SKIPTON Boat Trips has brought back its evening dining cruise experience following its successful introduction last year.

The two hour cruise runs on Thursday evenings from May to September, starting in the historic canal basin in Skipton. From 6pm, passengers board the wide beam restaurant boat Dalesman, now in its 28th year of service. Wine on arrival is followed by a safety speech from one of the skippers who, interestingly, actually have to hold a rank in the Merchant Navy.

“It is a traditional wide beam canal boat which was featured last year when she received a new engine - her old one having driven the equivalent of three times around the world,” said James Watson, owner of Skipton Boat Trips.

The boat was built in 1994 by James’ grandfather.

After the starters, the trip departs towards Leeds, where the grandeur of the old Victorian mills gives way to great views of the rolling countryside. The trip cruises as far as Bradley, passing through two swing bridges, and under numerous 18th century arch bridges, before turning in the winding hole at Bradley and making its way back to Skipton as dusk falls.

The cruise was the brainchild of James who approached chef and licensee Owen Pugh, of The Cavendish Arms, in Embsay, with the idea. James took over the company with his wife Jennifer in 2018, and has been trialling new ideas for cruises ever since, with their emphasis being on value for money and enjoyment. American born Jen likes to follow the mantra of Walt Disney in her dealings with the public- make the experience so good, people want to come back and bring their friends.

Owen has been the chef and licensee of The Cavendish Arms since 2004 and is now one of the longest serving landlords in the area. He has created a three course menu of traditional locally sourced fare for the trip, for a hearty meal on board, allowing passengers to sit back and relax and take in the atmosphere as a friendly crew takes care of everything else.

Although the evening dining cruise is two-and-a-half-hours long, Dalesman runs trips of different lengths, from two hours up to seven where she has been chartered to run to Gargrave and back, including a stop for shopping.

The company offers a popular boat cruise with afternoon tea, and roast dinner cruise (sold out for 2022), and Friday evening fish and chips cruise.

Evening Dining Cruises prices are £32.50 per person. To book or see availability go to: