Judy Woods, Wyke, Bradford Review For Families

When it comes to finding an escape into nature, Judy Woods in Wyke, Bradford, is a gem waiting to be discovered. Nestled in the heart of south Bradford, this woodland oasis spans 40 hectares, making it the third-largest woodland in the district. 

As a family who loves exploring the great outdoors, we recently ventured into this natural wonderland and found ourselves immersed in a world steeped in history, teeming with wildlife, and offering a plethora of activities for all ages.

Where is it located?

Judy Woods is situated in south Bradford and is the third largest woodland in the district, covering 40 hectares. It is easily accessible and offers a peaceful retreat for all. The address for Judy Woods is Station Road, Wyke, Bradford, BD12 8LA and Meadway, Buttershaw, Bradford, BD6 2SP. The park is open 24 hours a day, all year round, making it convenient for families to visit whenever they prefer.

History of Judy Woods

Judy Woods has a rich history that dates back over 10,000 years. The woodland itself is part of the largest woodland site managed by the City of Bradford MDC in the south of the district. The name “Judy Woods” is a collective term that includes Judy Wood, Old Hanna Wood, Low Wood, Doctor Wood, and Royds Hall Great Wood. These names reflect prominent people and landscape uses in the local area throughout several centuries.

In the 19th century, the area was owned by the Low Moor Iron Company, and remnants of their tramroads and embankments can still be seen today, adding to the area’s industrial heritage. Additionally, the wood bears evidence of its coal mining past, with bell pit sites and small spoil heaps scattered around. This blend of natural and industrial history creates a unique atmosphere that enchants visitors.

What is there to do for families?

Our family had a great time exploring Judy Woods and found plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. Here are some highlights of our visit:

Classic Woodland Walk

Judy Woods is the perfect place for a classic woodland walk. With well-maintained paths, both little children and adults can wander safely and explore the intriguing pathways. We enjoyed the sense of adventure as we made our way through the woods, crossing streams, and collecting sticks. The entire area is beautifully maintained, providing a serene environment for a family stroll.

Wildlife Spotting

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Judy Woods is the opportunity to observe wildlife. The mature woodlands are home to numerous species, and the surrounding farmland provides additional habitat for wildlife. 

During our visit, we were lucky enough to spot foraging bats near the edge of the woods and fieldfares feeding in the open pastures. Although it can be quite challenging, keep an eye out for the elusive fallow deer grazing among the trees.

Cycling in Judy Woods

Cycling through Judy Woods was a real treat for our family. The designated cycling routes wind through this woodland paradise, giving us a chance to explore nature while enjoying the thrill of biking together. What we loved most was the variety in trails – from gentle paths perfect for Barney’s first solo rides to more challenging tracks that got Matilda excited about her biking skills.

The woods provided a picturesque backdrop, with sunlight filtering through the trees and a gentle breeze guiding our journey. We couldn’t help but feel like we were part of something special, surrounded by nature’s beauty as we cycled along. It was a fantastic way to bond as a family, sharing laughter and cheers as we discovered hidden corners and scenic spots along the way.

Mobile Phone Interactive History Tour

To enhance the experience, Judy Woods offers a mobile phone interactive history tour. Throughout the woods, you’ll find billboards with codes that you can scan using a mobile phone code reader. These codes provide fascinating information about the history and significance of the area. It’s a fantastic way to learn more about the woods while enjoying your walk.

Tree Swings

If you’re looking for some outdoor fun, don’t miss the tree swings scattered throughout the woods. Our children, Matilda and Barney, had a blast swinging on these handmade swings. It added an element of excitement and playfulness to our day, and we highly recommend giving them a try.

Various Walking Routes

Judy Woods offers a myriad of paths and trails, allowing visitors to tailor their walk to their preferences and time constraints. We loved the flexibility this provided, as we could choose a shorter or longer route depending on the time we had available. 

Even though most paths are formally laid and well looked after, the woods still maintain a natural atmosphere, immersing you in the beauty of the woodland surroundings. It’s a great experience no matter the season.

Facilities At Judy Woods

Judy Woods provides several facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for families. Here’s what you can expect:

Wheelchair Accessible Path

For those with mobility challenges, Judy Woods offers a wheelchair-accessible path. This feature allows everyone to explore the woods and enjoy the beauty of nature. The path is well-maintained and provides a smooth surface, making it convenient for wheelchair users and families with strollers.


Parking is available right by the entrance, but be sure to check for any parking restrictions. The convenience of nearby parking makes it easy for families to access the park without a long walk, especially if you have young children or heavy equipment to carry.

Nature Reserve

Judy Woods is also designated as a nature reserve, highlighting the importance of preserving the flora and fauna within the woodland. As you explore the woods, you’ll come across a diverse range of plant and animal species that contribute to the delicate ecosystem of the area. Be sure to treat the nature reserve with respect and leave no trace of your visit.

Areas For Improvement

While our overall experience at Judy Woods was fantastic, we did notice a few areas that could be improved:

Dog Management

There have been instances of aggressive dogs within the woods, which could potentially be a concern for families visiting with their pets. Implementing measures to ensure better control and management of dogs within the park would greatly enhance the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.

Poo Bag Disposal

During our visit, we noticed that the bins provided for disposing of dog waste were overflowing with poo bags. This issue should be addressed promptly to maintain cleanliness within the park. We encourage visitors to be responsible and clean up after their dogs, utilising the available facilities appropriately.

Would you recommend it?

Without a doubt, our family would highly recommend a visit to Judy Woods. It offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and family-friendly activities. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk, wildlife spotting, or educational experiences, Judy Woods has something to offer for everyone. We had a great time exploring the woods, and both Matilda and Barney were enthralled by the enchanting atmosphere and exciting discoveries along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

To address some common questions, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about Judy Woods:

Is there a café?

Unfortunately, there is no cafe within the park. We recommend bringing snacks and drinks to keep you fueled during your visit.

What is your favourite part?

Our favourite part of Judy Woods was the interactive history tour using our mobile phones. It added a unique educational element to our walk and allowed us to learn more about the fascinating history of the area.

Is it suitable for Dog walkers?

Yes, dogs are allowed in Judy Woods. However, ensure your dog is well-behaved and under control at all times to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Can we bring our bikes?

Yes, you can bring your bikes to Judy Woods. However, be prepared for muddy paths, especially after rainfall.

Is there parking available?

Yes, there is parking available right by the entrance. However, make sure to check for any parking restrictions to avoid any issues.

Is there any entrance fee for visiting the park?

No, there are no entrance fees. Judy Woods is open to the public, allowing families to enjoy its natural beauty free of charge.

Pros & Cons


  • Great walking routes
  • Nice cycle paths
  • Interactive history tour
  • Enjoyable Sculpture Trail


  • No toilets
  • No Cafe

Park enjoyment rating

Photo by Ashley Groom on Unsplash

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Ryan

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