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The charity making life better by water

A great day out at Bingley

We’d like to invite our Friends and supporters to join us at Bingley Five Rise and Three Rise Locks on Saturday 23 March, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of this iconic wonder of the waterways.

People enjoying Bingley Five Rise Locks
  • Date: 23 March

  • Time: 10am - 3pm

  • This drop-in event is free of charge

The event marks 250 years almost to the day since the steepest staircase locks in the country were first opened in 1774. The famous flight was one of the greatest engineering achievements of the age and was greeted by a cheering crowd of more than 30,000, as well as a 21-gun salute by the local militia. This year the celebrations could be almost as big.

“It’s a really varied programme, with something for everyone to enjoy,” says Sharron Bright, youth and community engagement coordinator at Canal & River Trust, who is organising the event.

Whether you’re interested in history, or nature, or simply want to bring along the family for a fun day out, you’ll have the chance to meet the experts who care for and keep our canals and locks alive. You can also learn how to support your local waterway or even sign up on the day to volunteer.

The family-friendly day will run between the town and the towpath from 10am to 3pm. You can see the UK’s steepest staircase locks in action, with lock keeping demonstrations and talks from our volunteers about the history and engineering ingenuity behind them.

On the day, ‘Kennet’, one of the few surviving Leeds & Liverpool Canal short boats, will be travelling through the locks, and there will be an opportunity for visitors to take a trip along the canal on a more modern craft.

There’s also a host of other events to enjoy too:

  • Join guided walks and talks covering the heritage, ecology and environment around the site, or follow a birdwatching and nature-spotting trail.

  • Budding anglers can enjoy a free Let’s Fish! taster session.

  • By prebooking now, you can also take to the water on kayaks or paddleboards. Walk-up sessions are also available on the day.

  • For a more genteel day, you can explore the goodies on offer from our floating market traders, or join us for canal art and craft sessions, sketching walks, or take part in bushcraft activities in the local woods.

  • Listen to poetry readings by our friend, Canal Laureate Roy McFarlane and enjoy a special pop-up arts programme.

  • Or why not join us at #TopOfTheLocks for a selfie opportunity with stunning views of the Aire Valley below.

When you’re ready for a cup of Yorkshire tea and cake, pop into the Five Rise Locks Café for refreshments or walk towards Bingley Three Rise Locks and make your way to Damart Café, next to the canal, which is hosting our arts programme.

Bingley Town Council will also be hosting an artisan market in the town centre, with live music and performances.

With something for everyone, it makes for a fun day out for all the family, so we hope you’ll join us on 23 March. See you there!

Last Edited: 13 March 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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