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Woodlesford Lock

Located just five miles from Leeds, Woodlesford Lock on the Aire & Calder Navigation, is one of the best places to escape the city and enjoy country walks. The navigation was built to connect Leeds to the Humber and the North Sea. Unique to this navigation were ‘Tom Puddings’, huge open containers for carrying coal, linked together and pushed along by tugs. The waterway still carries commercial traffic but today, it makes its way through peaceful countryside.

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General information

Address: Woodlesford Lock, Woodlesford, West Yorkshire LS26 8PU

Visit time: 2 hours

Price: Once you're there, it won't cost you a thing

Parking: A small, free car park can be found next to Woodlesford Lock. Alternative parking can be found in the village centre.

Toilets: The nearest toilets are for customers of the village pubs, café and hotel.

Free visitor guide

Great for

Pack your binoculars and track down exotic wooden wildlife such as elephant, antelope, giraffe, gorilla, deer and the very rare Gruffalo! dotted alongside the canal. Use the bird screens to watch a huge variety of bird life. Look out for sand martins on the riverbank, the blue flash of a kingfisher or spot a forked-tailed red kite circling in the sky. Visit Thwaite Mills, a water-powered mill which at various times milled rape oil for lubrication and lighting, and crushed wood for dyes and whiting for household products. Or take a walk. There’s a circular walk from Woodlesford Lock to Fishponds Lock (1.75 miles), or a towpath walk to Lemonroyd Lock (1.5 miles), or try part of the Leeds Country Way, a 62-mile long circular walk divided into 4-6 mile sections. In the centre of Woodlesford village is a small park which contains a football pitch, children's play area and skate park. There are two village public houses and a cafe. The village contains a post office, petrol station, convenience store, three newsagents, bakery and other shops and food outlets. Local group, 'Woodlesford in Bloom' enhances the village and locks with lots of beautiful floral displays.

  • Dog walking
  • Walking
  • Bird watching
  • General sightseeing
  • Wildlife spotting

Nearby

Close to the canal is Woodlesford village offering visitors local facilities and amenities including, pubs, a café, shops and small park. The village and locks have many beautiful floral displays provided by the local Woodlesford in Bloom group.

Nearby you will find; Thwaite Mills Museum, St. Aiden's Nature Reserve, Rothwell Country Park and Leventhorpe Vineyard.

Spot a boat

Keep a look out for working boats and barges. The area is popular with boaters and boats can be seen year round, but especially in the summer months.

Refreshments

Picnic spot

Picnic benches can be found close to Woodlesford Lock.

Trails

Wildlife

You may see:

  • Ducks
  • kingfisher
  • Dragonflies
  • Bats
  • Otters
  • Butterflies
  • Voles
  • Green Woodpeckers
  • Gulls
  • Buzzards
  • Kestrel
  • Owls
  • Doves
  • Foxes
  • Stoats
  • Reptiles
  • Variety of birds

The area is wonderful for spotting lots of wildlife; birds of prey, reptiles, insects and a variety of plants and animals. There is a viewing platform on the far side of the lock installed by the Swillington Bird Group offering a great view across Leventhorpe Water Meadow. St Aiden’s Nature Reserve is nearby and a wonderful place to come close to nature. Rothwell Country Park is also close by, providing a much needed oasis for quiet recreation and enjoyment for wildlife and people alike.