The pretty River Ure is a great place to escape the crowds, flowing through the remote valley of Wensleydale. When it reaches Swale Nab, it changes its name and becomes the River Ouse.
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We look after the River Ure from Ripon downstream. The scenery along the River Ure is spectacular, with waterfalls, wildflower meadows, woodlands and rugged hills. Newby Hall and its splendid gardens are just above Westwick Lock. A long landing welcomes visitors.
The River Ure was promoted in 1767 as part of plans to improve navigation on the Swale, the Ouse and, by canal, to Ripon. The canal opened in 1773, and was enlarged around 1838, but was taken over by the Leeds and Thirsk Railway in 1845. The canal had effectively closed by 1892, and although its works survived, it was not nationalised in 1948. A new Ripon Canal Company was set up in 1961, with many boat owners involved, and the canal was eventually reopened throughout in 1996.
The River Ure has a rewarding ecology, especially upstream of Boroughbridge. Many of Britain's endangered river creatures can be found in its waters - including otters, water voles and white-clawed crayfish. Birdlife includes kingfishers and little ringed plovers, and there are some rare fish, such as river lamprey and Atlantic salmon.
Our canals and rivers abound with secret destinations, hidden gems which are perfect for a family day out. We've put together some free guides to help you discover the hidden gems on your doorstep.