10 Fantastic Outdoor Days Out in Leeds

· Culture

Talk a walk on the wild side and explore Leeds’ great outdoors.

Go Ape Temple Newsam

Treat yourself to action-packed adventures or a laid-back stroll through stunning scenery with these Leeds days out.

Looking for a day out filled with fresh air? You’re in the right place. You can take in awe-inspiring landscapes, admire carefully grown gardens and rip your way through forests on four wheels. Why not feed baby farm animals or see what rare birds you can spot around a nature reserve lake? Whether the kids are along for the ride or not, you’ll find loads of fantastic outdoor days out right here in Leeds.

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Barnaby Aldrick

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is home to all your favourite farmyard animals and it’s just a stone’s throw from the city centre. From sweet little lambs and boisterous goats to friendly cows and fluffy alpacas, there’s no one that you won’t want to meet (and feed!). You can even see smaller animals – they’ve got rabbits, guinea pigs and turtles too. If you go in spring, there’s lots of baby animals to squee over. There are woodland trails and wildlife gardens to explore, including a peaceful five-acre coppice. Getting peckish? The Barn Coffee Shop rustles up hot drinks, breakfast sandwiches and more.

Meanwood Urban Valley Farm, Sugar Well Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2QG.

Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park

If there’s one park in Leeds where you could easily lose a whole day, it’s Roundhay. It spans over 700 acres, making it one of the biggest city parks in Europe. There are five different trails to choose from, taking you around the shimmering lakes and through the tranquil woodland. You can admire the beautifully curated flowers in the formal gardens, have adventures on two different playgrounds and discover the fairytale ruins of a castle folly. Want more? Tropical World is right on Roundhay Park’s doorstep and you can meet all sorts of tropical plants and wonderful creatures, including meerkats and monkeys.

Roundhay Park, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER.

Otley Chevin Forest Park

Otley Chevin

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Why not spend the day enjoying magnificent scenery? Otley Chevin Forest Park offers incredible views across Otley and the Wharfe Valley, making it one of the best outdoor spaces in Leeds. It’s a designated nature reserve, with 700 acres of woodland, heath and crags. You can discover Surprise View, 282m above sea level – on a clear day you can see up to 40 miles away. Can you can spot Simon’s Seat or the White Horse in the distance? The terrain can be uneven, with some scrambling required in parts – but you’re rewarded with spectacular views. It’s perfect for families with older children that need tiring out!

Chevin Forest Park, East Chevin Road, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3DD.

Temple Newsam

Temple Newsam

Credit: Temple Newsam

One of the best days out in Leeds, Temple Newsam is another country estate with lots of outdoor space to explore. The Home Farm is sure to delight kids and adults alike, with rare breeds of cows, sheep, goats and pigs to say hello to. From the farm, it’s just a short stroll to the Rhododendron Walk. In springtime, the scenes here are nothing short of spectacular. On the wider estate there are three lakes to enjoy, each with their own feel. Take a picnic to tuck into by the lower lake or cross the bridge and discover the secrets of the top lake, surrounded by whispering grasses and bamboo.

Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE.

Quad Biking at Live for Today

Quad Biking, Live For Today

Credit: Live For Today

Grab your mates – you’re off to the woods of Hazlewood Castle to straddle a quad bike. The instructor will first give you a full safety briefing and help you get familiarised with your quad bike for the day. Then, it’s on to the tracks. It’ll start easy, but soon you’ll be traversing uneven terrain, navigating ruts and negotiating pits. An experienced biker? The Quad Biking Explorer package gets you on CF450 four-wheelers, and focuses on technical skills like hill starts, reversing challenges and controlled descents. Fancy having a go at something else? You can get your second activity half-price.

Live For Today, Hazlewood Castle, Paradise Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS24 9NJ.

St Aidan’s Nature Park

Bower Lake St Aidan's

Credit: David Botham

St Aidan’s is 400 hectares of stunning nature reserve designed for humans and wildlife to co-exist harmoniously. It used to be an open-cast coal mine, but now it’s a haven for rare birds. You can take a relaxing walk around the lake, spotting creatures in the reed beds as you go and it has a flat path perfect for pushchairs and buggies. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, take on the Hillside Hike. The incline and terrain are tough going, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the park from the top. Got kids in tow? Grab a bug-hunting backpack from the visitor centre and see what you can find!

St Aidan’s Nature Reserve, Allerton Bywater, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 8AL.

Go Ape

Go Ape Temple Newsam

Live out your flying monkey fantasy at Go Ape Temple Newsam. You can zip your way from tree to tree, hold on tight for the Tarzan Swing and even see how your mettle holds up in the face of a knee-trembling 13-metre free fall. Want to stay firmly within your comfort zone? The Treetop Adventure Plus has high platforms and exhilarating zips, with the choice of traversing even higher into the canopy. For little daredevils, the Treetop Adventure is perfect for taking tricky crossings and conquering high platforms. Take a picnic to reward yourself for your bravery and enjoy it in the lovely estate grounds.

Go Ape, Temple Newsam, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AD.

Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park

A traditional estate? Not Stockeld Park, oh no. Home to the Adventure Park, it’s a whirlwind of outdoor experiences that change from season to season that’s endless fun for all the family. At Christmas time you can visit Santa in his grotto, explore a cross-country ski trail and make your way through an illuminated maze. Visiting at Easter? Don’t miss the annual egg hunt through the Enchanted Forest. In October, a pumpkin patch pops up and you can have a terrifying adventure through the Spider’s Lair! On top of all this there’s events too, from pantos to meet-and-greets with beloved characters.

Stockeld Park, Wetherby Road, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AN.

Harewood House

Harewood House

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ali Turner

Harewood House is everything you’d expect from a grand estate and much more. It’s an 18th-century country house surrounded by a 100-acre landscape designed by (who else!) Capability Brown. There’s lots of variety in the outdoor space, from beautiful formal Victorian gardens on the terrace to the wild overgrown ruins of Harewood Castle. What you might not expect is that the estate is also home to over 40 species of bird, including burrowing owls, chilean flamingoes and blue and gold macaws. In the summer, you can even feed the lovable Humboldt penguins, some of which are over 20 years old!

Harewood House, Sandy Gate, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9LE.

Golden Acre Park

Golden Acre Park

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Suzy Rodden

Golden Acre Park is a stunning outdoor space with plenty to keep you occupied – there’s 55 hectares of park to explore. Saunter round the beautiful wildfowl lake, through the wonderful woodlands (keep your eyes peeled for creepy crawlies) and up towards the heather garden – it’s the largest in Europe and ideal viewing is in early autumn. In spring, don’t miss the cherry orchard in full bloom in pretty white and pink, and the sweet, heady scents of the lilac collection. You can also visit nearby Breary Marsh and Adel Dam nature reserves for an extra hit of flora and fauna.

Golden Acre Park, Off Arthington Road, Bramhope, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 8BQ.