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Springs Branch, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit the Springs Branch on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to encourage visiting boats as it is not well used.  A photo of your boat at the end by the rock fall or at Mill Bridge 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.


About the Springs Branch, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The first section of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal was opened from Bingley to Skipton in 1773.  Much to the disappointment of Lord Thanet, who lived in Skipton Castle, the canal did not go very close to the limestone quarries on his estate.  So he obtained permission to build a short branch canal which opened later the same year.  The Springs Branch, also known as the Thanet Canal, was originally about a third of a mile long to loading chutes close to Skipton castle.  The chutes were quite long and tall which made the falling limestone noisy, and damaged the boats.  The canal was subsequently extended and the feeder tramway altered to use shorter loading chutes further away from the castle.

The Springs Branch leaves the main line of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Skipton and runs for half a mile to the remains of the loading chutes.  Unfortunately there is no proper turning point and boats longer than 35ft (10.7m) will have to reverse in one direction.  The branch is currently restricted due to a rock fall in January 2016, which has not been cleared.

[The photo shows a boat moored on the Springs Branch in Skipton  –  by Ian Moore]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: BD23 6XA

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Boat Dimensions

The maximum boat size that can navigate the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is:
length – 62′ 0″ (18.9 m) – Lock 4 (Leeds)
beam – 14′ 3″ (4.34 m) – Lock 1 (Leeds)
height – 7′ 9″ (2.38 m) – Foulridge Tunnel
draught – 3′ 9″ (1.14 m) – cill of Lock 73 (Wigan Flight)

Numerous locks and swing bridges require a Canal & River Trust or handcuff key.

Canoeing, hire boats and trip boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal with a Canal & River Trust licence or British Canoeing membership.

Skipton Boat Trips offer skippered boat trips and dayboat hire but unfortunately they do not allow their boats on the branch.

Pennine Cruisers run skippered trips up the truncated branch in the boat Leo, and also offer day boats for hire.


Also see…

Skipton Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in England.

Challenge Location

Springs Branch

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

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