Pocklington Canal - Melbourne

Pocklington Canal - Melbourne

The centre is located behind the Melbourne Arms pub on Main Street, YO42 4QJ.

The canal was one of the last to be built (it opened in 1818), and came about because local farmers wanted more effective means of transporting their goods to the fast-growing towns of West Yorkshire. Today this beautiful rural waterway is one of the country’s top canals for wildlife with three Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The canal runs for 9.5 miles between East Cottingwith and Canal Head at Pocklington. A volunteer group (PCAS) has restored a section of the canal so that boat trips are possible, and there is a project to restore another section from the River Derwent to the Melbourne Arm.

As well as wildlife and habitat work, the canal is also great for local history studies as there are some distinctive built features, such as swing bridges and classic hump-backed bridges, as well as restored and unrestored locks.


Local history workshop as part of a guided walk.

Wildlife and habitat walks and workshops.

Learning Resources

Use the following resources to support learning on your trip and back in the classroom:

All About Canals

Canal & River Habitats Topic Pack

Find out more about Pocklington.

Don't forget a boat trip!

Boat trips may also be possible in conjunction with volunteers from PCAS. Please enquire about this when booking.


We offer free preliminary visits and our website features downloadable trails/activities suitable for pre-visit planning or follow-up work.

On-site facilities include a pond and dipping platform and outdoor classroom. There is limited parking on site (coaches need to use a drop-off point) and limited toilet facilities.


Visits to Melbourne are FREE!