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Calder & Hebble Navigation

Information on Calder & Hebble Navigation

Attraction type:
  • Adventure & Leisure
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking
  • Family
  • Pet friendly
  • Sport & Leisure
  • Walking Friendly
  • Wildlife & Nature

Running for 21.5 miles between Sowerby Bridge and Wakefield, the Calder & Hebble Navigation provides easy access for walking or fishing.  Canal enthusiasts will appreciate the unusual waterways architecture, including quirky lever-operated locks.

A canal is known as a ‘navigation’ when it parallels a river and shares part of the river’s waters. In this case it’s the River Calder and the Hebble Brook, which comes from Ogden Reservoir through Halifax and empties in the River Calder at Salterhebble. Work began on The Calder and Hebble Navigation in 1759. In 1764 the river was navigable as far as Brighouse and in 1770 the navigation was completed to Sowerby Bridge, where the Navigation meets the Rochdale Canal at Sowerby Bridge Canal Basin.

Since the Calder & Hebble’s locks are shorter than those on the Rochdale, the warehouses at Sowerby Bridge were used for transhipment – storing cargoes after they were unloaded from one size of boat, ready to go into another.

The Calder & Hebble Navigation also joins the Huddersfield Broad Canal at Cooper Bridge.

If you’re travelling the Calder & Hebble Navigation by boat, as well as a windlass you will need a handspike – a thick wooden pole – to operate the locks on the Calder & Hebble Navigation.