The visitor by boat will arrive up the Tidal River Hull at Struncheon Hill lock, the bottom gates of which were repaired in 1982. Originally a pair or “staircase” lock it was designed to pass the “average” Yorkshire keel. (58′ x 15′-6” over top gate cill). Above the lock the broad, deep straight canal is part of the “new navigation” of 1801. Tophill Low pumping station on the left is a filtration plant for the Yorkshire Water Authority. When leaving the lock beware of the weir on the right. A water point is available at opposite the cottage adjacent to Bethel’s swing bridge, the mechanism for which is on the towpath side. The winding lane from the bridge leads to Brandsburton, 3 miles away. Above Bethel’s Bridge the canal meanders through flat grassing meadows to the junction with West Beck.
This branch is Navigable, to Corps Landing, turning however is restricted to boats of 45 feet in length check with Bethel’s Bridge Boat Club before navigating this section By contrast Frodingham Beck is a well-dredged channel of 1-mile leading to good temporary moorings at Frodingham Wharf. The mile straight to Brigham contains the Brigham Sailing Club and the Brigham Scow Club. These unique vessels with a single lugsail of 200 sq.ft. can tack duickly in the narrow channel and catch the wind above the banks. Brigham has an attractive waterfront with permanent and temporary moorings. Brigham bridge, currently the head of navigation for most craft will eventually be re-built to pass boats again.
Small boats may continue upstream to Snakeholme Lock which marked the beginning of the original Driffield Canal. This too was once a “staircase” lock. The infamous Wansford “fixed” bridge crosses the canal between here and Driffield is perhaps the most attractive section. Wansford Lock is still in a reasonable state of repair. The canal is paralleled by the Frodingham-Driffield road at this point and here the canal is popular with anglers. Principle catches, trout, perch, pike and roach. Day tickets are available from Wansford Post Office. Around Whinhill Lock the canal presents an open aspect with views of Driffield to the west. The track across the lock leads to a trout farm. Turning sharply to the northwest the canal passes through Town Lock to enter Driffield Basin, a wide, deep section complete with cranes and warehouses.
Once this basin was packed with keels unloading but now the warehouses have been attractively converted to flats and canoes are the most common craft. The area of grass along side the canal makes an appealing picnic site; DNAA holds occasional canal festivals here. Canal Head is about 6 and a half miles from Strucheon Hill Lock. As “capital of the Wolds” Driffield has all the facilities of a modern market town and good road and rail communications to all parts of eastern Yorkshire and beyond.