Woodlands, canals, riversides, lakes, reservoirs… whether you fancy a canal side stroll or a 10km walk through woodland we have got you covered!
Leeds has enough parks and trails to keep you busy and they’re all beautifully unique.
1. Meanwood Valley Trail
6 miles/10 kilometres
The Meanwood Valley Trail runs from Woodhouse Moor and heads down Woodhouse Ridge to Meanwood, finishing at the beautiful Golden Acre Park.
Pubs and cafe recommendations
Reward yourself as you finish by visiting the on site cafe in Golden Acre Park. There is outdoor seating with great views.
There’s a great cafe in Meanwood Park if you get hungry en route – the cakes are delicious!
You’ll find a friendly pub called the New Inn on Eccup Lane with cosy fires and a large beergarden – great for whatever the weather!
- Begin in Woodhouse Moor (popularly known as Hyde Park) next to the statue of Henry Rowland Marsden.
- Briefly follow roads to Woodhouse Ridge where you’ll find a path through mature woodlands and suddenly feel a millions miles away from the city.
- The path continues along Meanwood Beck to Meanwood Park through lovely woodland.
- The trail then passes through the 72 acre park alongside a meandering stream and stone bridges.
- The next section takes you along Adel Beck and through Adel Woods.
- Finally you will pass Headingley Golf Course before finishing at Golden Acre Park.
Golden Acre Park hosts beautiful gardens, a lake, streams, ponds, woodland and the Breary Marsh Nature Reserve.
To extend your walk continue along the Dales Way to Eccup reservoir.
2. Meanwood Park
29 hectares – Green Road, Meanwood, LS6 4LE
Meanwood Park hosts woodland, meadows, a stream and areas of mown grass. You can access the park from Green Road or as part of other trails: The Hollow and Meanwood Valley.
Why not get active and make use of the park’ tennis courts, table tennis, bowling green or playground.
There are plenty of picnic benches if you want to make the most of the sun or a cosy cafe for cooler days.
3. Woodhouse Moor
26 hectares – LS36 1SJ
Just next to campus and Hyde Park, Woodhouse Moor is the most popular park for students. As well as loads of open green space, the park has tennis courts and a skate park.
Why not get active and make use of the park’ tennis courts? There is also a skate park, basketball court and a bowling green.
Hopefully returning soon, the park hosts popular Parkrun, a 5km route of the park – all abilities are welcome and the organisers keep track of your time progress for you. Keep an eye out!
If you have green fingers, why not look into the park’s allotment scheme?
4. The Hollies
5.5 hectares – LS16 5PA
This is a peaceful park that used to be the garden of a Victorian mansion. It’s on the side of Meanwood Valley, just 3 miles from the city centre. It feels great to be in the open, a great respite from modern urban life.
The Hollies hosts a national plant collection with loads of paths for you to walk. It is maintained by fantastic volunteers ‘Friends of the Hollies’ who meet once a month and some amazing work that you could get involved with!
5. Leeds-Liverpool Canal
13 miles / 21 kilometres
Enjoy a beautiful stroll from the city centre to Kirkstall and Shipley. You’ll find many lovely locks, cross through the Yorkshire countryside and catch views of the River Aire. Pick up the canal just to the south of the train station and follow the towpath west.
The route starts at the train station and finishes at Shipley rail station so you can catch the train back if you wish!
You’ll pass the Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve before coming to the famous Kirkstall Abbey. Check out the visitor centre with interactive exhibits illustrating the history of the abbey and the lives of the monks.
Rodney Nature Reserve is a great wetland reserve and is a great place for birdwatching.
To extend your exercise, you could continue west and visit Saltaire, a fascinating Victorian model village and UNESCO World Heritage Site.