Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

5 Hidden Gems Worth Seeking Out Now You Have Free-Rein To Explore

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

It’s time to hunt out these tucked-away treasures.

Lost Summer House Roundhay Park

Seek out these cool and unusual spots on your next adventure…

Out of the way and off the beaten track, these five hidden gems are just waiting to be found. You can discover a lost summer house in the city’s biggest park, take five in a hidden garden in the suburbs or hunt out the most unusual piece of artwork on the riverside. But which one will you do first? Take a look and plan your next adventure…

York Gate Garden

York Gate Garden

Credit: Chemical Engineer licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

York Gate Garden is a one-acre swatch of greenery tucked away behind St John the Baptist Church in Adel. Created by the Spencer Family between 1951 and 1994, it’s one of the finest small gardens in the country. It’s a patchwork of interlocking ‘rooms’, each with its own theme and feel. Follow the hidden pathways from the formal herb gardens to the secret Dell.

York Gate Garden, Back Church Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 8DW.

Pompocali Earthworks


Credit: Gordon Hatton licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

The origins of The Pompocali Earthworks are hotly debated. Some say the mysterious mounds are evidence of an old Roman encampment on the old road to York, but it’s more likely that they’re the overgrown remains of an old limestone quarry. Either way, this intriguing land formation is well worth a visit, if only for the scenic walk through Hetchell Woods to get there.

Pompocali, Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve, Milner Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6NA.

The Lost Summer House

The Lost Summer House Roundhay Park

© Copyright Leeds-List 2021 by Ali Turner

Hidden in the depths of the woods behind Waterloo Lake, you’ll find James Kitson’s long-forgotten summer house. It’s a mere shadow of its former self, only the skeleton remains, but this cool little find has locals scouring the undergrowth in hopes of a glimpse. To find it, follow the path from the Wetherby Road car park up into the back woods. It’s also on the red dot trail.

Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HH. Google Maps co-ordinates: 53 50 5.31N 1 29 17.46W.

The Icebreaker on the River Aire

Icebreaker Leeds

Opposite the footpath by Armley Mills, you can spot an intriguing little sign on the wall of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. You won’t be able to read it at first glance, because it’s only visible in the reflection of the water. Turn your eyes to river and you’ll soon see the words, “The remains of a wooden icebreaker lie submerged.” Well, that’s one way to break the ice.

You’ll find the Icebreaker on the Leeds Liverpool Canal, by Armley Mills.

Bramhope Tunnel

Bramhope Tunnel, Leeds

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At first glance, Bramhope Tunnel looks like a castle, but on further inspection, you’ll soon realise that it’s one of the fanciest train tunnels you’ll ever see. It was built by William Rhodes for two uses, as a train tunnel and as a Gothic-style belvedere, a building that offers incredible views in the distance, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Bramhope Tunnel, off Hall Drive, Bramhope, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 9EW.