GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Skipton Canal Walk

5 miles (8 km)

This is a popular walk taking you from Skipton to Gargrave along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The route follows a flat towpath for about 5 miles to Gargrave. Along the way you'll pass aqueducts, barges, bridges and locks. With train stations at both ends of the walk you can get easily get the train back if you wish.
The walk starts in Skipton, very close to the train station and heads west past Airville Park. You continue past Thorlby Bridge and Highgate Bridge before coming into Gargrave. Head south from the canal and you will cross the River Aire before coming to the train station. You can turn it into a longer circular walk by heading north east to Flasby where you can pick up the Dales High Way. The long distance trail can then be followed past Flasby Fell to Skipton.
At the end of the route you can extend your walk by trying our Gargrave Circular Walk. This explores the countryside surrounding the attractive village using the canal and the Pennine Way long distance trail. Here you can also try the Barnoldswick Canal Walk which will take you to the Lancashire village.
At the other end of the route you can explore Skipton Castle which includes some nice woodland trails and a hill climb.
The Skipton Circular Walk also runs along the canal but then heads north just before Gargrave to climb Flasby Fell and Sharp Haw Fell. From the elevated position there are wonderful views back down to the canal.

Skipton Canal OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Skipton Canal Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Cock and Bottle is a good option in Skipton. The historic former coaching inn dates back to the 18th century and includes a charming old interior with a stone fireplace and wood-beamed ceiling. Outside there's a nice beer garden. You can find them at 30 Swadford St, BD23 1RD. The pub is dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

A few miles to the south west you'll find the villages of Thornton-in-Craven and Elslack where you can enjoy a peaceful walk around ElslackReservoir. There's also a fine 17th century pub in Elslackvillage which is well worth a visit.
The long distance Lady Anne's Way starts in Skipton. It runs through the Yorkshire Dales to Penrith, passing several historic buildings associated with Lady Anne Clifford. The noteworthy Noblewoman was a signficant restorer of many English castles during the 17th century.


Skipton BD23, UK - panoramio - ianpudsey (1)

Skipton BD23, UK

Industrial chimney near Skipton - - 1395462

Industrial chimney near Skipton. There are still industrial buildings adjacent to the chimney (set down below the level of the canal, so not obvious in this photo) and it is not clear therefore whether the chimney is still in use or not.

A629 viaduct across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal - - 1395500

A629 viaduct across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The A629 at this point forms the western part of the Skipton bypass. The viaduct also crosses Broughton Road (parallel to the canal) and part of the Aire valley flood plain.

Leeds Liverpool Canal - - 519046

Leeds Liverpool Canal

Niffany Swing Bridge No 175, near Skipton, Yorkshire - - 204424

Niffany Swing Bridge No 175. The boatman travelling west from Skipton is confronted by five successive swing bridges. This is the third one out from Skipton, seen from the west.

Leeds Liverpool Canal at Gargrave - - 3260916

Leeds Liverpool Canal at Gargrave

Bridge 173 Highgate Swing Bridge on the Leeds Liverpool Canal - - 2115005

Bridge 173 Highgate Swing Bridge

Old mill stream, Gargrave, Yorkshire - - 879274

Old mill stream, Gargrave. Just west of Broughton Road bridge over the Aire, and on the southern bank, the remains of the mill stream from the long-vanished Lower Mill can still be seen.


GPS Files

GPX File

Skipton Canal.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)