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7 Delightful Summer Walks Within an Hour of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Summer

Summer’s here, so why not get your walking boots on?

Castle Hill, Huddersfield

God’s Own County is a walker’s paradise once summer arrives and these sun-kissed routes offer the perfect way to explore it.

When the sun comes out there are few more beautiful places to spend the day than in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside. And the best way to see its true beauty? By foot, of course. It won’t even take you an hour from Leeds to reach your starting point on these incredible walking routes, so the next time you wake up on a glorious summer’s day, why not take on one of these scenic walks? You certainly won’t regret it.

Eccup Reservoir Circular

Eccup Reservoir

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

Fancy a five-mile Summer stroll full of incredible scenery? Of course you do, that’s why we’re here and why you’ll want to visit Eccup Reservoir. This walk starts on Alwoodley Lane and will see you head through the Goodrick Plantation onto Owlet Hall Farm where you can enjoy a touch of shade before you step out into the sun. The woodland here is beautiful as you approach the reservoir at the bottom of the Dales Link Way. Stop, maybe even for a picnic, to enjoy the amazing views as the sun dapples the water before returning to the start.

The walk starts at Alwoodley Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 7DJ. Check out the route.

Ilkley Moor Circular

The Cow and Calf Rocks, Ilkley Moor

If you want to get your legs moving on a fairly challenging 6.3-mile route around one of West Yorkshire’s most loved spots, this jaunt across Ilkley Moor will be just the ticket. It kicks off at West View car park in the town centre, before you take the path up towards the top of the moor – in the summer, the hills are covered in swathes of beautiful purple heather so there’s no better time to have a go. The route is packed full of landmarks too, from Ilkley Crags to the Twelve Apostles, the Cow and Calf rocks and The Tarn, all before you reach the end.

The walk starts at West View Park, 3 College Drive, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9TY. Check out the route.

Calverley Woods Circular

Calverley Woods

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

Love a walk, but want to avoid sunburn? This two-mile sheltered wander through Calverley Woods, one of Leeds’ best-kept secrets, is a must. Start on Thornhill Drive and make a beeline for the trees which are lined with paths so you can meander all the way through, getting a feel for its rich history as you go. You’ll find remnants of its past as a reservoir, quarry and even as a World War Two P.O.W. camp. You can go further by splitting off into the adjoining West Wood for broadleaved woodland, an old walled garden and hidden grottoes.

The walk starts at Thornhill Drive, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5QW. Check out the route.

Hawksworth Circular

Baildon Moor

Summer is the perfect time to put some miles in. This eight-mile jaunt around Baildon Moor will do just the job, with stunning views and amazing scenery. It starts in Hawksworth, and you’ll head through Gill Beck Wood, full of summery flora and fauna, then up to the rocks on 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 out. Make your way back via the glistening Shipley Glen waterways, where you’ll see all kinds of plants and wildlife.

The walk starts at Main Street, Hawksworth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS20 8NX. Check out the route.

Castle Hill Circular

Castle Hill, Huddersfield

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 four-mile jaunt, walking across Almondbury Common and on to Molly Carr Wood, Arthur Wood and Farnley Hill. From here, you’ll head back up to Castle Hill – it’s the perfect spot to end your walk with a picnic in the sun.

The walk starts at Castle Hill Side, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD4 6TA. Check out the route.

Marsden Moor Circular

Marsden Moor

Want to make a day of it? Head over to Marsden Moor for a big nine-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. 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 the end.

The walk starts at Church Lane, Marsden, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DJ. Check out the route.

Lindley Wood Reservoir Walk


Just a few miles north of Otley, you’ll find Lindley Wood Reservoir. You can explore the lovely Washburn Valley on this gentle two-mile route, wandering through the woods along the banks of Greystone Beck. Once you get to the 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 a little extra to Norwood Bottom, or head back the way you came and into the picturesque village of Leathley.

The walk starts at the River Washburn on Leathley Lane, Leathley, West Yorkshire, LS21 2LA. Check out the route.

Cover image credit: Alan Burnett licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.