4 Best Countryside Walks in Leeds
When living in a city, it can sometimes seem like you have to travel far to get away from the hustle and bustle. But there are plenty of countryside walks in Leeds, that are hidden right here in the city and suburbs. That is if you know where to look. So here are four of my favourite walks in Leeds, that you can find in the city centre and suburbs.
1. Otley Chevin Forest Park
Otley Chevin Forest Park is a wonderful woodland retreat just 1o miles north-west of the city centre. Designated as a local nature reserve in the 1980’s, the forest has grown over time from multiple smaller woods. With several dirt paths that run through the whole park, it is an ideal place for walking and exploring. But the best thing about Otley Chevin is its surprise view (yes it’s actually called that). As the park is sat on top of an escarpment 280m above sea level, it offers a fantastic view across the Wharfe valley and the town of Otley below. Plus there’s also a few good pubs and cafes around for a quick or leisurely pit stop along the way.
2. Leeds Liverpool Canal
Made up of 127 miles of water and connecting two Northern major cities, the Leeds Liverpool Canal is not exactly a hidden country spot. However, the quaint pathways that sit alongside the canal are perhaps less well known. The canal begins right in the heart of the city at Granary Wharf. From here you’ll also find the start of the walking trail that leads you through Leeds’ suburbs. As the city fades away, you’ll discover weathered canal locks, greenery and old arches as you walk by the water. Along the way, there’s many peaceful spots that will make you forget Leeds is still so close by. With the route bypassing the impressive Kirkstall Abbey and Bramley Fall Park, as well as the pretty little Yorkshire towns beyond.
3. Meanwood Valley Trail
Hidden in Leeds, the Meanwood Valley Trail is one of my favourite walks in Leeds and is the perfect way to escape to the countryside for an afternoon whilst truly staying in the city. In total the trail is 7 miles long, starting quite central in Woodhouse Moor. From there it winds through peaceful woodland dipping in and out of suburban streets and parks as it takes you out of the city, ending at Golden Acre Park. Along the route, there are lots of interesting and historical sights to look out for. From the Woodhouse Ridge to The Hollies gardens to the ruins of the Seven Arches aqueduct. And as the trail is split into 3 distinct parts you can explore as much or little as you like.
4. Eccup Reservoir
Another one of my favourite walks in Leeds and still relatively undiscovered to most, Eccup Reservoir sits burrowed away in the suburban area of Alwoodley. As the largest body of water in West Yorkshire, the reservoir is lined with pebbled shores and woodland. It’s both a wonderful sight as well as a unique gem of the local area. Along the water’s edge, are plenty of paths that are only disturbed by dog walkers and joggers. So its the perfect place for peaceful strolls to escape the city for a few hours.
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