Although a challenging tidal river, the Ouse is often navigated by pleasure boats seeking to reach York and Ripon from the main canal system. The very intrepid (or those with full-length boats) will enter at Trent Falls, the slightly less intrepid at Goole, but the safest and simplest route is via Selby from where, provided you get the tides right, it is a relatively easy run to Naburn and non-tidal water.
It is here that most boaters will suddenly begin to really enjoy this historic river which makes a splendid entrance to the city of York and offers excellent central moorings. But there is much more beyond here where the remote gently meandering river passes a series of delightful villages and stately houses, only marred by poor mooring facilities.
Boroughbridge, on what is by now the River Ure, offers good facilities, then as the river narrows, the Ripon Canal strikes off through three locks to the eponymous town: a fitting destination, until recently dubbed the most northerly on the connected waterway system – an accolade which can now be claimed by Tewitfield on the Lancaster Canal. (The Ripon Canal is restricted to boats of 58ft length.)
The section between Goole and Selby offers the added opportunity to explore the River Derwent and the Pocklington Canal – if you like quiet away-from-it-all boating, these are for you!
River Ouse, River Ure, Ripon Canal, River Derwent and Pocklington Canal are in Cruising Guide to North Yorkshire Waterways is in Waterways World October 2019