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Track through skipton Wood next to Eller Beck
Track through Skipton Wood next to Eller Beck

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Route No. 476 - Monday 25 June 2012
Skipton Market Square, Springs Canal, Skipton Wood, Skipton Castle, Canal Basin circuit - 5km
Skipton, Airedale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas


Looking down Skipton High Street on market day
Looking down Skipton High Street on market day

Spiral stairs from Mill Bridge to Spring Canal tow path
Spiral stairs from Mill Bridge to Springs Canal tow path

Path between Eller Beck & Spring Canal
Path between Eller Beck & Springs Canal

We went down to the tow path and followed the tow path to the left to pass under Mill Bridge beside the canal. On the opposite side of the canal is the old corn mill originally belonging to the castle. We continue along the tow path which becomes a fenced causeway between the Springs Canal and Eller Beck. The canal skirts the back of the castle and comes to an end just beyond the castle is was built at the end of the 1700's to carry limestone that was quarried at Embsay and carted along a tramway to the canal head and for a few decades it was a busy route.

Today my wife and I drove to Skipton and parked in the main 'Pay & Display' car park off High Street, that's the main street running south through the town from the roundabout at the castle & church. From the car park we walked back to the High Street where the market was in progress. We crossed the road and made our way left from the roundabout to Mill Bridge. The bridge crosses Springs Canal and just over the bridge on the left hand side of the road is the entrance to an old stone spiral staircase down to the tow path beside Springs Canal.

Spring Canal tow path under Mill Bridge
Springs Canal tow path under Mill Bridge

Eller Beck
Eller Beck

Skipton Castle seen from the path between Eller Beck & Spring Canal
Skipton Castle seen from the path between Eller Beck & Springs Canal

Rapids on Eller Beck
Rapids on Eller Beck

Entrance to Skipton wood by a row of holiday cottages
Entrance to Skipton wood by a row of holiday cottages

This is the entrance to Skipton Wood managed by the Woodland Trust (add link) whose aim is the allow natural woodland to regenerate with a full range of plants and animals in this habitat.

A little way past the canal head the path crosses a footbridge over Eller Beck and follow an access road in front of a row of holiday cottages to an iron gate.

Footbridge over Eller Beck
Footbridge over Eller Beck

Gate into Skipton Wood
Gate into Skipton Wood

Track through Skipton Wood next to Eller Beck
Track through Skipton Wood next to Eller Beck

Large pond in Skipton Wood
Large pond in Skipton Wood

Path by Eller Beck in Skipton Wood
Path by Eller Beck in Skipton Wood

Eller Beck in Skipton wood
Eller Beck in Skipton Wood

From the pond we continued upstream still following Eller Beck. Here the beck became very fast flowing down a series of rapids and small waterfalls. Above the rapids we came to a large twin culvert that carries Eller Beck under the Skipton By-pass.

We followed a track along an embankment above Eller Beck on our right and a drainage ditch on our left for about 600m to a footbridge over Eller Beck. Across the footbridge we came to a large pond surrounded by trees, a very lush setting at this time of year.

Waterfall on Eller Beck
Waterfall on Eller Beck

Eller Beck culvert under the Skipton by-pass
Eller Beck culvert under the Skipton by-pass

Steps up from Eller Beck to the return path along the top of Skipton Wood
Steps up from Eller Beck to the return path along the top of Skipton Wood

Path along the top of Skipton Wood
Path along the top of Skipton Wood

Path along the top of Skipton Wood
Path along the top of Skipton Wood

The path led around the top edge of the woodland next to the fields. We followed this path around the edge of the wood for about 1km to the road (A6131).

After inspecting the culvert we returned about 100m to take the path up some steps away from the beck.

Path along the top of Skipton Wood
Path along the top of Skipton Wood

Path along the top of Skipton Wood
Path along the top of Skipton Wood

Cattle in a field next to Skipton Wood
Cattle in a field next to Skipton Wood

Woodland Trust sign as we left the wood
Woodland Trust sign as we left the wood

Following the road around Skipton Castle
Following the road around Skipton Castle

Crossing the High street to Mill Bridge
Crossing the High street to Mill Bridge

We followed the road around the wall in front of the castle and the church back to Mill Bridge and again we went down the old stone spiral staircase to the Springs Canal tow path.

 

Here we turned right to follow the road around the outer wall of Skipton Castle to the castle entrance near the roundabout at the start of the High Street.

Joining the road into Skipton High Street
Joining the road into Skipton High Street

Entrance to Skipton Castle
Entrance to Skipton Castle

Reaching the tow path from the Mill Bridge stairs
Reaching the tow path from the Mill Bridge stairs

Spring Canal tow path near Mill Bridge
Springs Canal tow path near Mill Bridge

The Spring Canal in Skipton
The Springs Canal in Skipton

From here we made our way through the town streets, along Sheep Street where there are numerous cafes and back to the High Street, the street market and then into the car park and the end of our walk. The walk was only 5km, and it had taken us about two and a half hours to walk including numerous stops for photos and general viewing of the scenery.

This time we turned right to follow the canal tow path to the Coach Street bridge over the canal. From Coach Street we dropped down to the tow path on the other side of the canal and followed it to the junction of Springs Canal and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. This is an interesting spot with many boats moored here and tourist canal trips available.


Springs Canal overflow into Eller Beck

Approaching the start of the Spring Canal
Approaching the start of the Springs Canal

Junction of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal with the Spring Canal in Skipton
Junction of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal with the Springs Canal in Skipton