Aire & Calder and Yorkshire Waterways Narrowboat Hire

The Aire and Calder Navigation and other Yorkshire waterways still carry freight traffic, but this well developed network of easy to cruise canals and rivers is increasingly popular with holiday boaters, encouraged by the development of new marinas and leisure facilities. Most locks are manned and automated and the waterways are mainly deep and wide, running across a fairly flat and quiet rural landscape.
The Yorkshire River Ouse runs for over sixty miles from the River Humber up through the centre of medieval York and terminates in historic Ripon on the short Ripon Canal. Its tributary the River Derwent gives access to the restored rural Pocklington canal.

Aire & Calder developments in Leeds

  • The Aire and Calder is still a busy trading waterway where freight comes first. 600 ton barges are common!
  • Commercial barges have right of way. Their size, deep draught and powerful engines give them a strong ‘draw’ which can make smaller craft very difficult to handle when they pass. You are advised to moor up to bollards or rings when you see them approach.
  • Barge Skippers may not be able to see you, and may need to take unusual lines to keep to the deep water.
  • On most of these waterways the large wide locks are automated and manned with traffic light controls.
  • Pleasure craft are common on the River Ouse, River Ure and Ripon canal  above York although moorings are scarce in places. Flooding is frequent after heavy rain making navigation inadvisable. Below Naburn the river is tidal and only navigable with great care.
  • River Derwent levels may change without warning but it’s navigable with care from the tidal Ouse up to the Pocklington Canal. Seven miles of this once derelict nine mile canal have now been restored.

Boat Hire from family firms on or around the Aire & Calder Navigation and Yorkshire Waterways

Shire Cruisers

Shire Cruisers operate from a picturesque basin on the Calder & Hebble Navigation. As well as the interesting Yorkshire waterways you can explore the recently restored Rochdale Canal.

The Boat Co North

The Boat Co North have 4 beautifully individual boats for unforgettable holidays. Being based in Leeds at the epicentre of the Yorkshire waterways you can explore the countryside and vibrant cities all enriched by navigating the history and heritage of our fantastic canals and rivers.

Canal Rings

There are 2 Pennine Ring routes including the Aire & Calder from Leeds.

You can take the Calder & Hebble to cross the Pennines on the Rochdale Canal. Or branch off to the Huddersfield Broad Canal to take the Huddersfield Narrow Canal over the hills and the Ashton Canal into Manchester. The Bridgewater Canal and Leeds and Liverpool Canal will return you via Wigan over the Pennines to Leeds.

More Information

Holiday Cruising Guide to the Aire & Calder and Yorkshire waterways.

More Northern hire firms or narrowboat hire firms in other canal areas.

Day hire boats to cruise with a few friends for a few hours.

Help to choose the right canal boat for your holiday.

Plus lots more advice and tips in our Canal Holiday Advice.

Our Listings

We provide contact telephone and email details free of charge for canal based companies, click for details.
Please note: We provide all contact details as an information service. We rely on traders to keep us informed about these listings so we can't guarantee that details are accurate or up to date. Please see our Terms of Use.

Add a company

Aire and Calder Navigation

The Boat Co North
Castleton Mill, Castleton Close, Leeds LS12 2DS.
07710 863124

Calder & Hebble

Shire Cruisers
The Wharf, Sowerby Bridge HX6 2AG.
01422 832712

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