Benefits Of A Greenway


Connecting Communities

The villages and towns of Wharfedale have lots to offer. The Wharfedale Greenway will create a safe and pleasant route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users to travel along the valley for work, school, or leisure. A public consultation held in 2014 found that 94% of respondents supported the proposed Greenway.


Get Outside, Get Active

The Wharfedale Greenway will create a long traffic free corridor that will be perfect for getting active. With fresh air and rural scenery, the route is ideal for an occasional afternoon stroll or your daily exercise routine. If you’re feeling really active why not use it to visit one of the many excellent sport centres or pitches along the Wharfe Valley?


Being Green

The greenway will link dozens of relaxing green spaces and is the perfect way to explore the nature around us. Spot wild birds, watch out for butterflies, bees, and wildlife, get to know the plants and trees or find out how farming shapes our communities. Where it runs off road the greenway is planned to be a linear park, creating new green spaces that will increase the bio-diversity of the local areas. The route itself will also be a haven for wildlife and plants.



The Wharfe valley offers a fascinating slice of British History, all within easy reach of the proposed greenway. There is evidence of early human settlements along the valley, including internationally significant prehistoric carvings on Rombalds Moor and megalithic settlements on Otley Chevin.

Many of the villages and towns along the valley were established in the Saxon period, and grew more populous during the middle ages, with the spectacular Bolton Abbey established in the 12th century. The industrial revolution and population boom of the Victorian era have also left their mark on the valley, from resort towns to rural mills – with part of the greenway planned to run along a section of the abandoned Ilkley and Otley Joint Railway.

The Wharfedale Greenway could brig so much to the local communities

Sarah Evans



The Wharfedale Greenway will create new opportunities for people to visit and explore the Wharfe valley. From rural pubs to bustling market towns this is already one of the most popular places to visit in West Yorkshire, and users of the Greenway will be able to sample an incredible range of local independent shops, cafes, and restaurants.


Cycling Culture

The Wharfe valley has a flourishing cycling culture, including hosting the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire, and there are active cycling clubs along the valley. However, there are no facilities suitable for family and less confident cyclists, with many roads busy and dangerous for cyclists. The Greenway will allow even more people to get on their bicycles along the Wharfe Valley.


Climate Change

With increasing awareness of the climate emergency our society is facing it is vitally important that we create new infrastructure that allows people to travel in a more environmentally friendly way. The greenway will provide a fantastic new opportunity for active travel. When built, the Greenway will run from Bolton Abbey to Pool in Wharfedale, linking a community of over 45,000 people.

The Friends of Wharfedale Greenway are keen to work with local councils to make it as safe and easy as possible for everyone along the route to access the Greenway, including calling for safe routes between the Greenway and local schools.


Open to all

Whilst the Wharfe Valley is already linked by some fantastic footpaths many of these are not accessible to everyone. The Wharfedale Greenway will create new opportunities for everyone to explore the valley, including people with limited mobility. The greenway is planned to have a smooth surface suitable for adapted bicycles and wheelchair users, with multiple accessible access points. This will also make it perfect for less confident cyclists and walkers, including children and older people, creating a valuable new space that is open to everyone.

Other Greenways

Take a look at other Greenways nearby to get an idea of what the Wharfedale Greenway could look like.

National Cycle Network

Visit the Sustrans website who are the custodians of the National Cycle Network and find your next greenway visit.

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