A beautiful rural canal of two halves, the upper reaches between Canal Head and Melbourne have un-restored locks, tree lined towpaths and classic humpbacked bridges. This is the perfect location for a walk with the family, with plenty of wildlife to spot and views to enjoy. The lower reaches lie in an open landscape of traditionally managed floodplain meadows, rich in wildlife, dotted with distinctive swing bridges.
Address: Melbourne, York, YO42 4QJ
Visit time: 3hrs - 4hrs
Price: With free parking, it won't cost you a thing
Parking: Canal Head at Pocklington has a small free car park. Melbourne has some on-street parking about 100-150 yards away from the canal.
Toilets: For customers of the local pub/café
Only the lower reaches of the canal are open to boats, so be sure to head to Melbourne Arm to enjoy a short cruise aboard the New Horizons Trip Boat in the summer.
You might see a few boats, but a large stretch of the canal is only open to walkers at the moment
Pub with good food
Melbourne YO42 4QJ, at weekends in the summer
Don't forget your blanket and hamper - there are benches at the Canal Head in Pocklington and many charming spots for some al-fresco dining
The Pockington Canal Society has some great information and walks
Virtually the entire length of the Canal falls within one of three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). You'll find herons, mute swans, mallards, kingfishers and dragonflies here. During spring and summer these meadows are a blaze of colour supporting many species of wildflower and providing a home for hundreds of nesting wildfowl and waders. In winter these same meadows support even larger numbers of wildfowl, with birds coming from as far away as Siberia and Poland.