but we were unsure which places would be open so we played safe with our own food and drinks.
We were told to return back to Skipton for 4:30pm. We had ventured a bit further than expected when we turned back towards Skipton, but luckily our captains made good progress and we arrived back to Skipton at exactly 4:30pm.
We paid just under £200 for the day and we felt this was good value for an amazing experience.