Penny left us to go back to Leeds to collect their car this morning while the rest of us battled on up 12 locks. We had been told by lots of people how the canal between Skipton and Gargrave is the prettiest on the Leeds and Liverpool and some had said that they reckoned it is the prettiest on the whole canal system. I can heartily concur with that but then I am rather biased! The first part of the journey was spent watching the Pennines rolling around on either side of us though we did have 3 swing bridges to contend with but as the canal was quite busy we only had to operate one of them. We were fortunate enough that the weather was quite good – there wasn’t any mist or rain so that the view was lovely. We were really fortunate to see a steam train running through the valley on its way from York to Carlisle on a Sunday Special (I checked it out and they wanted £66 per person for the privilege!).
Gargrave has 6 locks which, although the canal was busy, we ended up doing on our own. We passed through Gargrave without stopping but again we will be back soon in the car to visit it properly. We crossed the Priest Holme Aqueduct which takes the canal over the River Aire and is extremely attractive. We shortly arrived at Bank Newton Locks – a flight of 6 locks which we were fortunate to do with another boat. I found them hard work but then I was not only walking on ahead to set the locks for our use but helping a hire boat ahead of us get through.
Between Bank Newton and East Marton are a series of bends in the canal which are very sharp but I guess follow a contour – it was also very scenic. We moored up at East Marton where Penny was waiting for us.