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Route 66

Route Details

  • From - to: Manchester to Spurn Head
  • Distance: 132 miles
  • Terrain: A mixture of traffic-free and on road cycling
  • Access: Various train stations

Route Description

National Route 66 of the National Cycle Network runs from Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester to Spurn Head in the East Riding of Yorkshire via Bradford, Leeds, York, Beverley, and Kingston upon Hull. Sections currently open and signed in both directions are:

1. Manchester Piccadilly to Hollinwood
National Route 66 currently begins close to Manchester Piccadilly Station and runs traffic-free along the Rochdale Canal to just past Failsworth. A cycleable route continues along the canal past this point but it isn't signed as Route 66.

2. Castleton (Manchester) to Calderbrook
Continuing along the Rochdale Canal National Route 66 is almost entirely traffic-free throughout this section.>

3. Warland (Walsden) to Brighouse
This section incorporates a mixture of traffic-free and on-road routes. Although the vast majority of the route between these two points is traffic-free, the route fluctuates between on-road and traffic-free for short stretches. The major traffic-free stretches on this section are along the Rochdale Canal (between Warland and Walsden, and between Millwood and Hebden Bridge), and alongside the Calder and Hebble Navigation (Sowerby Bridge to Brighouse).

4. Bradley (Huddersfield) to Frizinghall (Bradford)
Bradley to Mirfield Station is mostly traffic-free and this leg also includes the excellent Spen Valley Greenway along a disused railway line from Ravensthorpe to Oakenshaw.  The photo above shows some of the great artwork on the greenway. At either end of the stretch that National Route 66 shares with the Spen Valley Greenway the path is a mixture of traffic-free and on-road.

5. Shipley to Bramham via Leeds
Between Shipley and Leeds National Route 66 is entirely traffic-free on the Aire Valley Towpath along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Leaving Leeds the route follows a mixture of short traffic-free and on-road sections as far as Garforth, from where it is mainly on road to Bramham.

6. Tadcaster to Bishopthorpe (York)
This section is entirely on-road meeting with National Route 65 (Transpennine Trail) at Bishopthorpe.

7. Millenium Bridge York to Etton (Beverley)
Linking York with Stamford Bridge on a mixture of traffic-free and on-road route, National Route 66 is then entirely on-road to Etton outside Beverley.

8. Cottingham to (east side of) Kingston upon Hull
National Route 66 skirts the north of Hull before heading towards the centre on a disused railway line. It heads off towards Spurn Head on another disused railway line, currently ending at Salt End.

Traffic-free sections

Manchester Piccadilly to Hollinwood (Rochdale Canal); Castleton (Manchester) to Calderbrook (Rochdale Canal)Warland to Walsden (Rochdale Canal)Millwood to Hebden Bridge (Rochdale Canal)Sowerby Bridge to Brighouse (Calder and Hebble Navigation)Ravensthorpe to Oakenshaw (Spen Valley Greenway)Shipley to Leeds (Aire Valley Towpath); Traffic-free sections in Kingston upon Hull.

Related maps


Route 66 between Halifax and Sowerby Bridge (Mearclough Bridge to Hollas Lane Bridge) is closed until 15th June for towpath improvements, as past of Phase 2 of the CityConnect programme, in partnership with Canal and River Trust and Calderdale Council.

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.

National Cycle Route 66 runs from central Manchester to Spurn Head via Bradford, Leeds, York, Beverley, and Kingston upon Hull. Please see route description below for details of open sections.