Weekend Walk: Apperley Bridge

In 2015 the railway station at Apperley Bridge, near Rawdon in Leeds was reopened after a gap of 52 years
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal at CalverleyThe Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Calverley
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Calverley

It makes a conveniently placed starting point for this excellent walk through a landscape which conveys the impression of deep countryside but is, in fact, a river valley surrounded by housing and industry. The route could not be simpler, following as it does the north bank of the River Aire eastwards before crossing Calverley Old Bridge, a relic from the days of packhorses, to reach the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. This leads directly back to the starting point. Along the river watch for cormorants, herons and grey wagtails. The canal is frequented by Canada geese and mute swans.

1. Walkers starting from Apperley Bridge railway station should turn right from the station approach and walk downhill.

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2. At the bridge over the River Aire cross the road with care to the starting point on the north side of the river. Go down steps at a public footpath sign and walk straight ahead through a car park. At the end, bend right to follow a path between a large sports ground and the river, eventually passing underneath Woodhouse railway bridge.

Old Calverley BridgeOld Calverley Bridge
Old Calverley Bridge

3. The riverbank path arrives at a hard-surface lane. Turn left next to a white-washed house and then right to follow a track. Look for a turning on the right where a small stream flows across the route and follow the path eastwards along the riverbank. Cross a footbridge and pass beneath another railway bridge. At the end of a field go up steps and turn right to cross Calverley Old Bridge.

4. On the other side climb more steps. Turn right on a cobbled lane and walk up to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Turn right here to follow the towpath west, passing Lodge Wood and Calverley Wood. Beyond a narrowboat mooring and new housing development on the opposite bank of the canal look for a right-hand turning and steps leading up from the towpath. Once on the road turn right to return to the start.

Difficulty rating: 1 star

Distance: 5 miles

The River Aire near Cragg WoodThe River Aire near Cragg Wood
The River Aire near Cragg Wood

Time: 2 hours

Map: OS Explorer (1:25,000) 288, Bradford & Huddersfield.

Parking: Roadside spaces on A658 at Apperley Bridge.

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Public transport: Apperley Bridge is served by regular trains between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square, and is on several bus routes including the 747 Bradford-Harrogate service. For times visit www.wymetro.com or call 0113 245 7676.

Refreshments: Apperley Bridge, Calverley Old Bridge.

Toilets: For refreshment customers.