Planning your visit
Address: Church Road, Melbourne, York, YO42 4QJ View on Google map
Price: With free parking, it won't cost you a thing
Toilets: For customers of the local pub/café
A beautiful rural canal of two halves, the upper reaches of the Pocklington Canal 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.
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.
Look out for Church Bridge and Swing Bridge No 7 on the Pocklington Canal. Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, our team of volunteers are restoring them back to their former glory. You can now enjoy our new 'history poster' interpretation trail along the towpath, which reveals the secrets of the canal's past.
Places to eat:
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
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.
By car - Canal Head at Pocklington has a small free car park. Melbourne has some on-street parking about 100-150 yards away from the canal.