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Accessibility Info

Accessibility Guide

Summary Passenger Boats: You have to go down around 4-5 steps to get onto the boat with a handrail on both sides. Wheelchair users can be wheeled right up to the boat entrance and you must be able to get down and up the steps. The staff will do everything they can to help you getting on and off and we can give you extra time if needed. As for wheelchairs or walkers, we will happily store those safely in our office.

If you are unsure, please ring us 01756 790 829 for further information.


Skipton Boat Trips has been family run since 1990. In that time we have become one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Leeds Liverpool Canal. We have learned so much over the last 30 years, working together with so many different customers and companies, to help us improve and grow our services to be as inclusive as possible, to allow more people to enjoy a visit to us.

At a Glance

Level Access: All outdoor areas at Skipton Boat Trips are uneven. They are comprised of paving slabs and cobblestones. Once onboard the boats, access is level, however there are steps on to the boats, and on to the seating as well.

Hearing: Our safety speeches and commentary are given via a speaker system, or from the skipper of the boat, depending on the trip. We do also have a printed copy available for the hard of hearing.

Visual: We offer large print versions of our safety speech and commentary, and it is also available as a digital copy, or via the speakers on board. 


Skipton Boat Trips is located in the 18th century canal basin in Skipton. Located on a Grade II listed site, the canalside between our ticket office and the boats is an uneven cobbled and stone flagged area. Our ticket office has a step down into it, but once inside is even floored and well lit. 

Mobility Aids 

Mobility aids such as walkers and wheelchairs cannot be taken onto or stored on the boats due to inaccessibility and limited space. They can however be taken up to the boat entrance, and stored at our Office. 



The Cobbydale is a traditional wide beam canal boat. There are four steps down into the boat, which is accessed from the flagstone wharf via a boarding ramp. There is a handrail down both sides of the stairs, and a steward at the top and bottom of the stairs to assist as well. Please note, the stewards do not have official qualifications or training in aiding and assisting people.

Once on board the boat, the seating on Cobbydale is arranged in the style of a coach, with benches for two, all facing towards the front of the boat. These seats are sited on a raised platform of roughly 30cm/12 inches height. There are toilet facilities on Cobbdale; this is a small cubicle at the rear of the boat, with a toilet that is slightly higher than an average toilet, and also features a small step into the cubicle.  

As per legal obligations, a safety talk is given as part of the recorded commentary on board the Cobbydale at the start of the trip. If a person is hard of hearing or visually impaired, we do have a transcript available. We also have a large print transcript, and versions in several languages including French, Spanish, German, and Japanese. 


The Dalesman is similar to the Cobbydale in some respects in that it also features four steps down into the boat, with handrails and steward assistance. The steps are also accessed via a boarding ramp from the wharf. Once on board the boat, the seating is laid out in booths of four, other than the two tables at the front of the boat, which hold three persons each. The seating consists of two facing padded bench seats, separated by a table. There is sufficient room between the seat and table edge for the majority of people. The tables and seating are fixed in position and cannot be moved or pulled out to allow for more room. Running down the middle of the boat is the access route. The seating on both sides is again on a raised platform of roughly 30cm/12 inches. The bathrooms on board Dalesman are located at the rear of the boat, near the entrance, and are larger than the one on Cobbydale, and also have separate ones for men and women. Both bathrooms have a small step into them from the main cabin.

The mandatory safety speech is given by the skipper on board the boat prior to sailing. This can also be provided as a printed sheet, large print copy, or in several languages. 

Day Boats:

The day boats are self drive hire boats, which are rented to people to drive themselves. The layout of these boats are slightly less accessible than the trip boats. To access the boat initially, they are situated at the far end of the wharf, meaning a walk of roughly 20 metres/60ft from the ticket office. Once at the boat, there is a gap of roughly 25cm/8 inches between the wharf and the boat that must be stepped across. The rear deck of the boat is flat, with a rail around the edge to prevent falling in. To enter the cabin of the boat, there are four steep steps down, with no handrails. Once inside the boat, everything is level, including the small bathroom. The bathroom is however, very small with very limited room for movability. Once inside the boat, to reach the front outdoor seating area, there are another two large steps to get outside. 


Customer Care Support

Accessibility Equipment:

We have written copies of our safety speech and commentary available in print, large print, and foreign language versions. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are welcome on all of our boats – we can also provide water bowls as and when requested.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures:

Information regarding how to evacuate the boat in case of an emergency can be heard through the safety speeches at the beginning of each trip. This information can also be provided through a printed sheet. The crew has training in how to aid the evacuation of passengers, and will do their utmost to help in any way possible.


Customer Care Support:

The vast majority of our staff hold qualifications in First Aid 

Some staff have Disability in the Workplace qualifications

We have information in various media and languages

If you are unsure, please ring us 01756 790829 for further information.