I was all prepared to go for a bit of an adventure today… but the home shopping arrived an hour late, and the realisation of how much washing I had to tackle this first day back from holidays made me re-assess my options. So instead, I stayed local to a short walk along the canal at Woodlesford.
Distance: Just under 2 miles (3k). Can do shorter, just stick to one side of the canal and wander as far as you feel!
Accessibility: Fine for most buggies. One side of the canal is a tarmac road, the other side is a clear footpath but can be muddy. Also have to navigate over the locks- I managed it 30 weeks pregnant, so shouldn’t be a problem!
Facilities: A small car park and roadside parking. Picnic areas. No cafe but sometimes a catering van parks up at weekends. No toilets. Woodlesford has a few pubs and cafes.
Route: Super-easy! From the car park and lock (pictured top-left below), follow the road (don’t worry, no traffic) to the next lock along- cross the canal here and come back the other side!
Vlog of our Autumn trip to Woodlesford Lock: https://youtu.be/7YNwajueLMk
Our visit to Woodlesford Lock
Jess was in good spirits as we started walking as dozens of ducks came running towards us in hope of food! She often visits here with her nursery so took great pleasure in telling me where we should be headed 🙂
The start of the walk is so pretty- besides the ducks we liked looking at all the different canal boats and there’s a lovely picnic area for those sunny days. When you first enter the gate, look out on the left to see the deer sculpture in the orchard.
Further along, you’ll arrive at a little gated reserve on your left, with a variety of wooden sculptures including the Gruffalo, Shrek, Donkey and Olaf.
The rest of the walk up this side can be spent spotting birds (you might be lucky enough to see the nesting swans) and jumping in puddles.
Jess was delighted when two canal boats passed us- and everyone on them waved at us!!
When you reach the far lock you might be lucky and get to see it in action, but even if not it’s a good chance to explain how it works 🙂 You can also see a wind turbine in the distance- Jess was massively confused by what this was, perhaps this would have been something more interesting to have used on her sheet!!
At this point you need to turn back; either cross the lock bridge to the other side, or come back on the road you cam in on. For a longer walk, you could also follow the road up to Rothwell Country Park.
On the other side the path can get quite muddy, but sits between the canal and river, so is gorgeous to walk along! Not so gorgeous, but interesting for Jess, was the sight of diggers in the distance moving rubbish onto the waste disposal site.
We followed this back to the start to catch up with the boats who waved at us once again 🙂
This is a great little walk if you have an hour or two to kill, and there’s loads of scope to extend it if you want. Let me know if you try it and like it!
Other walks nearby: