Swinging through to Skipton

Oh good, I thought as we left Bingley, “No more locks for a while.” What I hadn’t realised was that by following the contours through farm land, was just how many manual swing bridges I’d have to open and close. Some were pretty and pleasant but a lot were simply fiddly hard work, needing a CRT anti-vandal handcuff key and help from passers by to get the heavy compressed mechanisms shifting.

Milk Hall swing bridge
Milk Hall swing bridge

But leaving the awkwardness aside we were travelling through some of the prettiest countryside.

Another lovely place to live

And I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of stone bridges


Or houses that come straight down onto the canal

Kildwick Main Street

Even the mills across the fields were lovely

Cross lane Mill, Bradley.

We had to chuckle to ourselves that we used to drive this way to and from the Lake District not knowing there was a canal on the other side. Although we could say the same about our cruise, who’d have thought there was a main road just over that wall.

The super highway A65

We were looking forward to coming into Silsden because it’s one of the places we visited, if only because it was on our Lakeland route, when we were designing Firecrest.

Looking East from Silsden Bridge

But we’d never explored beyond the canal. So it was  a pleasant afternoon walking around this lovely little town, watching the dogs watching the river ducks

And finding out about the nail trade that arrived in 1776 in Silsden from the Midlands.

We also found out that in the 1830s 3 Silsden men were some of the first to be transported  to Austrailia rather than being hung for burglary. So we thought it was time to move swiftly on.

After a few more nights in the countryside

We moored up underneath the Victoria mill chimney in Skipton

Skipton visitor moorings

We rushed off to have fish and chips from Bizzie Lizzies, another tradition from our 4 wheeled travels. Skipton is overflowing with fine foods, and is the home of several award winning pie shops.

Champion pork pies

We sampled as many as our bellies would allow. So we burnt off a few of the extra calories doing a bit of walking, and discovered the Skipton woods by the castle, guarded by the Huntress of Skipton.

The Skipton Huntress