5 Best Cycle Routes in Leeds

Being in lockdown doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lock yourself away. This is a great time to try out some of the amazing cycle routes in Leeds.

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Not only will you get your daily dose of exercise but you are seeing more of your area and trying something new! Here are suggestions for five of the best cycle routes in Leeds for you to try out.

The Tour De France Route

Want to feel like a pro cycling in the Tour De France but maybe don’t want to cycle the whole 118 miles? Head to Pool Road in Otley, next to Wharfemeadows Park and cycle along the River Wharfe. You’ll need to cross over onto Harrogate Road in order to get the best view of the stunning scenery. Along your way, you’ll cycle through multiple little villages, eventually ending up at Weeton Beck (outside Harrogate). This shortened Tour De France Route is approximately 4 miles (6.5km) so get on your bikes and pedal folks!

Wykebeck Way

This is a shorter route for those less-experienced cyclists. Cycle through Wykebeck Valley along quiet roads, cycle tracks and park paths from Roundhay Park to Temple Newsam. The journey from one attraction to the other takes about 35 minutes and find a bit of peace from all the stress in the world right now among the woodland. The route is 6.7 miles (10.8km) and takes you through gardens and past lakes. The route is fairly simple - just follow the signs to Temple Newsam. Enjoy!

Golden Acre Park

For those regular cyclers who are looking for a bit more of a challenge, this is the perfect route. This cycle route is circular, beginning and ending in Golden Acre Park, and takes you over a variety of different terrains including roads, footpaths and canal towpaths. A mountain bike is recommended for this 25 miles cycle route. It takes three hours, however, can be split into smaller manageable bursts to give you chances to rest every now and then. For example, cycle from Golden Acre Park to Leeds Centre (6.5) miles, take a break and then carry on to Woodlesford Bridge. You can also stop and rest at Temple Newsam before cycling back to Golden Acre Park. Give it a go and good luck!

The Aire Valley Towpath

Looking for a more family-friendly bike ride to get your family up, out and exercising during lockdown? Try the Aire Valley Towpath. Ride 16 miles (about an hour and 20 minutes) along the longest canal in the country towards Bingley and enjoy the beautiful countryside. The ground is fairly flat and has some tarmac making it a smooth ride if you have younger children with you. If you cycle the whole way you’ll pass many attractions including Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Buck Wood at Thackley, Shipley, Hirst Wood, Dowley Gap and the Three and Five Rise Locks at Bingley. Have fun!

Leeds to Saltaire

If you’re not too keen on road cycling, this is the route for you.. Beginning at Leeds station, it follows the traffic-free towpath and canal; on route, you will cycle past several historical and interesting sites including Leeds Industrial Museum, Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Falls and Rodley Nature Reserve, the river Aire and finally, the UNESCO world heritage site of Saltaire - an old Victorian village. On the other side of the river, there is even a picnic area where you can stop, rest and refresh yourself. The whole route is 13.3 miles (or 21.4km) and takes roughly an hour and seven minutes. Get cycling!