Thursday, 5 July 2018
A walk from Gargrave
This was a walk I had intended to do for a long time, finally achieved in the company of a couple of friends. We set off from Gargrave, which is a sizeable village about 30 minutes drive from Saltaire, up the Aire valley, past Skipton. Both the River Aire, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and the Pennine Way footpath pass through the village. It is chiefly notable as a bottle-neck on the main A65 road from Leeds up to the Lake District. A long-running campaign for a by-pass has so far not been successful.
There has been a settlement here since Roman times and in the early 1800s cotton was manufactured here, taking advantage of the river and canal. The parish church of St Andrew dates back to 1521 and was restored in 1852, though there is evidence for a church on the site well before that. The village has a few shops and cafés catering for walkers, cyclists and passing travellers.
Our walk began along the towpath of the canal, at the Gargrave locks. We lost count but I believe we passed eleven locks on the stretch we walked.