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

5 of the Best Leeds Walks for Beginners

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

There’s never been a better time to start exploring Leeds.

Reedbed Ramble St Aidan's

Want to go walking around Leeds but don’t know where to begin? Start with these five walks that have plenty to offer, but aren’t too taxing.

Leeds is a wonderful place to go walking, with everything from landmarks to countryside to explore. But if you’ve never done it before, you might not know your bridleways from your trails. So, to get the ball rolling, here are five great walks across Leeds for you to kick off your new hobby, each of them easy enough for beginners to tackle, and with loads to see to boot.

Bardsey and Pompocali Earthworks


Credit: Rich Tea icensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

You can explore Leeds’ hidden countryside and its Roman history with a trip to Bardsey. This 3.5-mile stroll is famed for its good paths and tracks, so it’s perfect for beginners. You’ll start just south of the village, at the big lay-by on the A58, before you follow Bardsey Beck down to Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve, a historic woodland full of wildflowers and wildlife. You’ll come to Pompocali, an unusual maze of banked earthworks which some say is an old Roman encampment and others say is an old limestone quarry. Either way, it’s a sight to behold. You’ll also get to see Moat Hall, Rowley Grange and Wayside Gardens as you jump on the Leeds Country Way back to the start.

The walk starts at Wetherby Road, Bardsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 3BB or OS Reference – SE 36900 43000.

Calverley Tithe Circular

Calverley Woods

Credit: John Leach licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

This 3.5-mile jaunt around the old tithe boundaries of Calverley, Horsforth and Rawdon is a breeze. It brings together a mixture of woodland and river paths. You’ll start at Horsforth New Road and follow the roads and tracks as they appear on the 19th century tithe maps. The walk will take you past The Railway pub, before crossing Calverley Bridge, where you’ll see Calverley Station House, Wood Bottom Mills and Cragg Wood before you return to the pub. If you want to mix nature and history, this the perfect choice.

The walk starts at Horsforth New Road, Calverley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 1NU, or OS Reference – SE 22079 36542.

Fulneck Loop Circular

Tyersal Beck

Credit: Tim Green licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Discover the beauty of the Pudsey Beck valley with a gentle 5-mile walk on the Fulneck Loop Circular. It’s a straightforward ramble along its bridleways, which are great for new walkers. You’ll start at Tong Hall, just over the border in Bradford, before making your way into Leeds along Keeper Lane towards the historic Fulneck Moravian Settlement. You’ll see all kinds of birds, insects and aquatic creatures as you head along Pudsey Beck and Tyersal Beck, passing Black Carr Woods, Smalewell Quarry, The Fox and Grapes Inn and Tyersal Hall as you go.

The walk starts at Keeper Lane, Tong, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD4 0RS or OS Reference – SE 22206 30712.

The Rothwell Greenway

Rothwell Country Park, Kate Wright

Credit: Kate Wright

If you’re looking for an easy walk that has surprisingly few stiles and hills for you to contend with, try The Rothwell Greenway. This 3.5-mile walk follows rural paths and tracks that open up into incredible vistas. You’ll start in the car park of Trinity Church in Rothwell before you head past the remains of Rothwell Castle and on to the Greenway, which is a disused former railway line. From here, you’ll pass through a series of fields, with amazing views across Leeds, before making your way back to the beginning.

The walk starts at Holy Trinity Church, Church Street, Rothwell, Leeds or OS Reference – SE 34299 28246.

Reedbed Ramble at St Aidan’s

St Aidan

St Aidan’s Nature Reserve is a hidden gem, tucked away in the Leeds countryside – and it’s the perfect place for newbie walkers to start their adventures. Try the Reedbed Ramble, a 2.8-mile walk that’s easy enough for beginners and even families with buggies. It will take you to some of the reserve’s most picturesque spots, as you walk past three lakes and take in their rare reedbeds. It’s here that you might be lucky enough to see bitterns, marsh harriers, bearded tits and golden plovers.

The walk starts at St Aidan’s Nature Reserve Visitor’s Centre, Astley Lane, Great Preston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 8AL or OS Reference – SE 40114 28704.

Cover image credit: David Botham.