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Plan your self-guided walk along the Pocklington Canal and see the restoration work. There is a towpath along the full length and there are a number of Grade II listed bridges and locks. The canal is a haven for wildlife.


IWA East Yorkshire Branch



9.5 miles

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Parking/facilities information:  There are two car parks at Canal Head.  Parking is available in the villages of Bielby, Melbourne and East Cottingwith. Canal Head is adjacent to the A1079 road, a mile south of Pocklington, joining the River Derwent at East Cottingwith.

Other notes (accessibility etc.): The towpath can be uneven in places and may be muddy during the winter months.

Walk description:

Start the walk at Canal Head, where the top lock has been restored to working condition.

The towpath between Giles Lock and Sandhill Lock was in poor condition but during an IWA work camp in 2014 funded by PCAS, volunteers removed protruding tree roots and resurfaced the towpath.

The first three miles of the canal are not navigable, but major restoration work is ongoing at Sandhill Lock.

Keep walking and you will come to a two-mile section between Bielby and Melbourne that was reopened in 2018. The opening commemorated the bicentenary of the original opening of the canal in 1818, extending the navigable length from five to seven miles. A very generous contribution of £106,400 from the IWA Tony Harrison bequest made it possible to achieve the £250,000 needed to fund the restoration of the two additional miles of canal between Melbourne and Bielby.  A number of IWA work camps and joint PCAS/IWA working parties have helped restore several of the locks and carry out scrub-bashing along this stretch. 

The canal is navigable from Bielby to the River Derwent, passing through four locks and seven swing-bridges and there are permanent moorings for boats at Melbourne Arm. 

Melbourne provides another convenient access point for walkers.

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