Everyone deserves to enjoy the city’s green spaces, so we’ve rounded up the best parks in Leeds.
Nature is good for you. Not only can it reduce stress and help you relax, but it’s also a great way to get you moving, so you’ll be happy to know that Leeds is blessed with a multitude of parks. Right now, they’re more popular than ever as England heads back into lockdown, so be smart – go earlier in the day or later in the evening to avoid the crowds and make sure you always stay 2 metres away from anyone outside your household.
The perfect park for picnics, relaxing by the River Aire and leisurely strolls around one of the best surviving medieval Cistercian abbeys in Britain, Kirkstall Abbey has 24 hectares of parkland for you to explore. The park stretches from Abbey Mills Wildflower Meadows, which is carpeted in bluebells in the spring, past the tennis courts on the far side and over the road to the playground and fields on either side of Abbey House Museum.
Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3EH.
At 700 acres, Roundhay Park is one of the biggest urban parks in Europe. It’s twice the size of Hyde Park in London and offers a multitude of adventures. The vast network of paths stretches beyond the landscape gardens into the woodlands where you’ll find quaint riverside rambles, picturesque gorge walks and calf-burning hikes that promise incredible views. Roundhay Park also has tennis courts, football pitches and a bowls court.
Roundhay Park, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER.
Landscaped by Capability Brown, Temple Newsam has 1,500 acres of grounds for you to explore, with stunning vistas and scenic walks. The Menagerie Ponds are one of the highlights. Each has a different personality – the first is surrounded by parkland, the second by perennials and the third by the bamboo garden. The nature trails around the park are great for walking, but they’re just as good for cycling and horse riding.
Temple Newsam Park, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 OAE.
It may be on the grounds of Leeds Beckett University, but Beckett Park is open to everyone. It’s a huge park that stretches from Queenswood Drive to Batcliffe Mount, with vast swathes of grassy parkland and a beautiful patch of woodland. There are two tennis courts here and if you head into the woods, you can hunt out Queen Victoria Arch, which was built 250 years ago and altered in 1858 to commemorate the monarch’s historic visit to Leeds.
Beckett Park, Churchwood Avenue, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LF.
Covering 27 hectares, with seven tree-lined paths taking you into the centre, Woodhouse Moor is one of the finest parks in Leeds. John Atkinson created it for the residents of Woodhouse Square in 1840 and it became a public green space in 1905. It’s a popular spot with walkers, picnickers and skaters, but that’s not the only reason to go. Hidden amongst the greenery, you’ll find tennis and basketball courts. It’s also the start of the Meanwood Valley Trail.
Woodhouse Moor, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6.
Golden Acre Park
At 55 hectares, Golden Acre Park has plenty of space for you to stretch your legs. You’ll find heather gardens, wildfowl lakes, woodland gardens and even a cherry orchard on the grounds, so there’s lots of exploring to be done here. Follow the paths or off-road and see where your adventure takes you. As well as the park itself, you’ll find yourself temptingly close to Breary Marsh and Adel Dam, two nature reserves that will extend your day out that little bit longer.
Golden Acre Park, Off Arthington Road, Bramhope, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 8BQ.
Horsforth Hall Park
With tree-lined walkways, vast swathes of grassland and a traditional bandstand where live entertained play during the summer, Horsforth Hall Park is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Japanese gardens are its crowning glory – created in 1987, they reflect the diverse landscapes of the Japanese isles and create a place of contemplation for visitors. The park also has a skate park and a cricket pitch.
Horsforth Hall Park, Hall Lane, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5JE.
With 630 acres of sweeping park and woodland, Middleton Park is one of the finest green spaces in Leeds. The park itself is filled with history – the dips and swells of the land are actually remnants of the bell pits from the old coal mines. Middleton Woods, which forms part of the park, is the largest ancient woodland in West Yorkshire. You’ll also find a bowling green, a fishing lake, a heritage trail and an urban bike park here.
Middleton Park, Town Street, Middleton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 3SH.
At 30 hectares, Gotts Park is modestly sized, but they’ve packed a lot into the space. Walkers can seek out a war memorial, a stone arch and even a Grade II-listed water fountain. Don’t forget to stop by Gotts Park Mansion, whose grounds you’ve been exploring this entire time, and admire its Grecian-inspired architecture. With football pitches, basketball courts and an 18-hole golf course, there’s plenty to see and do at this Leeds park.
Gotts Park, Armley Ridge Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QX.
At just 29 hectares, Meanwood Park may be on the small side, but trust us, it’s well worth a visit. The grounds are wonderfully eclectic – you can hike through woodlands and amble through meadows, trek across landscaped lawns and wander beside bubbling streams. Follow the footpaths for a leisurely stroll or treat yourself to a game – they have tennis and basketball courts, as well as a bowling green.
Meanwood Park, Green Road, Meanwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4LE.
Home to the famous Leeds West Indian Carnival, Potternewton Park is a 32-acre green space sandwiched between Harehills and Chapeltown. The maze of crisscrossed paths offers a wealth of walking opportunities, but it also has a range of sports facilities. Basketball and tennis courts sit alongside a skate park and bowling green, giving you plenty of outdoor entertainment options in the summer months.
Potternewton Park, Harehills Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4HA.
Second only to Roundhay Park for annual visits, Pudsey Park offers 7.5 hectares of lush green space for you to explore. It’s much more than just fields – there’s a rose garden, a bedding area and a glasshouse. You can wander around the historic Grade II-listed Church of St Lawrence on one side and find a bowling green and a skatepark at the opposite end. It even connects to the West Leeds Country Park, so if you’ve got time, you can make a real day of it.
Pudsey Park, Church Lane, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 7RR.
How to enjoy the outdoors safely
The good news is, you can still enjoy the great outdoors during lockdown – you just need to take a few extra precautions.
- You can exercise or meet in public, outdoor spaces with people you live with, your support/childcare bubble or with one other person
- You should stay two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times – where this is not possible, you should stay 1 metre apart and take extra precautions, like wearing a mask
- You shouldn't leave home if you or someone you live with has a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss of/change in your normal sense of smell or taste – please self-isolate.