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Ripon Basin

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit Ripon Basin on the Ripon Canal by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to encourage visiting boats to what was the most northerly point of the connected waterways network, before the opening of the Ribble Link. A picture of your boat in the basin will be a good proof of your visit.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.

History of the Ripon Canal

The Ripon Canal is an early navigation which opened in 1773, right at the beginning of the “Canal Age”. It facilitated trade by extending the River Ure Navigation into Ripon and allowed the passage of the local 58ft long Keels.


Traffic declined under ownership by the North Eastern Railway who failed to officially abandon the canal in 1894. As a result, the canal became unusable and was reported to be impassable in 1906. It was never nationalised in 1948 and was therefore, officially abandoned in 1956. The British Transport Commission offered to sell the canal to Ripon Corporation in 1952 without success. Additionally, the closure was unpopular locally and prevented the canal from being filled in. Meanwhile, members of the Ripon motor Boat Club started restoration work in 1961. Later on, the Ripon Canal Society officially reopened the canal  in September 1996.


The Ripon Canal runs from its junction with the River Ure at Oxclose Lock to the Canal terminus at Ripon.  It is 2.3 miles (4 km) long and has 3 locks. The River Ure Navigation runs from the Ripon Canal at Oxclose Lock to Swale Nab, where it joins the River Swale (navigable for about 1 mile – 1.6 km – to Myton) and becomes the Yorkshire Ouse. The River Ure Navigation is 8 miles (12.8 km) long and has 2 locks.

Photo: A narrowboat at Ripon Basin on the Ripon Canal by John Lower.

Ripon Canal Notes

Ripon Canal Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Ripon Canal is:-

  • Length: 61′ 4″ (18.7m) – Rhodesfield Lock
  • Beam: 16′ 3″ (4.95m) – Rhodesfield Lock
  • Height: 9′ 2″ (2.8m) – Ripon By-pass Bridge (no 1)
  • Draught: 4′ 11″ (1.5m) – Rhodesfield Lock cill


A BW key is required to operate Rhodesfield Lock and Bell Furrows Lock.

Canoeing & Boat Hire

Go by canoe on the Ripon Canal with a CRT licence or British Canoeing membership

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Ripon Basin

Ripon Canal

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