Saturday, 14 May 2016

Gargrave - Saturday 14th May

Awoke to a lovely sunny morning with little wind but still that early morning chill in the air. The Curlews were calling in the field next to us as we set off for the short trip to Gargrave, 2.5 miles and 9 locks.

The canal continues its very winding route to the 6 Bank Newton locks which take us down another 56 feet with stunning views of the dales up ahead and all around. .


We filled with water at the bottom lock and then carried on through 3 more locks to Gargrave passing over the aqueduct which allows the River Aire to flow beneath us and under the railway which runs from Leeds to Carlisle.


We moored up just before Higherland lock on some 72 hour moorings and went to explore the village. It has lots of stone houses and some lovely little tea shops as this is quite a tourist area. There is a Post Office, pubs, Indian restaurant and Fish and Chip shop as well as the Co-op which is open until 10pm. It is on the route of the Pennine Way and Cycle Way so was quite bust with walkers and bikers. The Parish Church as a granite cross which marks the burial spot of Ian Macleod MP (1913-70).


Later in the afternoon we went for tea and cakes at the White Cottage Tea rooms and then walked down by the river which was full of small fish and dogs swimming after sticks.

The bottom left picture shows the original paved Roman Ford crossing of the river which was discovered in 1967 when they were clearing the river bed of debris. It dates back to 81 AD and the roadway was the main Pennine crossing through the Aire Gap which the present A65 now follows closely. There is also lots of other evidence of Roman occupation of the area including a Roman Villa.

We walked further up the river and crossed over these more recent Stepping Stones and walked back down the other side to return to the boat.


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