Woodlesford Lock to Leeds Canal Walk
This walk takes you from the pretty Woodlesford Lock into Leeds city centre, along the Aire and Calder Navigation Canal.
The route runs for just over 5 miles along the towpath, using a section of the epic Trans Pennine Trail. As such it should take just under 2 hours to complete. Woodlesford has a train station so you could catch the train back at the end of the route. It's about a 10 minute direct journey from Leeds train station. On the way there's a series of locks, weirs and old mills to see. The nice surfaced path is also suitable for cyclists. You can see someone cycling the route on the video below.
The walk starts from Woodlesford Lock, located just north of the village centre and the train station. Here you can pick up the towpath and follow it west along the canal and the River Aire. You'll pass Stourton, Thwaite Mills, Hunslet Mills and Knowsthorpe before finishing at Fearn's Island. Highlights on the route include the Thwaite Mills which includes a museum of the Leeds milling industry set in a former mill on an island in the River Aire. At the end of the route you'll also find the Royal Armouries. There's another interesting museum here with one of the oldest and largest collections of arms and armour in the world. There's also a cafe here where you could enjoy some post walk refreshments.
Woodlesford Lock to Leeds Canal Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Woodlesford Lock to Leeds Canal Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Woodlesford Lock to Leeds Canal Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Woodlesford Lock to Leeds Canal Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head north from the lock and you could visit Temple Newsam Country Park. There's 1500 acres of parkland to explore here with a series of woodland trails, pretty ponds, landscaped gardens and the Dunstan Hills. The expansive estate surrounds a fine Tudor-Jacobean house with hundreds of years of history. It's one of the highlights of the area and well worth a visit.
You could also continue west along the waterways on the Leeds Canal Walk. This visits the historic Kirkstall Abbey before heading to Shipley.