We are delighted to introduce David Fitch from Airedale Cruising. Providing day trips for small groups on the Leeds Liverpool Canal is a memorable addition to your Yorkshire holiday and stay at Newton Grange. Read on to find out more.
Hi, I’m David, the owner of narrowboat Lizzie-Jean, moored in Skipton. When I’d completed fitting out the boat I realized that she might spend most of her time moored-up because members of my family are not as free as I am to go boating. So I started Airedale Cruising to help other people enjoy the canal world as much as I do. Many folk have always fancied a day out on a canal but are nervous about all the responsibilities involved in taking out a hire boat – so I provide leisurely Skippered Cruises involving both Lizzie-Jean and me!
If you book a day cruise and come along to Skipton Canal Basin, you’ll find Lizzie-Jean waiting for you with the kettle on! Over a hot drink with croissants and jam or homemade biscuits, I’ll brief you on the cruise we’re about to make, and tell you about helping the along the way if you wish - this involves opening swing-bridges and possibly working a lock too. You decide on the route and whether we stop for a pub lunch or you enjoy your own food and drink aboard or as a sunny canalside picnic. If you wish, you can try steering the boat (with me standing beside you of course), and I know you’ll enjoy the lovely Yorkshire Dales scenery and the abundant canal wildlife too. As well as the common ducks and swans, we frequently spot kingfishers, geese and moorhens - often with their young. Why not bring along some food for them too?
Over the past four seasons I’ve hosted gentle cruising days for family groups celebrating special birthdays or anniversaries, for groups of friends or work colleagues needing a day away from the stresses of everyday life, and for couples who just wanted to get away from it all and enjoy each other’s company while afloat. Once I was even asked to provide a special evening cruise as a setting for a proposal of marriage! Other ideas are possible – Lizzie-Jean and I are very flexible!
There are other local companies offering “canal trips”, but a day spent on narrowboat Lizzie-Jean is very different. Someone wrote in the Log Book “It’s not a canal trip – it’s a luxury cruise!” The main differences are having a friendly, experienced Skipper aboard, and the private use of a very comfortable “floating home” for your day out. All necessary facilities and equipment are provided and your day can be as relaxing or as “hands-on” as you want – children especially love “having a go” at everything, and I used to be a Primary Teacher and Adult Trainer! I also offer special Tuition Cruises for those who want to learn more about canal boating with a view to hiring or buying their own boat.
This year we again offer a choice of cruising routes and have well-established partnerships with local public houses where a good lunch may be enjoyed. One even offers a 10% discount for Airedale Cruising guests.
What does a skipped day cruise cost in 2014? A group of up to 8 people pays either £160 or £180 depending on the length of their cruising day - with an additional discount of £20 for Newton Grange guests. Pub food, or your own lunch brought aboard, will be in addition to this. Optional extras cover external boat decorations e.g. for a birthday or anniversary, and any drinks you make in the boat's galley during your cruise.
Please do contact me if you’re interested in booking a cruise or have any questions. I hope to welcome you aboard soon!
David runs Airedale Cruising - www.airedalecruising.info
Email: [email protected] / 07760 481821