Beautiful countryside, rich industrial history, stunning scenery, galleries, shops, museums and the longest canal in the country.
The route has smooth surfaces along the length of the route with gentle gradients, you’ll find the route ideal if you want an easy day’s pedalling, or if you have small children or are a wheelchair user.
The Aire Valley Towpath route encompasses both vibrant urban areas and beautiful countryside, taking you on a peaceful journey through Leeds and out past Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Fall, Rodley, Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Buck Wood at Thackley, Shipley, Hirst Wood, Dowley Gap and the Three and Five Rise Locks at Bingley.
Route gpx download
This route is available as a gpx download that is compatible with all major gps devices.
This route connects two of Leeds’ finest attractions, Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam. Cycle quiet roads, cycle tracks and parkland paths. Take in the wildlife at Roundhay Park, explore lakes, woodland, formal gardens, playgrounds, sports pitches, a golf course, a lakeside café and Tropical World – home to iguanas, monkeys and fruit bats! From there the route winds through the ancient woodland of Wykebeck woods and the meadows of Killingbeck Fields. Keep an eye out for Red Kites overhead. Enjoy the green spaces of Primrose Valley Park and Halton Moor, cross the golf course to arrive at one of England’s great historic estates – Temple Newsam.
There are plenty of cafes and shops for a pit stop en route!
EXPLORE A NATURE RESERVE: The Linesway (Garforth to Woodlesford)
One for the younger riders – This delightful traffic-free route travels from the small town of Garforth just outside Leeds through lovely countryside, passing a nature reserve and an RSPB site, along a river and canal ending at Woodlesford station.
Photo from www.sustrans.org.uk
From/To: Garforth to Woodesford
Distance: 9 miles one way (approximately 1.5 hours)
Exit Garforth station and follow the White Rose [WYCC] signs until you pick up signs to National Route 697 and The Linesway and join this lovely Greenway. You will be rewarded with the beautiful Townclose Hills Nature Reserve (or Billy Wood as it’s known locally) on the edge of Kippax. From the grassland plateau, there are beautiful near-panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Continue along the route to Allerton Bywater, turn right at Owl Wood Cottage towards Woodend and continue until you pick up signs to National Route 67, part of the Transpennine Trail. For a short detour at Woodend to visit RSPB St Aidans on the banks of the River Aire. The reserve is home to thousands of birds, brown hares, roe deer and insects- the perfect spot for a picnic! Cross the River Aire and follow the river, join the canal and follow it to Woddlesford passing the Locks! You can then get a train home from Woodlesford Station or return home on your bike!
YORKSHIRE DALES “STARTER” HILL: Skipton to Bolton Abbey
One for the more experienced child cyclist – This dramatic ride takes you east from the bustling market town of Skipton with its impressive Castle and regular outdoor market, along quiet lanes through beautiful countryside, ending at the magnificent ruins of Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales. Please note that there are some hills on the route.
Photo from www.skiptoncastle.co.uk
Start/Finish: Skipton Train Station
Distance:The return journey is 14 miles, 7 miles each way. This is approximately 2.5 hours
Start at Skipton Station, turn right, follow the main street to the top of the town, follow the route and enter the village of Embsay and pass its historic steam railway. Follow signs to Bolton Abbey along quiet country lanes with scenic views all the way. Take a pit stop at one of the local tourist attractions including Billy Bobs (Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Farm), Hesketh Farm Park, and, of course, Bolton Abbey Estate itself with magnificent ruins, stunning natural setting, river walks, stepping stones, cafes and picnic spots and the Abbey and the River Wharfe Valley passing through the famous Strid Gorge. Retrace the route back to Skipton or return using the Steam Railway! Cycle along the bridleway opposite the Devonshire Arms leading to Bolton Abbey Station. Part of the route can then be covered by train to Embsay Station and by bike from Embsay to Skipton. Bikes are welcome on the train.
CYCLE A GREENWAY: The Nidderdale Greenway – Harrogate to Ripley Cycle Route
This route connects Bilton, North Harrogate, and Knaresborough with Ripley on a fantastic 4 mile converted railway line. There are currently unsigned on-road connections between Ripley and the Way of the Roses cycle route to the North and the stunning Yorkshire Dales to the west.
The former railway line, known as the Nidderdale Greenway, this route crosses the Grade 2 listed, seven-arch Nidd Gorge Viaduct and a new safe crossing of the A61 near Ripley. The Greenway also links into the existing cycle network which takes you to Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate.
From Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate the route provides a wonderful gateway to various fantastic National Trust sites to the North. Brimham Rocks, the spectacular Fountains Abbey and Studley Park are all within a 15-mile cycle ride.