Only four swing bridges stood between us and Skipton but with the first hung beyond unbalanced and needing boat power to budge it, Skipton seemed to be getting further away. The next three were easier and we had the hose on the first of the waterpoints by midday.
Originating from the Anglo Saxon words ‘sceap’ (sheep) and ‘tun’ (town) there is an underlying touristy sheep theme going on in Skipton, but for now it’s been blown in oblivion by yellow. ‘Le Tour’ is coming and the town has gone all out to prepare: window boxes are all plants yellow; bakery windows crammed with lemon cupcakes; bikes are knitted, carved, sculpted, painted; charity shoppers face a wall of yellow; antique centres have dug out worn wheels – it’s never ending and if you somehow manage to miss the Tour de France angle, it would feel a curiously cultish yellow obsessed market town.
The town is a great combination of traditional and quirky with a reassuring dose of Poundland. Everything is done nicely – Bodycare is tucked inside a pretty arcade and other than the logo looked more like an olde worlde apothecary than a shampoo/wax strip bargain bucket.
Bridges slice the moorings into three sections, all with their own character and different appeal. This seems to be the jewel in the crown of The Leeds and Liverpool canal and having never been before, it’s hard to imagine Skipton without miles and miles of yellow bunting.