Top places across West Yorkshire and York to visit by bike with your kids this summer

School’s out until September – the perfect opportunity to while away some of those long summer days on a family cycle.

30 July 2019

School’s out until September – the perfect opportunity to while away some of those long summer days on a family cycle.

Here are some of the region’s top places to visit by bike with kids on segregated cycle routes as chosen by the team behind West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk.

Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway

At 23km the award-winning CityConnect Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway is the longest continuous route of its kind in the UK.

As the name suggests it connects two of Yorkshire’s major cities, Bradford and Leeds, both of which are home to plenty of child-friendly activities.

Bradford is home to the National Science and Media Museum and its wonderful exhibition spaces, collections and IMAX cinema, particularly Wonderlab, provides hours of entertainment.

Just across the way is City Park, home to the Mirror Pool – the largest urban water feature in the UK.  At night the Mirror Pool transforms into a light, laser and water display, making it a great place to visit with the kids.

Why not double the fun and visit the Bradford Ice Arena just around the corner?

At the opposite end of the cycle superhighway, delve into the past at Leeds Industrial Museum or the Royal Armouries, check out some of the family holiday activities on offer at Leeds City Museum or take a walk on the wild side on the Leeds Owl Trail.

Leeds’s new £7.9m city centre cycle superhighway, which was officially opened just last week, runs along Wellington Street towards City Square from the west and along Marsh Lane, York Street, Duke Street and Kirkgate from the east.  Download a copy of the Child Friendly Leeds city centre map and keep an eye out for our new route on your travels.

A day out in the park with a picnic is as good as anything.  From the cycle superhighway Armley Park and Bradford Moor Park are both easily accessible.

The Shipley end of Bradford’s new £3.1m Canal Road Cycleway, which provides a missing link in cycling infrastructure between there and Bradford, connects to the Canal Road Greenway – a good spot for a green and leafy pit stop.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath

The Aire Valley Towpath is a flat route providing an opportunity to explore part of the longest canal in the UK, the Leeds & Liverpool canal.

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.

Castleford to Wakefield Greenway

The Castleford to Wakefield Greenway links Fairies Hill Locks by Whitwood Golf Course with Methley Bridge, with the option to treat the kids to some cake at Methley Bridge Farm Shop.

Use the Wakefield Wheel to visit the National Trust’s Nostell estate, where there are some woodland cycle trails for the whole family to enjoy.

Calder Hebble Navigation canal towpath 

Check out CityConnect’s 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, where you can enjoy a family day out at Eureka or The Piece Hall.

Rochdale Canal towpath

Explore the Rochdale Canal towpath around Hebden Bridge, which has benefitted from improvements through the CityConnect 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.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath

Check out our new and improved section of towpath on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal between Milnsbridge and the town centre, where you could visit Huddersfield Art Gallery or download one of Huddersfield Local History Society’s walking maps and learn more about the town’s past.

Scarborough Bridge, York

Enjoy a cycle along the River Ouse in York, taking in the new £4.4m Scarborough Bridge delivered by CityConnect 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.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re blessed with some wonderful cycling and walking routes, which are not only connecting people with employment and training opportunities, but also helping open up access to some of our best countryside.”

Share pictures of your cycling adventures, however big or small, with CityConnect on Twitter (@cityconnect1) and Facebook (@cyclecityconnect).

From route information to free adult cycle training, online challenges and support for businesses, find out how CityConnect can help you.