This cycle route, chosen as Stage 2 of the Sustrans Slow Tour of
Yorkshire, is from Garforth, past St Aidan's RSPB reserve, to
Woodlesford Lock. It's 9 miles one way, or 18 miles there and back.
This is the Sustrans
leaflet for the ride.
It's not spectacular, but perfectly pleasant. It's probably one to
do if you live locally, rather than travelling a long way for. (The
tow path past Woodlesford Lock is also a good route into Leeds, used
The surface seems to be crushed limestone for much of the way. It's
ok as long as you don't have a pure road bike. The quality is decent
enough, although there were plenty of puddles when I did it, and my
bike ended up quite muddy.
Garforth to Woodlesford cycle route: map
The map shows the route from Barton-upon-Humber to North Ferriby in
Garforth to Woodlesford cycle route: route notes
Garforth to Woodend
The Linesway, near Garforth
The route starts on a tarmacked path, which passes the back gardens
of some houses. It soon goes under the A63, and changes to a
non-tarmacked but reasonably hard surface. This is the Linesway. An
information board further along tells you that it is the route of
the old Garforth to Castleford railway (1878 to 1969), and another
tells you what wildlife you might see.
Linesway information board
You pass Townclose Hills (or Billy Wood) Nature Reserve on your
left. Continue to a junction near Owl Wood, where there's a wagon
wheel. Turn right here.
Wagon wheel near Owl Wood
You cross a road at Woodend. There are quite a lot of tight
A-frames all along this ride, but Woodend wins the prize for its
four-in-a-row. You can easily skip two of them here, just by taking
the road to the right of the path.
Woodend to Woodlesford Lock
Soon after crossing the road at Woodend, you reach a junction in
the path, where you go left (signed for Lowther Lake, see photo
above). Lowther Lake is part of RSPB
St Aidan's Nature Reserve.
RSPB St Aidan's
The path takes you to a bridge over the river Aire, which you
Bridge over the river Aire
Turn right at the other end of the bridge. The path now follows the
river Aire, which is to your right. For a section, the railway is to
your left. You reach Lemonroyd Marina. After passing the Marina,
you're on the towpath of the Aire & Calder Navigation
(effectively a branch of the river Aire).
Aire & Calder Navigation towpath
The Aire & Calder Navigation widens out.
Aire & Calder Navigation
The towpath takes you under the A642 at Woodlesford, then you reach
There's a tap, which will be useful if your water bottle needs
Return by the way you came.
All photos © Hedgehog Cycling
Garforth to Woodlesford cycle route: comments and suggestions
There are no major flaws in this route.
There are an awful lot of A-frame barriers, all set quite tight, so
it was a struggle to squeeze my handlebars and shoulders through
them. I understand why they are there - to stop the route being used
on motorbikes. If it were possible to open them out a bit, it would
make riding the route easier.