15 Best Walks in Leeds (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Leeds (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Are you looking for a way to escape the monotony of everyday life?

Then why not explore the many fantastic walks that Leeds has to offer?

From picturesque parks to rolling countryside, Leeds is full of beautiful sights and sounds that will make you forget your worries and help you find some inner peace.

1. The Meanwood Valley Trail

Meanwood Valley Trail at Millpond Lane
Photo by Stephen Craven

Leeds is an urban paradise for walkers. With its abundance of trails, parks, and countryside, there’s no shortage of places to explore. One of the most popular walks in Leeds is the Meanwood Valley Trail.

This picturesque path takes you past some of the city’s most beautiful natural landscapes while offering stunning views over the city skyline.

The trail starts at Woodhouse Ridge, where you can soak up views across the city before heading into Meanwood Park.

From there, you’ll weave your way through a variety of environments, from woodland to meadows and streams.

You might even catch a glimpse of local wildlife such as otters or kingfishers! The route then continues along the valley floor before emerging at Golden Acre Park for spectacular lake views and a well-earned rest stop.

Once your energy is restored, carry on with your journey back to Woodhouse Ridge – completing a perfectly circular loop around Leeds’ finest walking route.

2. Rawdon Billing

View from Rawdon Billing
Photo by Wayland Smith

The next stop on our tour of Leeds’ best walks is Rawdon Billing. This stunning space, owned by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, is a mixture of grassland, woodland, and limestone pavement.

It’s a great place to explore and take in the beauty of nature – it’s an area full of wildlife and offers spectacular views across Leeds and beyond.

Rawdon Billing covers around 100 acres and is one of the best places to get away from it all. Here you can escape the hustle and bustle and take in the peace that comes with being surrounded by nature.

There are plenty of trails to wander along, with varying levels of difficulty; so whatever your level there will be something for you.

You can walk through wildflower meadows, spot birds soaring overhead, or simply take in some breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside – there really are endless possibilities here.

3. Fulneck Loop Circular

Pudsey Town Hall
Photo by michael ely

The Fulneck Loop Circular is a scenic 4-mile walk through the stunning countryside of Leeds. It’s an ideal way to enjoy the great outdoors, surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful views.

Starting at Pudsey Town Hall, the path takes you around Fulneck Reservoir, then through a series of woodland paths before arriving at the historic village of Pudsey.

Along the way, you’ll be able to take in sights such as rolling hills, ancient trees, and wildflower meadows.

The loop offers plenty of opportunities to get some fresh air and stretch your legs. There are also plenty of seating areas for those who want to take a break and admire their surroundings.

The route is suitable for all ages and abilities; walkers can enjoy a leisurely stroll or pick up the pace with a brisker pace if desired.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable and rewarding walk that’s sure to leave you feeling refreshed and energized!

4. Chevin Forest Park

The second best walk in Leeds is Chevin Forest Park. This peaceful retreat covers over 250 hectares of rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and limestone grasslands.

It’s an excellent place to explore nature, with a wide range of habitats and wildlife.

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There are also numerous walking routes ranging from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone.

The views from the summit of The Chevin are spectacular, with wide vistas across the Yorkshire Dales and beyond.

On a clear day, you can even see as far as the Lake District. With its varied terrain and stunning scenery, it’s an ideal spot for hikers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

So if you’re after an adventure in nature without having to travel too far, then this may just be your perfect destination!

5. Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park is a stunning and picturesque park in Leeds and the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

With over 700 acres of grassland, lakes, woodlands, gardens, and more, it’s the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The park is especially popular with families due to its variety of attractions; you can visit Tropical World or take a boat ride on Waterloo Lake.

For those looking for something a little more challenging, there are plenty of walking trails to explore.

Take your pick from easy routes that take you around the perimeter or more demanding paths that lead up to Oakwood Clock.

No matter what route you choose, be sure to keep an eye out for the wildlife – squirrels, swans, and other birds call this park home.

Roundhay Park is an idyllic setting where you can get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet.

With so much open space to explore and plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained, it’s no wonder this park is one of Leeds’ most popular retreats.

6. Yeadon Tarn

Yeadon Tarn is a picturesque walk that offers stunning views of the surrounding area. It’s located just off the A65 and is easily accessible for those looking for a pleasant escape from the city.

The walk is an easy one, with mostly flat terrain and plenty of places to rest and take in the scenery. The tarn itself is a haven for wildlife, making it a great spot for bird watching.

There’s also plenty of seating around the tarn, so you can enjoy a picnic while taking in the tranquil atmosphere.

Along your way, you’ll pass through fields full of wildflowers and get to explore some of Leeds’ most beautiful countryside.

You might even spot some deer grazing in the distance! As you make your way around Yeadon Tarn, keep an eye out for a variety of birds including ducks, geese, swans, and other waterfowl.

Enjoy this peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life – it’s sure to be an unforgettable day!

7. Harewood Circuit

The Harewood Circuit is a popular walking route located near the charming village of Harewood in Leeds.

This walk takes you through beautiful woodland, along a tranquil river, and past some grand historic buildings. It’s perfect for a summer afternoon or an early morning stroll.

As you set out on this picturesque circuit, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking views of the countryside.

You’ll be able to take in the sights of the River Wharfe as it meanders through rolling hills and fields, and admire the stately manor house at Harewood House.

This impressive building has been home to many generations of aristocrats, including King George II.

As you walk around the grounds, you can soak up its grandeur and imagine what life must have been like for its former inhabitants.

The circuit also offers fantastic opportunities for bird-watching, with a variety of species flitting between trees and shrubs – from robins to woodpeckers.

After a few hours exploring this idyllic landscape, you’ll emerge feeling refreshed and invigorated – ready to take on whatever challenges lie ahead!

8. Eccup Reservoir Circular

Ready for a change of scenery? The Eccup Reservoir Circular is the perfect place to do just that.

Located in the northwest of Leeds, this walk takes you away from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering plenty of peace and tranquility.

This 7-mile route begins at Adel Woods and passes by several charming villages along its way.

As you wander through the rolling countryside, take time to admire the beautiful views across Eccup Reservoir.

You’ll also pass by picturesque meadows and ancient woodland before reaching Adel Church, a Grade I listed building that dates back to 1160. There’s even a cafe here if you need a refreshment break!

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After you’ve explored this stunning area, continue along your journey until you reach Eccup Moor Nature Reserve.

This reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife including birds, wildflowers, amphibians, and mammals – so keep your eyes peeled for some interesting sights!

After taking in all its beauty, retrace your steps back to Adel Woods where your adventure began.

The Eccup Reservoir Circular is ideal for nature lovers looking for an unforgettable experience in Leeds – make sure it’s top on your list of things to do!

9. Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve Loop

If you’re looking for a peaceful day out, the Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve loop is a perfect choice.

Set amid acres of lush meadows, rolling hills, and woodlands, this 10-mile walk offers unparalleled views and an abundance of wildlife.

As you make your way along the path, look out for a variety of birds, including curlews, lapwings, and herons. You’re also likely to spot hares, roe deer, and other animals.

If you keep your eyes peeled, you may even catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or two!

The wide variety of flora is equally impressive; from wildflowers to grasses, trees to shrubs – there’s something for everyone here.

The route itself is relatively flat and easygoing – making it suitable for all ages and abilities.

Along the way, you’ll pass several picturesque lakeside viewpoints which offer stunning vistas stretching far into the horizon.

And when you’re finished? A well-deserved rest awaits at one of the many traditional pubs scattered around the reserve.

So why not take some time away from it all and explore this beautiful natural haven?

10. St Aiden’s Nature Park

Just a few miles outside of Leeds is St Aiden’s Nature Park, a truly remarkable destination for hikers and nature lovers alike.

Here, you’ll find acres of lush green fields, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife in the heart of Yorkshire.

As you make your way around the trails, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding countryside, making this an ideal spot to reconnect with nature and marvel at its beauty.

You’re sure to spot a variety of birds along the way such as herons, ducks, geese, and swans. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of deer or other mammals that call this park their home.

The nearby ponds provide plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and photography too.

And if you’d like to take it easy during your walk, there are plenty of benches dotted around where you can rest and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

So why not take some time out from busy city life and explore this hidden gem? It’s sure to provide hours of relaxation and wonder!

11. Golden Acre Park Loop From Bramhope

The Golden Acre Park loop from Bramhope is one of the best walks in Leeds. Located just outside the city, it offers a peaceful and tranquil experience.

With stunning views of rolling hills and open fields, this six-mile circuit is an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

As you follow the path around the Lake, you will come across a variety of wildlife – including wildfowl, deer, and even otters.

The park also contains a number of historical sites, including a medieval manor house and church ruins.

Along with these sights, there are plenty of spots to relax and take in the beauty of nature. Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or an invigorating hike, this walk has something for everyone.

This route provides a unique opportunity to experience both rural and urban life in one go – with views over Leeds itself as well as the rolling countryside.

So why not get out there and explore? You’ll be sure to find something special on this unforgettable journey.

12. Woodhouse Moor

Woodhouse Moor is one of Leeds’ most popular parks, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike. The moor has plenty of trails, so you can find one that suits your needs and preferences. Plus, the views of the city are beautiful!

The park is full of lush greenery, with plenty of trees and shrubs providing shade on hot summer days.

There are several benches around Woodhouse Moor, so you can take a break and enjoy the scenery.

You may even spot some wildlife while you’re there; there are usually rabbits and birds around.

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This spot is great for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city – it’s an ideal escape if you want to feel closer to nature.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk or an adventurous hike, Woodhouse Moor has something for everyone.

13. Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Known as one of the most picturesque places in Leeds, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal offers a stunning walk for outdoor adventurers.

It’s an especially great option for those who want to experience the beauty of nature, away from bustling city life.

The canal stretches from the city center all the way to Liverpool, winding through some of Leeds’ most beautiful countryside.

Along the way, you’ll pass by stunning views of rolling hills and farmland, as well as plenty of wildlife and plants to admire.

There are also plenty of quaint villages and towns along the route that makes for a perfect stop on your journey.

What makes this walk even more special is that it follows an old industrial pathway. This means you get to explore some interesting historical landmarks and sites along your journey.

Whether it’s passing by ancient mills or stopping at quaint canalside pubs, there’s something to discover around every corner.

With its unique blend of culture and nature, this is one walk that promises unforgettable memories.

14. Potternewton Park

For those looking to explore more of the natural beauty of Leeds, Potternewton Park is a great option.

The park boasts stunning views across the city and provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The park stands at around 24 acres and features an ornamental garden, wildlife areas, a children’s play area, sports pitches, and even a cafe.

It’s a great place to relax with family and friends or take some time out for yourself amidst nature. With plenty of walking trails to choose from, visitors can enjoy everything from quiet strolls to longer hikes.

The park also serves as an important hub for events that celebrate local culture in Leeds.

From outdoor movie screenings to summer festivals, Potternewton Park offers something for everyone.

15. Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey is a must-see for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Leeds. Located just outside the city center, it’s an easy and enjoyable two-mile walk along the River Aire to reach this stunning abbey ruins.

Built-in 1152 by Cistercian monks, Kirkstall Abbey was one of the wealthiest and most influential monasteries in the region.

Its majestic ruins are now a designated Grade I listed building – a testament to its past importance.

As you walk around the abbey, you’ll be able to take in its romantic surroundings. It’s situated in an idyllic setting, surrounded by picturesque woodland and sweeping lawns that lead down to the riverbank.

You can even spot some wildlife such as kingfishers or ducks along the way! The peaceful atmosphere of this historic site will make your visit unforgettable.

With its combination of history, nature, and peace, Kirkstall Abbey is undoubtedly one of Leeds’ best walks – perfect for anyone looking to escape into nature without straying too far from the city center.

Best Walks in Leeds – Final Thoughts

I’ve explored some of the best walks in Leeds and there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, you’ll find it here.

For those who prefer a gentle wander, the Meanwood Valley Trail and Fulneck Loop Circular are perfect options. Rawdon Billing is also great if you want to take things at your own pace and enjoy nature.

If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, Chevin Forest Park and Roundhay Park offer plenty of opportunities to explore the area’s rich history and stunning scenery.

The Leeds-Liverpool Canal is great if you want to admire the city from afar, whilst Kirkstall Abbey provides an interesting insight into the past with its beautiful ruins. Finally, Potternewton Park is ideal for those who want to see wildlife up close.

No matter what kind of walk you’re after, Leeds has something for everyone – even if it’s just taking some time out to relax and appreciate your surroundings.

So why not grab your walking shoes, choose one of these fantastic routes, and start exploring?


What are some easy walks in Leeds?

Some easy walks in Leeds are St Aidan’s Nature Reserve, Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve, and Roundhay Park.

What are the best circular walks in Leeds?

Some of the best circular walks in Leeds are Harewood Circuit, Eccup Reservoir Circular, and Meanwood Valley Trail Circular.

What are some good family walks in Leeds?

Some good family walks in Leeds are Meanwood Valley Trail, Eccup Reservoir, and Chevin Forest Park.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.