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7 Delightful Summer Walks Within an Hour of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Yorkshire

Summer’s here and there’s no better time to go out walking.

Castle Hill, Huddersfield

Make the most of the summer with a walk around God’s Own Country.

On those rare summer days when the sun comes out, all we want to do is head outside. Luckily, we have a whole host of fantastic walks, right on our doorstep – this is God’s Own Country, after all. So next time you wake up to a glorious summer day, check out one of these scenic walks – they’re all within an hour of Leeds, and they’re all absolutely worth a punt.

Eccup Reservoir

Eccup Reservoir

Copyright Yarik.OK and licensed under creative commons for commercial use.

If you fancy a 5 mile summer stroll that’s full of incredible scenery, a trip to Eccup Reservoir is in order. Start your walk on Alwoodley Lane, then take the path by Goodrick Plantation through Owlet Hall Farm, enjoying the shade before you step out into the sun. The woodland is stunning as you approach the Reservoir which opens up as you reach the bottom of the Dales Link Way. You’ll get absolutely amazing views as the sun hits the water and you can amble around the perimeter before heading back towards Alwoodley.

Check out the Eccup Reservoir walk, starting at Alwoodley Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 7DJ.

Ilkley Moor Circular

Carr Bottom Reservoir, Ilkley Moor

Credit: Tim Green. Licensed for commercial use under creative commons.

Get your legs working on a moderate 6.3 mile route around one of West Yorkshire’s most loved spots, Ilkley Moor. Start in the town centre at West View Park, and take the path up towards the top of the moor – the hills are covered in swathes of purple heather in the summer months, so there’s no better time to go. This walk is jam-packed with amazing landmarks, take in Ilkley Crags, the Twelve Apostles, Cow and Calf and The Tarn before heading back to the beginning.

Check out the Ilkley Moor Circular, starting at West View Park, 3 College Drive, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9TY.

Calverley Woods

Calverley Woods

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

Want a summer walk without the threat of sunburn? Go for a 2 mile wander through Calverley Woods, one of Leeds’ best kept secrets. Start at Thornhill Drive and head into the trees where you can make your way right around, getting a feel for the history of the woods as you go – there are remnants of its past as a reservoir, quarry and even WW2 P.O.W. camp. If you want to go further, you can split off and go into the adjoining West Wood to explore the broadleaved woodland, old walled garden and hidden grottoes.

Check out the Calverley Woods walk, starting at Thornhill Drive, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5QW.

Hawksworth Circular

Baildon Moor

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

Summer is the perfect time to put some miles in, and this 8 mile jaunt around Baildon Moor will do just the job, with stunning sunny views and amazing scenery. Starting in Hawksworth, walk through Gill Beck Wood, which is full of summery flora and fauna, then head up to the rocks at the top of Baildon Moor. The trig point stands at 282 metres above sea level, and the 360 degree views are picture perfect, especially when the sun’s shining. Make your way back around via the glistening Shipley Glen waterways, where you’ll see all kinds of butterflies and plants.

Check out the Hawksworth Circular, starting at Main Street, Hawksworth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS20 8NX.

Castle Hill Circular

Castle Hill

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

It’s time for a trip to Huddersfield for the Castle Hill Circular, a walk that starts and ends at the Scheduled Ancient Monument. Here you’ll find the remains of a 12th-century motte-and-bailey castle, two Iron Age hill forts and the site of a deserted medieval village. Take a moment to appreciate the incredible views before you start your 4-mile jaunt, heading across Almondbury Common and on to Molly Carr Wood, Arthur Wood and Farnley Hill. From here, you’ll wander back up to Castle Hill – it’s the perfect spot for a picnic in the sun before the journey home.

Check out the Castle Hill Circular, starting at Castle Hill Side, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD4 6TA.

Marsden Moor

Marsden Moor

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

Want to make a day of it? Head over to Marsden Moor, on the other side of Huddersfield, for a 9-mile walk. On a clear, sunny day, it’s absolutely beautiful and you’ll be treated to a mix of stunning views and brilliant landmarks along the way. Start with a walk through the woods from St Bartholomew’s Church, along the Narrow Canal before heading up to the moor. Here you’ll discover Haigh Clough and March Haigh Reservoir with a blanket of heather at the height of summer. The views only get better from here as you reach Dinner Stone, Millstone Edge and Pule Hill, before passing the Duke of Lancaster Regiment Memorial on the way back into the village.

Check out the Marsden Moor walk, starting at Church Lane, Marsden, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DJ.

Lindley Wood Reservoir

Lindley Wood Reservoir

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

Just a few miles north of Otley is Lindley Wood Reservoir. You can explore the lovely Washburn Valley on this gentle 2-mile route, wandering through the woods along the banks of Greystone Beck. Once you get to Lindley Wood Reservoir, you can take a break for a picnic and keep an eye out for various rare species of bird that can be seen on the water. After you’ve soaked up the setting, you can either carry on to Norwood Bottom, or head back the way you came and into the picturesque village of Leathley.

Check out the Lindley Wood Reservoir, starting at the River Washburn on Leathley Lane, Leathley, West Yorkshire, LS21 2LA.