Days Out in and around North Leeds

Bike Rides & Places To Learn To Ride A Bike

Family bike rides, cycle routes and suggestions for easier cycle paths for children in Leeds


If you fancy getting out and about on your bike as a family this weekend take a look at our TOP PICKS of the local National Cycle Network Family Friendly routes around Leeds.  There are several relatively flat routes which take in some beautiful scenery and are suitable for children of all abilities.  We have also included a few ideas of places that are good to practice for those that are just getting going HERE.

Wetherby Bike Trails have developed two pump tracks for families to enjoy.  Devils Toe Track is for more confident riders and the Little Toe  Pump Track is for under 10’s.

Parking: Old Station Car Park, Wetherby

Cost: Free

wetherby-to-spofforth-bike-rideThe Wetherby to Spofforth Bike Trail follows the three mile Harland Way. It’s a flat, traffic free route, so great for children. 

Anglers Country Park – Wakefield

Mumbler recommends:

“Anglers Country Park with room on the broom is flat and wide paths, good fun for kids”

Bilberry Bikes – Mobile Bicycle Repair Shop

Mobile Bicycle Repair Shop. Offering collection and repair service covering West Yorkshire. Leeds, Bradford, Keighley, Ilkley, Skipton, Otley and everywhere in between.

Tel: 07534 633319

Bodington Playing Fields – Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit

Pay and Pedal sessions are open to all individuals who would like to have a go on the cycle circuit.  No need to book, just turn up during the Pay and Pedal session times. Open to all abilities of cyclists who want to practice their cycling skills or just spend time on their bike in a safe cycling environment.  Bikes can be hired

Timetable: Mon: 3pm – 6pm, Weds: 3pm – 7pm, Fri: 3pm – 5pm

Bodington Way, Leeds LS16 8NA

Calverley Victoria Park – Small Cycle Route For Beginners

Very short circular route around the park on flat, tarmac paths.  Grass either side makes this quite a safe spot for small children learning to ride their bike for first time.

Carr Rd, Calverley, Leeds LS28 5PY

Golden Acre Park – Small Cycle Route For Beginners

Circular route around the park on gravel and tarmac paths.  Mostly flat, with minimal inclines.  Suitable for young children learning to ride, as well as balance bikes, bikes with stabilisers and scooters.

Arthington Rd, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ

Hall Park Horsforth – Small Cycle Route For Beginners

Short circular route around the park on tarmac path, with grass either side.  Ideally suitable for small children learning to ride, including for balance bikes and bikes with stabilisers.  There is also a small skatepark with ramps for more experienced children.

Hall Ln, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5JE

Harland Way between Spofforth and Wetherby

Mumbler recommended

“Harland Way between Spofforth and Wetherby. It’s along the line of the old railway. Lovely little park in Spofforth on your right as you arrive, castle is worth a run around & we had drink in the Castle pub which looked like it had good food so a full day out!”…

Kirkstall Abbey – Small Cycle Route for Beginners

Great circular loop around the Abbey grounds on tarmac paths. Ideal for children just starting to learn to ride a bike on their own as fairly flat with wide paths.

Abbey Rd, Leeds LS5 3EH.

Leeds Urban Bike Park

A Mountain Bike & BMX Centre in the heart of Leeds.  Includes trails for all abilities plus a bike shop and coffee shop all on site.  Offers Mountain Bike and BMX coaching.

  • 6km cross country loop
  • Green cycle trail
  • Skills Area
  • Jump Zone
  • Pump Track
  • Mini-Pump Track
  • Duel Track
  • Dirt Jump Area

Read our Mumbler review here.

Middleton Park Bike Hub, Ring Road Beeston, Leeds

St. Aidans RSPB Reserve

St Aidans RSPB reserveis managed by the RSPB for visitors and wildlife, on behalf of Leeds City Council.

Visit our new visitor centre with cafe, shop & toilet facilities. There are 12km of trails, plus the transpennine trail which passes the nature park on the southern side. The main trails take you amongst a variety of habitats including reedbed, wetland, meadows and woodland.

See website for directions and facilities – accessible from Woodlesford, Methley and Allerton Bywater. Suitable for bikes and pushchairs.

The Aire Valley Towpath Cycle Route (Leeds to Liverpool Canal)

One for the younger riders – This route provides a wonderful opportunity to explore part of the longest canal in Britain.


Route Details

  • From – To: Leeds to Bingley
  • Total Distance: 17 miles
  • Terrain: Canal towpath. The surface is mostly good with some tarmac
  • Access: Leeds, Shipley and Bingley Train Stations
  • National Cycle NetworkNational Routes 66 and 69 Full Route Details

Route Description

Beautiful countryside, rich industrial history, stunning scenery, galleries, shops, museums and the longest canal in the country.

The route has smooth surfaces along the length of the route with gentle gradients, you’ll find the route ideal if you want an easy day’s pedalling, or if you have small children or are a wheelchair user.

The Aire Valley Towpath route encompasses both vibrant urban areas and beautiful countryside, taking you on a peaceful journey through Leeds and out past Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Fall, Rodley, Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Buck Wood at Thackley, Shipley, Hirst Wood, Dowley Gap and the Three and Five Rise Locks at Bingley.

Route gpx download

This route is available as a gpx download that is compatible with all major gps devices.

Download: Aire Valley Towpath.gpx

The Linesway Bike Ride (Garforth to Woodlesford)

One for the younger riders – This delightful traffic-free route travels from the small town of Garforth just outside Leeds through lovely countryside, passing a nature reserve and an RSPB site, along a river and canal ending at Woodlesford station.

Route Details

  • From/To: Garforth to Woodesford
  • Distance: 9 miles one way (approximately 1.5 hours)
  • Type: Traffic free path
  • National Cycle Network: National Route 697 and 67 Full  Route Details
  • Access: Garforth and Woodlesford train stations

Route Description

Exit Garforth station and follow the White Rose [WYCC] signs until you pick up signs to National Route 697 and The Linesway and join this lovely Greenway. You will be rewarded with the beautiful Townclose Hills Nature Reserve (or Billy Wood as it’s known locally) on the edge of Kippax. From the grassland plateau, there are beautiful near-panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Continue along the route to Allerton Bywater, turn right at Owl Wood Cottage towards Woodend and continue until you pick up signs to National Route 67, part of the Transpennine Trail. For a short detour at Woodend to visit RSPB St Aidans on the banks of the River Aire.  The reserve is home to thousands of birds, brown hares, roe deer and insects- the perfect spot for a picnic! Cross the River Aire and follow the river, join the canal and follow it to Woddlesford passing the Locks! You can then get a train home from Woodlesford Station or return home on your bike!


Download the free map here

The Nidderdale Greenway Bike Ride – Harrogate to Ripley Cycle Route

This route connects Bilton, North Harrogate, and Knaresborough with Ripley on a fantastic 4 mile converted railway line. There are currently unsigned on-road connections between Ripley and the Way of the Roses cycle route to the North and the stunning Yorkshire Dales to the west. 


Route Details

  • From – to: Harrogate to Ripley
  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Terrain: Traffic free path
  • National Cycle Network: Route 67 Full Route Details

 Route Description

The former railway line, known as the Nidderdale Greenway, this route crosses the Grade 2 listed, seven-arch Nidd Gorge Viaduct and a new safe crossing of the A61 near Ripley. The Greenway also links into the existing cycle network which takes you to Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate.

From Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate the route provides a wonderful gateway to various fantastic National Trust sites to the North. Brimham Rocks, the spectacular Fountains Abbey and Studley Park are all within a 15-mile cycle ride.


Download the free map here

The Riverside walk and Abbey road in Knaresborough

Mumbler recommended

“The riverside walk and abbey road in knaresborough. It’s a road but access only so very quiet.”

The Wykebeck Way: Leeds Roundhay Park to Temple Newsham

The Wykebeck Way bike ride is a well-signed route that uses quiet roads, cycle tracks and parkland paths through the Wyke Beck Valley.

Route Details

  • Start/Finish: Leeds Roundhay Park / Temple Newsham
  • Distance: The round trip is 12.5 miles, which is approximately 2 hours.  One way from Roundhay Park to Temple Newsam is just over 6 miles.
  • Terrain: A mixture of quiet roads and traffic free paths.
  • Access: Roundhay Park
  • National Cycle Network: Route 66 Full Route Details

Route Description

This route connects two of Leeds’ finest attractions, Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam. Cycle quiet roads, cycle tracks and parkland paths. Take in the wildlife at Roundhay Park, explore lakes, woodland, formal gardens, playgrounds, sports pitches, a golf course, a lakeside café and Tropical World – home to iguanas, monkeys and fruit bats! From there the route winds through the ancient woodland of Wykebeck woods and the meadows of Killingbeck Fields. Keep an eye out for Red Kites overhead. Enjoy the green spaces of Primrose Valley Park and Halton Moor, cross the golf course to arrive at one of England’s great historic estates – Temple Newsam.

There are plenty of cafes and shops for a pit stop en route!

York Solar Cycle

Mumbler recommended:

“York solar cycle is fab!  Sustran is a charity that manages cycle paths and lots are on disused train routes (nice and flat)”

Yorkshire Dales “Starter” Hill Bike Ride: Skipton to Bolton Abbey

One for the more experienced child cyclist – This dramatic ride takes you east from the bustling market town of Skipton with its impressive Castle and regular outdoor market, along quiet lanes through beautiful countryside, ending at the magnificent ruins of Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales. Please note that there are some hills on the route.

Route Details

  • Start/Finish: Skipton Train Station
  • Distance: The return journey is 14 miles, 7 miles each way.  This is approximately 2.5 hours
  • Terrain: Quiet country road. Hilly in places
  • National Cycle Network: National Route 696 Full Route Details
  • Access: Skipton and Bolton Abbey Train Stations

Route Description

Start at Skipton Station, turn right, follow the main street to the top of the town, follow the route and enter the village of Embsay and pass its historic steam railway. Follow signs to Bolton Abbey along quiet country lanes with scenic views all the way. Take a pit stop at one of the local tourist attractions including Billy Bobs (Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Farm), Hesketh Farm Park, and, of course, Bolton Abbey Estate itself with magnificent ruins, stunning natural setting, river walks, stepping stones, cafes and picnic spots and the Abbey and the River Wharfe Valley passing through the famous Strid Gorge. Retrace the route back to Skipton or return using the Steam Railway! Cycle along the bridleway opposite the Devonshire Arms leading to Bolton Abbey Station. Part of the route can then be covered by train to Embsay Station and by bike from Embsay to Skipton. Bikes are welcome on the train.


Download the free map here