Oarsome news! Rowing boats return to the River Wharfe in Otley


People in Otley are really pushing the boat out to mark a familiar pastime’s return to the market town.

Otley Boats, the first rowing boat hire company to operate on the Wharfe in the town for more than 15 years, is officially launching today.

Based in Wharfemeadows Park, the company will offer boats and pedalos for hourly use on a stretch of the river between Otley Weir and Wharfebank Mills.

Owner Chris Thornton said: “We are looking forward to bringing back boating to Otley for both the local public and visitors alike.”

The initiative has won support from organisations including Otley Town Council, Otley BID, Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency.

A grand launch event taking place today is due to be attended by former Team GB Olympic rower Ian Lawson as well as a number of local dignitaries.

Otley Town Council chair Ray Georgeson said: “The return of boat hire to Otley for the first time in 16 years is a massive boost for residents and the local economy but also acts as an added attraction for visitors to the town.

“We already offer many things for people to do while here, and Otley Boats will give people yet another reason to visit Otley.”

Charges for rowing boat and pedalo hire are from £7 per person per hour.

Visit www.facebook.com/OtleyBoats for more details.