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Spirit of Endeavour - Trip Information

Spirit of Endeavour (Yorkshire) CIO is a charity which operates the accessible widebeam canal boat Endeavour.

Endeavour is the second accessible wide beamed canal boat to be operated on the Skipton section of the Leeds-Liverpool canal. She was originally owned by a local disability charity, who also owned the first – the Marjorie Charlesworth, which ran from 1990 to 2003 when she was replaced by Endeavour.

In 2023, Endeavour was officially renamed ‘Richard’s Endeavour’ in honour of the founder of Spirit of Endeavour (Yorkshire) CIO, Richard Clarke, who sadly passed away in September 2023.

Endeavour is a 55’ long wide beam canal boat, licence to carry up to 12 passengers (including carers) of which up to four can be in wheelchairs. Endeavour is accessible, but day trips are open to all sectors of the community, families and friendship groups, whether using wheelchairs or not. The boat is crewed throughout the day by a qualified volunteer skipper and trained crew.

Trips start from the rear of Skipton General Hospital car park where there is an access path down to the canal bank, and a purpose built ramp which leads to the boat mooring for easy embarkation on to Endeavour. Normally trips leave the hospital at around 10:30am returning at approximately 3:00pm to 3:30pm. Weather conditions can affect the trip duration and direction – especially high winds which can make trips towards Gargrave difficult.

Possible Trips

  1. Going south towards Kildwick which is a little more sheltered in windy conditions. This trip passes by the bluebell wood which is a sea of colour in April/May each year. There are 2 cafes at Kildwick which are close to the canal. One provides very simple sandwich type food and the other offers Paninis and a range of Specials costing around £11.00. They are not open every day.  If interested have a word with us as we try to stay up to date.
  2. Going north towards Gargrave providing views of the rolling fields between Skipton and Gargrave. Time permitting it is possible to take a trip through the first lock at Gargrave to experience the wonders of Victoria Engineering.  This makes the trip take up to an hour longer.
  3. For trips that have requested Fish and Chips, the trip goes one way for an hour, turns and returns to Skipton in time for lunch. After lunch the boat continues for a further hour before returning to Skipton.
  4. A split trip is possible where passengers change over at the hospital or at Kildwick. This can be useful when there is a need to accommodate more than 12 passengers. Up to 24 people can take part in this way. Often groups who take this approach take the other half of the group into Skipton to look around the shops.

Wildlife, particularly birds, are everywhere on the canal. Click here to see examples.

You can often see unusual boats on the canal. Click here to see examples.

On the way to Kildwick at bridge 183 is the site of a war memorial for the lost Polish air crew of a Wellington Bomber. Click here for the story.

Access to the Mooring and Wheelchair Users Information

Access to the mooring and loading ramp is via a path which leads from the hospital car park to the canal bank. The loading ramp is a short walk down the towpath. All surfaces are concrete and safe for use in all weathers.

In January / February 2024, Endeavour underwent major works to widen her wheelchair access. The majority of standard wheelchairs should now be able to access the saloon via the lift, the maximum width is 29 inches (735mm). The lift has a weight limit of 300kg (47 stone) for a combination of both wheelchair and passenger.

We have had passengers whose wheelchairs are too large to allow them entry into the cabin and who choose to sit out on the front of the boat. This facility is available on the understanding that there is no shelter available, so suitable clothing must be brought for the weather, particularly if rain / wind is forecast. In addition, there will be no toilet facilities available.

Passenger Safety

It is the responsibility of the organiser to make sure that all passengers are able to comply with the safety requirements of the trip. For each trip there must  be a nominated representative onboard to communicate with the crew and to take responsbility for passengers, especially those who are less mobile. In case of an emergency evacuation, the nominated representative is responsible for providing enough support to evacuate passengers, in particular those who are in wheelchairs or otherwise unable to disembark alone. The skipper and crew have, of course, been trained in safety and dealing with emergencies, and will give directions as to evacuation, but are not trained carers and as such are not responsible for managing passengers. A safety briefing will be given at the start of each trip. A risk assessment and copy of our current insurance cover can be provided on request.

Passengers travel at their own risk and responsibility remains with passengers or their carers at all times. Passengers must follow the instructions of the crew on all aspects of safety.

The Crew

The crew of the Endeavour are all volunteers and give their time willingly. Our volunteers are trained in all aspects of boat safety to ensure you have a pleasant trip. There is always a trained & qualified skipper onboard, who is ultimately responsible for managing the boat and all aspects of the trip. Each skipper holds a CCBM certification issued by the National Community Boats Association which is also a requirement of the Canal and River Trust for operating craft such as Endeavour.

There may be times where the weather may limit what can be done on a trip for your safety and that of the crew. Occasionally if it is really windy, we may find we have to cancel the trip and re-schedule for a later date.

Please be assured that we will only cancel for safety reasons or if there are mechanical problems that prevent the boat from moving safely. We may also have to alter the cruising direction from time to time or even curtail part of the trip because of bridge faults.

We try to run trips in all weathers and all the crew are fully equipped with rain wear.

Because we run Christmas trips, we can sometime find winter weather on the day. Thankfully, it is rare to find weather as bad as this.

Spirit of Endeavour