There’s no choice but to slow down on a narrow boat holiday, especially if you find yourself on the Rochdale Canal. It’s only 33 miles in length but with 91 locks (including Tuel Tunnel Lock and, the deepest in England) and the Pennines in the way, there’s nothing for it but to shift down a gear. Not that you’ll mind.
If you hire a vessel from Shire Cruises you can sit back in comfort and watch the Yorkshire scenery glide slowly by. The brightly-painted narrow boats are surprisingly spacious and have all mod-cons, including microwaves, cookers, electric fridges and central heating. And some even have two loos – now there’s luxury. You probably won’t want to spend too much time below deck, though.
The scenery changes dramatically along the way, from craggy outcrops to windswept moors, before you get to Mytholmroyd (try pronouncing that after a couple of beers) and Hebden Bridge. This quirky town is famous for its New Age activists and artist commune, but there are also more conventional attractions in the form of antiques shops and some very good riverside pubs.