Looking for a great new place to take the dog for a walk? Give these ten a whirl.
Walking the dog doesn’t have to be a chore, especially when there are so many amazing places to go in Leeds. You can head out to an ancient forest, take a gander around one of the city’s biggest parks (with all manner of surprises to discover along the way) or keep it simple with the city’s favourite green-belt trail – whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a marvellous time.
Roundhay Park is so good you could spend all day here, never mind just taking a quick walk. There are swathes of open green space where your dog can let off some steam, and Waterloo Lake is certainly a scenic backdrop. But there’s much more to the park than meets the eye. You can hunt out Roundhay Gorge, take on the steep hill to the castle, or head into the woods behind the lake for a peaceful stroll. If you’re all worn out after, you can choose from Preston or The Stew and Oyster – both pooch-friendly pubs with outdoor space.
About 20 minutes from Leeds city centre, where the M1 and M62 meet near Wakefield, lies Ardsley Reservoir, a picturesque spot with stunning views across Emley Moor. Your dog can have a ball here, with loads of space to run around and sandy beaches next to the water, as well as woodlands and fields. It’s all very well maintained, so your pooch won’t get too muddy (no promises!), and if you’re out for a big walk, you can cross the nearby fields towards St Michael’s Church, where it joins onto the Leeds Country Way.
One of the city’s finest green spaces, Meanwood Park is the perfect place to walk the dog. Not only is it an incredibly pretty part of Leeds, but there’s also loads of variety here. In fact, you can discover something new on every visit. The open spaces are great for letting your four-legged bestie off the lead – or why not follow the paths along Meanwood Beck? They continue on to The Hollies, where you can see all manner of lovely plants, and on to Golden Acre Park if you really want to stretch those legs.
Leeds Liverpool Canal
Believe it or not, the city centre has a fabulous dog walk to offer. Seek out the Leeds Liverpool Canal and head west, out of the city. The waterside paths are perfect for dog walking (just watch out for cyclists) and will take you through Burley and up to Kirkstall. By that point, you both deserve a rest, so come off the canal path and head over to The Bridge Inn. It sits alongside the River Aire, so you can continue your waterfront theme in the massive beer garden.
A gem of South Leeds, Middleton Park has a lot to offer dog walkers. 200 of its 600 acres is ancient woodland, and you can still see the old bell pits here from the mines – your dogs will have a great time running through those. But it’s not just woodlands. On the one side, you’ve got Middleton Park Lake and the Rose Gardens, where you can take a leisurely stroll with your dog on the lead, while on the other side, you can set them loose along the old tram tracks, which is great for letting off steam, especially for bigger dogs.
This one’s a little bit different because you can enjoy a dose of history with a visit to an old War of the Roses battlefield on your walk. Head out to the village of Saxton, where you can explore the old war ground on a five-mile walk starting and ending at The Crooked Billet pub – it’s dog-friendly and has a big beer garden. On the way, you’ll roam through bright yellow rapeseed fields and old woodlands, as well as wandering around the small but picturesque village before you head back to the pub.
As dog walking goes, it doesn’t get much better than Temple Newsam. The grand house is surrounded by acres of green space, perfect for letting the dog loose – and the only places where your pooch needs to be on a lead are the courtyard and gardens. If you’ve got more than an hour to spare, why not head from outside the Farm all the way up to the Little Temple monument on the other side? You’ll snake through fields with stunning views the whole way along.
Bramley Fall Woods
If you’re looking for one of the best dog walks in West Leeds, head to Bramley Fall Woods. It has swathes of open green space where you can get some fresh air and let the pooch off the lead to stretch their legs. You can also meander through over 80 acres of woodland that back on to the Leeds Liverpool Canal – take a stroll alongside the water or explore the winding network of paths through the trees, which allow you to do a different walk on every visit.
Take a trip to Otley Chevin for a dog walk that’s as rewarding for you as it is your pooch. You can take your dog off the lead around the whole park, and they’ll have a proper workout as you follow the footpath up to the Surprise View, which stands 282 metres above the village. Stop to take in the incredible 360-degree views before you stroll around the top of the huge ridge and work your way back through the endless paths through the woods. It’s thirsty work, so when you reach the bottom, head to The Chevin Inn where you both can enjoy the spacious beer garden.
You can have a field day exploring Eccup Reservoir with your dog. There are open fields to run around along the endless trails that take you through the woodland to the largest expanse of water in West Yorkshire. As the dog wears itself out, you can soak up the incredible views and even try to spot the rare birds, like red kites, common buzzards and treecreepers that fly above you. Once you’re done, enjoy a well-deserved break in The New Inn, a welcoming spot for both dogs and owners with a big beer garden.