Woodlesford Lock

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Planning your visit

Address: Woodlesford Lock, Woodlesford, West Yorkshire LS26 8PU View on Google map

Opening Times: The towpath and picnic area are open daily

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

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

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.

This area is also famous for its rich variety of wildlife - and places to spot them. The towpath runs right along the side of Rothwell Country Park. And if you're really quiet you might even spot a Gruffalo!

Things to do and see

Take to the towpath:

  • Circular walk from Woodlesford Lock to Fishponds Lock (1.75 miles)
  • Take the towpath to Lemonroyd Lock (1.5 miles)
  • Play park - Woodlesford village park has a football pitch, children's play area and skate park
  • Fishing
  • Thwaite Mills - a water-powered mill museum

Places to eat:

Picnic spot:

Picnic benches are close to Woodlesford Lock (just watch out for the Gruffalo!)


  • Gruffalo trail - 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 all carved by one of the local boat owners
  • Leeds Country Way - a 62-mile long circular walk divided into 4-6 mile sections
  • Rothwell Country Park - lots of walks through the country park and a lovely place for quiet recreation.
  • St. Aiden's Nature Reserve

Wildlife spotting:

  • Rothwell Country Park
  • St Aiden’s Nature Reserve
  • Viewing platform on the far side of the lock installed by the Swillington Bird Group offering a great view across Leventhorpe Water Meadow
  • Use the bird screens to watch a huge variety of wild life: sand martins, kingfishers, dragonflies, bats, otters, voles, birds of prey, foxes, stoats or reptiles

Getting here

By car - there's a small, free car park next to Woodlesford Lock. You can also find some parking in the village centre. Parking is limited, so please keep the local residents in mind.

By train - Woodlesford train station is in the village with regular services from Leeds

By bus - the bus route 446 runs from Wakefield to leeds through Woodlesford

By boat - as well as our waterside moorings, you'll find a couple of water points

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