Bingley Five Rise one of the seven wonders of the canal world.
We arrived at Bingley top lock on 16th July, the five rise; the steepest flight of locks in UK opened in March 1774 and has a gradient of 1:5. The locks are permanently manned by CRT lock keepers due to the complexity of working staircase locks, and are therefore kept padlocked out of hours.
These were the first staircase locks we had encountered so far, and was grateful that they were supervised, especially as they are considered a tourist attraction and any boats passing through often attract a crowd of gongoozlers.
Our arrival at the locks marked the end of 18 miles of level waterway and interestingly according to the Nicholson guide the canal was moved sideways by 400yards in 1994 to allow the construction of a new road. While standing on the pedestrian footbridge you can now see three modes of transport: road, rail and canal.
We stayed at Bingley top lock until 30th July, during this time we travelled by train to Kent for a family function, returning to the boat on 21st July. The weather was beautiful continuing to be hot and dry. Unfortunately this led to closures on the Leeds and Liverpool canal due to water shortages, Wigan to Gargrave was already closed and Bingley Locks were now restricted passage. Boats travelling down the locks could descent between 0900 and 1200, those boats ascending the locks could pass between 1300 to 1600.