Top places for a family walk in West Yorkshire and York

We've been working to improve towpaths across the region. Find out what's on your doorstep with these great walks.

Leeds and Bradford

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath, including the Aire Valley Towpath, is largely flat, helping make it an excellent location for a family walk.

What’s more, as the longest canal in the UK, it’s a destination in itself but there are plenty of places to explore on foot along the way.

Just a few miles along the towpath from Leeds city centre is Kirkstall Abbey or further along is Rodley Nature Reserve.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire is also easily accessible with the towpath running close to Salts Mill, as is the National Trust’s East Riddlesden Hall further along.

At one end of our award-winning Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway, you can access Bradford’s Green Line Miles – four mile long circular routes, including City Park and the University, Little Germany, Manningham Lane and Myra Shay – or clock up some more steps with a wander around City Park, which is home to the Mirror Pool – the largest urban water feature in the UK.

At the Leeds end of the cycle superhighway, take a walk on the wild side on the city’s Owl Trail.


Check out our new and improved section of towpath on the Calder Hebble Navigation canal between Sowerby Bridge Basin and Hollas Lane Bridge. There’s also the option to link to the Hebble Trail, which runs all the way into the centre of Halifax.

Explore the Rochdale Canal around Hebden Bridge, which has benefitted from improvements through our programme to create a 10km route linking Sowerby Bridge to Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge.

The Rochdale Canal runs alongside Calder Holmes Park, a great spot for a picnic, or visit the National Trust’s Hardcastle Crags, a beautiful wooded valley with a riverside walk to 19th-century Gibson Mill.


Take a stroll along our new and improved section of towpath on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal between Milnsbridge and the town centre.

Learn more about the town’s past by downloading one of Huddersfield Local History Society’s walking maps.


The Castleford to Wakefield Greenway links Fairies Hill Locks by Whitwood Golf Course with Methley Bridge, and from the Greenway you can also link up with the towpath to the Aire and Calder Navigation towpath.

Looking for something a bit different? Try one of Wakefield Council’s Story Trails at the district’s country parks designed to combine the pleasures of children’s books with exploring the great outdoors.


Enjoy a walk along the River Ouse in York, taking in the new £4.4m Scarborough Bridge, which we delivered in partnership with in partnership with City of York Council, and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER EP).

From here visit the city’s Museum Gardens or there’s the option to head out of the city towards Rowntree Park on Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 65.