Jo’s Monday walk : Canalside in Skipton


What drew me to Skipton, in the Yorkshire Dales, for our wedding anniversary?  Heaven knows, I’m no cricket fan (sorry, Freddie!)   Why boats, of course!  This little market town is at the heart of a network of canals where I could walk the towpaths to infinity. (well, Liverpool is 99 miles away- that’s infinity to my husband’s way of thinking, but then he’s a cricket lover)

Skipton sits on the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  Perfect for walking.  York is a mere 38 miles away.  Is that too ambitious?  It was only an overnight stay, so boundaries would definitely have to be set.


In any case, the canal basin seemed like a good place to start.  I had an ancient town guide to hand and one of its recommends was a walk along Springs Canal.  This takes you around the back of Skipton Castle and promises fine views.  Unfortunately it was dull, verging on damp, at the time so my photos are much less splendid than I would have liked.

Continuing past an old sawmill, the walk weaves through Skipton Woods, a leafy stroll, and a favoured promenade since Victorian times.  It’s an atmospheric place, yet busy with dog walkers.  A circuit takes you past the Round Dam and parallel to the Long Dam, before climbing steps to follow the top edge of the wood, back into town via The Bailey.

At this point you might want to visit Skipton Castle.  Dating back to 1090, it is a wonderfully preserved Medieval castle, with an early Tudor courtyard.  I’ve visited the castle before, but not the neighbouring 14th century Holy Trinity Church.



Emerging onto the High Street, I found the market in full swing.  I hadn’t come to shop, but there was ample opportunity and I enjoyed the lively atmosphere.  More to my taste, the ‘ginnels’ and narrow alleyways linking many of the side streets.  I couldn’t resist a few brollies for Meg, but then it was time to eat.  And just to prove that I don’t only eat cake…

A saunter down delightfully cobbled Sheep Street offers plenty of choices.  The Three Sheep Tea Rooms has remarkably fine cake, and I can vouch for the pear and apple chutney.  Even though I managed to squidge some down my white trousers!  Time to get back to the canals.


The day was brightening beautifully, and I crossed over Belmont Bridge to join the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  Few things delight my heart more than a narrowboat.  Wreathed in smiles I set off, reveling in such beautiful surroundings.

There are all manner of diversions along the way.  Curious wildlife inspect the prowess of the boat crews.  “Hold steady while I take this selfie!”  “Watch out for those cows!”  Just when all is going smoothly, lock gates present a challenge.


So much to love!  Smiling faces on board, and on the towpath.  Boat names.  Pretty gardens to admire.  A slow, peaceful way of life.


All too soon I have to return to the canal basin, for one last linger.  Watching the canal boats depart for their half hour trips, I strike up a conversation with a couple, over a drink outside The Boat House.  They used to own a barge in Belgium, and are as enamoured with the narrowboats as I am. It obviously suited Freddie Trueman too.  He made his home in The Dales and the dynamic statue by Graham Ibbetson is a fine tribute.


I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my anniversary walk with me.  It’s been a pleasure to take you along.  Time now for my second cup of coffee!

walking logo

Many thanks to you all again for sharing and caring this week.  The weather’s been great and I’ve barely been indoors.  Got to make the most, don’t you?  I have some wonderful walks to share.  If you’d like to join in any time, it’s pretty easy.  Just click on the logo or take a look at my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’ll be very welcome.


Who knew a walk round a pumping station could be so interesting?  Thanks a lot, Violet Sky!

High Level

Take a ride through some lovely countryside with Lady Lee?

Thekkady Jeep Safari

My good friend Leya is joining us with some real enchantment this week.  Please pay her a visit :

The Enchanted Monastery

In case you were in any doubt, Debbie shows us just how beautiful is Corsica :

Stroll around Ile Lavezzi

No place like Glasgow!  Just ask Anabel.  She knows!

Glasgow’s Clyde

Got to love Jackie’s energy!  Toronto is another good-looking city :

Summer in the City

Liesbet knows I love waterfalls.  They always make a walk worthwhile :

Hiking to Tannery Falls

You could say Drake is a black pearl.  What do you think?

A pearl without a hard shell

Laia reflects on life in beautiful Switzerland.  Wish I was there!

A walk along the Lake Leman

Please welcome Hanna to my walks.  She’ll show you a little of life in wonderful Copenhagen :

An Entertaining Stroll in The Citadel

I didn’t have Elaine down as a wicked temptress, did you?  But just look at the evidence!

A blustery afternoon in Largs

You couldn’t find a greater contrast than our Becky, in the Algarve.  Blue skies and beautiful wildflowers :

A stroll down memory lane, also known as PR5

Lovely Gilly has found  a calm and peaceful place this week.  Come with us and enjoy!

Buckfast Abbey

That’s it for another week.  It’s a Bank Holiday next Monday and I don’t hold out much hope for the weather.  I’ll still be here though. And smiling! Take care till then.




  1. Thank you for showing us round Skipton – I can see why people love it so much. Next time I am passing, I’ll have to stay longer, and go further than the main street. 🙂 Actually, now I think about it, Skipton might be where our friends, who lived near Keighley at the time, took us for fish and chips, which we ate out of the wrappers while we sat on a bench at the side of the canal.

  2. What a lovely place to visit for an anniversary trip. So many spots of interest that add a little whimsy…the tea pot and the umbrellas, to name just a couple! I can see how you’d be thoroughly happy on this walk, Jo!

    1. Thanks for making time to visit, Paula, and the good wishes. We had a lovely weekend. This one’s going to be busy too, with a visit to our son in Leeds and the Tall Ships are up the coast at Blyth. Spent today peeling apples and ironing. Got to be a domestic goddess just occasionally 🙂

  3. Do you know I don’t think I have ever been to Skipton, or if I did it was so long ago I forget. It does remind me a little of Ellesmere in Shropshire, but that’s because of the canal, not the splendid church. And really I do not understand why you don’t buy a narrow boat. I can just see you and Mick as the next Prue and Tim 🙂

    1. Funny, Lisa said something similar on the phone last night. 🙂 Did you see them in Venice? I want to grow old like that 🙂 🙂 Got Amsterdam saved for the ironing because it’s wet this morning. Mick will be so glad because I walked his legs off yesterday.

      1. Well he does happen to be the chauffeur too. If he didn’t walk he’d have to sit in the car till I found my way back. And he’s the one with the sense of direction 🙂 I think he sometimes regrets it. He chose our destination- a real rarity!- yesterday and took us back to his Dad’s home town, South Shields. Fabulous walk down the coast to Souter, lighthouse to lighthouse, and he was on his knees when we finished. 🙂 I’m sure he did a rain dance for today.

  4. best wishes, Jo and what a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary. such a charming place! the altar piece of the Holy Trinity Church is just beautiful! great photos as always! thanks! 🙂

  5. Such a delightful way to celebrate your anniversary, Jo. I might have guessed that there would be boats and water involved. I’ve never been to Skipton, so thanks for the virtual tour. Love the Ice Cream Tug Boat. That would have definitely tugged at my taste buds. 🙂

    1. It’s a long time back that we were there last, Ad. I think probably for a birthday celebration in November so it was very different. Lovely place though 🙂 🙂

  6. Happy Anniversary to you both! I love the narrow canal boats and have been considering to hire one for a week to leisurely enjoy a trip around some of the British waterways. Your walk was lovely and I enjoyed your photos😄

  7. The moment you mentioned Tudor courtyard, I go jealous. Sorry, love the enormity but the sculpture looks awful looking. 🙂 No form or anything. He looks like an old man playing sport. Oops. 🙂

  8. I love the canal boats especially – the eternal child in me was especially caught by the ice cream tugboat! A walk on that canal tow path sounds so relaxing, especially with the cows along the way.

  9. Happy Anniversary Jo! I can definitely see why you chose this pretty spot to celebrate. So many canals and so many quaint sights to see. I love the cow casually standing or paddling , or was that posing for you? Skipton looks like a very relaxed and charming spot. How shall I ever possibly decide where to go on a future trip to the UK?

    1. It actually came down to the water for a pee, Sue! I stood waiting patiently while it emptied its bladder. Grooh 😦 😦 Apart from that we had a wonderful time 🙂 🙂 Thanks!

      1. I’m really not going to give that any thought, Sue! I’ve just finished tucking into a homemade apple crumble. The domestic goddess in me won out. Doesn’t often happen but we have a glut of apples from next door’s tree. I’m stuffed! 🙂

  10. Now I know it’s Freddie Truman I can tell! You didn’t have time to take a boat trip? I absolutely love these photos and was hooked from the ice cream Tug Boat, brilliant framing of the paddling cow 🙂 I can’t help thinking that Emily should be in the water with Jack though.
    So glad you had a nice anniversary, did M walk with you? x 🙂 x

    1. I didn’t give him a choice, and he does like a walk, so long as there aren’t too many hills and I don’t stop and point the camera too often. That’s a lost cause, isn’t it? 🙂 🙂 We did have a lovely time and I’m glad I made that last minute decision. Thanks a lot, darlin! Hope all’s well with you. Long weekend coming up so you’ll have plans?

      1. Most of my friends don’t quite get my urge to take photos so I have to try to restrain myself a little – you are a wonderful exception!
        This weekend can’t come quick enough, I need to recover from the second set of visitors. But will do the Beer craft fair on either Sunday or Monday, tiring but good fun, I get to talk to strangers 🙂 🙂 🙂
        What will you be up to?
        I’m also on holiday countdown, 7 days to work and 15 sleeps ❤

      2. Countdown! Fantastic! 🙂 The Tall Ships are up the coast at Blyth this weekend and I’m hoping to get there. Probably on Monday in the rain, because we’ve committed to taking James out on his day off Friday. Bonus is another Capability Brown garden 🙂

  11. A delightful anniversary walk Jo – I’ve been to Skipton many times but not so much recently so have enjoyed seeing what it’s got to offer. Must go and look round the castle some day – sounds like it’d be my sort of place 🙂 “Ginnels” – that’s one word I still use and no one else knows what I’m talking about – have no Yorkshire accent but occasionally throw in a word or two! Hope you had a wonderful anniversary 🙂

    1. We did, thanks, Rosemay. A little damp in places but it wouldn’t be Yorkshire otherwise, would it? It’s a beautiful county all the same. Hugs, sweetheart 🙂 🙂

  12. Super post and photos Jo. Yes, there’s something romantic about narrowboats, especially in the summer sunshine (not sure about the romance during a cold winter storm!). Do you know the book Narrow Dog to Carcassonne? I read it a few years back; a lovely read if you like this sort of thing.

    1. I think that when we were there previously it was for my November birthday, Denzil, and I don’t remember it being quite so charming, but I could happily live on a narrowboat for half a year. 🙂 :I’ve seen that book on the library shelf, I think. Yes- my kind of thing. Next time I’ll pick it up. Cheers! 🙂

    1. I doubt it’s changed all that much, Anabel 🙂 A few more posh tea rooms, and the Craven Shopping Centre with it’s lovely glass roof looked like an update. All very nicely done and with a lot of charm. Great pub next to the church too. King’s Arms? Can’t quite remember. 🙂

  13. Jo, your photos brought back so many wonderful memories for me. When I lived in the UK, we were only an hour away from Skipton, and drove over there quite often as we loved the town, there is so much to see and enjoy.
    I must tell you this story – we had a cleaning business years ago which we called “Bizzie Lizzie”. Whilst walking round Skipton one day, we came across a Fish & Chip Shop with the same name, right there on the main street! It made me smile, I just thought it was an odd name for a Fish & Chip Shop! Did you come across it whilst there? Best fish and chips for miles around! It was such a popular restaurant that you always had to queue up for a table.

    1. Yes!!! 🙂 🙂 It still looked really popular and we were half tempted, Barb. 🙂 How lovely to bring back the memories for you. I’m so pleased 🙂 Hugs, sweetheart!

  14. Made some smaller bits of the Leeds-Liverpool canal, the entire journey is absolutly on my to do list… 🙂

    Amazing captures, just like being there myself – wonderful – really enjoyed this walk (on water)… 🙂

  15. Loved this anniversary walk, RJo. It just kept getting better and better. Sorry, no walk for me this week ;( I was out and about and away from computers. Next week I’ll be back. Susan

    PS – Narrowboats. Wow.

  16. Yeah, one of my favourite towns in Yorkshire and spent many a happy Saturday there – as young to the local cinema where I first saw Start Wars! The canal pictures are great and captured beautifully, full of atmosphere. Love your mention of ‘ginnel’, I’m trying to keep the Yorkshire alive down south!

    1. Good lass! I do keep trying to show the world there’s some good stuff ‘up north’. 🙂 🙂 Thank you! It’s a lovely little place, isn’t it? My memories were quite dim from my previous visit, years back.

  17. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for taking me on that walk. I’ve certainly enjoyed it. “Few things delight my heart more than a narrowboat”: I absolutely agree. It was a delight to see so many in your pictures.
    Have a great day,

    1. We saw so many lovely narrow boats on the broads on our way home from East Ruston, Pit. Having a pint on the waterside we all said, “Pit and Mary would have enjoyed this immensly!” 🙂
      Hugs from Cley,
      Dina xo

  18. Well. I never knew that about Skipton. All I knew was that it had a Building Society. Now I shall have to pay a visit as you describe it so well and make it sound so interesting. Thank you for that.

  19. What a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary, Jo. The canals are very atmospheric and picturesque. I would love a little tour on them and a few walks along them. Thanks to you and Stephanie, my curiosity to life on a narrow boat is growing! Those massive planters are great! When I grew up – and even now when I visit Belgium – I would walk to the river Schelde from our home to see the barges (on which people live) pass by. Maybe that’s where I picked up my sense of adventure?

    1. It’s always been a dream of mine to live on a narrowboat, Liesbet. I could be restless indefinitely! 🙂 🙂 We did have a lovely weekend, but unfortunately didn’t stay on a boat. Next time, maybe 🙂

      1. Follow your dreams, Restless Jo! Get on a narrow boat! It will be interesting to follow Stephanie’s (SV Cambria) adventures once they start doing the narrow boat thing in England.

    1. We had a really brilliant weekend, Jill. 🙂 It could only have been bettered if we’d stayed on a narrowboat. Or maybe a little less rain? But there are people who’d be very grateful for a drop or two.

  20. Lovely walk in Skipton with you, Jo. Looks like the canal is still buzzing with life, and it must have been a delight to see the sawmill. Lovely glass stained in windows there in the church.

    Ooooh, you certainly do eat more than just cake. That looks like a ham and cheese baguette you had there, and some crisps? 🙂

  21. What a wonderful anniversary trip you had, Jo! Thanks for my virtual walk, thoroughly enjoyed it. I did smirk when you said you were wreathed in smiles…it brought to mind a very dubious Rugby ditty…

  22. Happy anniversary, Jo! Now that must have been a lovely walk…even if it wasn’t all the way to Liverpool! I wish I could have walked as well, Totti would have been a happy company to us. Thank you for letting me in to the virtual walk😊

  23. I am guilty, like most southerners, we forget how beautiful the north is. The days of smoke stacks and mines have gone. this is a great reminder to us down south especially..

    1. The Dales are stunningly beautiful, Gerry! You know I love the sea but if I had to live away from it I could probably manage this area. 🙂 Thanks for your loyal company again 🙂

    1. I felt welcome and the sun shone on me, now and then! 🙂 What more could I want? We stayed in The Unicorn which was wonderfully central, a nice refurb, and amazing breakfast. It was a last minute, last room available booking. I was in luck 🙂 🙂

  24. Another fascinating walk, Jo. Canals, birds, stained-glass – all my cup of tea. I did think once of living on a boat on the Llangollen canal, but they tell me it’s very damp. Glad to see your anniversary went so well.

    1. The nearest I’ve managed is a week on a static canal boat in Reading, Isabella! Not quite the same but I still loved it. It was years ago and I keep saying to Mick we must have a proper canal boat holiday. Glad you liked this. Happy (wet 😦 ) Monday!

      1. It’s cloudy here, Jo, but no rain as yet. Apparently the warm weather is set to return midweek.

  25. Very long while since I was in Skipton . . . . . what a wonderful Anniversary day you had and even blue skies by the end. What sort of day was it on the actual big day?!

    1. It’s wonderfully quirky with lots of nice little side streets and a covered shopping centre with a glass roof, Debs. I do think you’d like it. And then there’s the boats! 🙂 🙂

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