Aire Valley Towpath, West Yorkshire
Start: Leeds railway station
Finish: Bingley Five Rise Locks
Distance: 16 ¼ miles
Time taken to cycle: 2 hours
The Aire Valley towpath encompasses beautiful countryside, rich industrial history, stunning scenery, the longest canal in the country and a world heritage site. Starting in the vibrant city of Leeds, this peaceful route travels out past Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Falls, Rodley, Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Buck Wood at Thackley, Shipley, Hirst Wood, Dowley Gap and the Three and Five Rise Locks at Bingley.
The highlight along the route is Saltaire near Shipley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its preservation as a Victorian Industrial Village. Named for Sir Titus Salt, the area has many features, so be sure to stop and visit the gallery, fine boutiques, antique shops and excellent cafes and bakeries. At the end of the ride, you’ll reach the Bingley Five Rise Locks, an engineering masterpiece of its time and just ten minutes from Bingley Railway Station.
MORE INFO: sustrans.org.uk
Photo by Paul Kirkwood