Better late than never!  The weather has been unpredictable of for yesterday and today so I was waiting with baited breath looking out of my window at work to see if today would be they day I would finally be back on two wheels and it was!

My Bike

as it was 6pm by the time I got out I knew it wouldnt be a long one, just as well really as I dont want to get saddle sore before my weekend ride (weather permitting) there was a little wind but not too much, there is nothing worse than fighting the wind on a bike and peddling you legs like a set of pistons but not travelling anywhere.

My choice was a ride I have done lots of times before but never tire of, the Aire Valley Tow Path between Armley Mills Museum and Bramley, this ride takes about 45 mins to 1 hour depending on how fast you travel.  The best part about heading out of Leeds this way on the canal is when your on the homeward journey all the Locks are downhill so if your tired then there is a bit of free wheeling that can be done! 

The quality of images are not quite as good as I had hoped but how good can a camera on a phone be?! oh well, on we go :)

If your going by car as I am then there is parking at the gates of the Armley Mills Museum, there is always plenty of space, its free and right next to the canal.

Armley Mills car park

From here its follow the road left over the bridge and round the corner to the right walk about 10 yards and cross the road, the entrance to the canal towpath is right here but do be careful crossing as this road can get very busy, alternatively if you dont midn carrying your bike just on the left as you walk over the bridge are some stairs down onto the tow path.

If your into photographer there are plenty of subjects that would make an interesting image, graffitti, wildlife and derelict buidlings being just a few.

Armley Bridge Graffiti

This is a relatively new piece of grafitti and one of the better ones, I like grafitti done properly, this one is under the bridge.

In the next 10 yards is Armley museum, and as you can see even at 7.15 at night the canal here certainly isnt a lonely place.

Armley Museum

Just after here under under the next bridge the underside is made of metal girders to hold up the railway track above and the water is like a mirror reflecting the lines across the water. 

Armley Wharf

the tow path is tarmac and wide so this makes for an easy ride, however one thing you have to have on the canal is a bell, as people often dont here you coming!  there is a code of conduct on the towpaths (see below).  The above image is the next landmark on our journey, Armley Marina, makes me wish I lived on a boat!

Code of conduct

Old Brewery

About half a mile and there is the old brewery on the left which is now converted flats and another hundred yards an opportunity for a detour to Kirkstall Abbey which is about 5 mins away by road.

Exit for Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey

moving on an interesting looking building begging for someone with a DSLR to do it justice! then I pass Kirkstall Abbey on the right I come to the first lock and the countryside is opening up a bit, you can smell blossom and wild garlic in the air and the birds are singing as the sun shines, bliss!

 about another couple of hundred yards and the next lock is a triple one and also a start of Bramley Woods on the other side of the canal, you can cross over here and ride through the woods for the next mile and come back across at the next Lock. 

Interesting Building

My final stop and where I turned around today is Newby Lock at the end of Bramley woods, once when I came out of the woods and I was having a quick breather before I set off back to Leeds I saw a whole family of foxes down a path to the left, I couldnt believe what I was seeing in broad daylight!

Newby Locks

There is always plenty of wildlife down here, interesting buidlings to look at and nice places to stop and rest and take in the scenary.  If you fancy a trip futher on the canal, Calverly is your next village followed by the beautiful Apperly Bridge.

Oh and if I can give you one last tip about riding at dusk, keep your mouth shut the midges are everywhere!  you could end up having an early dinner!

see ya!

footpath (fox area)


another derelict buidling