Ripon Canal walk — August 2016

The Ripon Canal joins Ripon to York via the Rivers Ure and Ouse. Authorised in 1767 the canal is just 2.3 miles in length with 3 locks and had one of the first cast iron bridges in the country carrying the Great North Road to Boroughbridge.

Consent was given for abandonment in 1956 but in 1961, members of the Ripon Motor Boat Club formed the Ripon Canal Society and gradually restored the canal. In 1986 the canal reopened to Littlethorpe and right into the centre of Ripon in September 1996.

Our walk started at the top lock next to which is a CRT car park. We followed the canal downstream towards the river, initially tree lined on both sides. You are immediately struck by the beauty and peace of the canal. Having passed an attractive marina, within a few minutes we reached a unique feature of this canal: several hides on the towing path, for viewing the adjoining wetland.

We soon reached the extensive moorings of the Ripon MBC, which now boasts a brick built clubhouse but still displays the anchor of the original waterborne clubhouse ‘Enid’. The club are also the proud owners of an impressive vintage NCK Andes crawler crane which is still in use.

At this point the trees on the towing path give way to reeds and all too soon we reached the final lock and the junction of the canal and the River Ure.

A footpath on the offside took us a short way back up the canal then we took the road to Littlethorpe with its attractive gatehouses, charming church and parish pinfold.

Re-joining the canal it was a short walk to Ripon basin, a very attractive end to the canal with old warehouse

Many of the group walked into the centre of Ripon for lunch at the Royal Oak, we were unable to join in but are reliably informed that a delicious and reasonably price lunch was enjoyed by all.

After lunch it was a short walk back down the canal to the top lock and car park.

Many thanks to Barbara and Judy for organising such a beautiful walk on a glorious warm sunny day.