16 Thrilling Things For Adventure Seekers To Do In Leeds

· Imagine Selby · Culture

There are plenty of adventures to be had in Leeds, so what are you waiting for?

Whistle Punks Axe Throwing

Seeking your next great adventure? Look no further than Leeds.

It may be a thriving cosmopolitan city, but it’s also packed with all-out fun activities and unexpected adventures. There’s no better place to get your adrenaline pumping. So if you’re looking for something a little bit different, a little bit challenging and a little bit surprising, start working your way through this oh-so handy list.

Go off-road on a quad bike

Quad Biking, Live For Today

Credit: Live For Today

Got a real need for speed? There are few better ways to get just that than on a quad bike, and you can get behind the wheel of one over at Hazlewood Castle with Live for Today. Whether or not you’ve ridden one before, you’ll quickly get the hang of it as you meander between the trees on the forest track. Then, it’s time to take on the trickier route, with steep hills, muddy areas and tight squeezes, as well as balance beams, bridges and limbos. It makes for a great day out in Leeds and an awesome outdoor adventure.

Live for Today, Hazlewood Castle, Paradise Lane, Hazlewood, West Yorkshire, LS24 9NJ.

Try your hand at orienteering

orienteering stock

Whether you’ve passed your Gold DofE or just love a bit of adventure, orienteering is a challenging but fun adventure activity that everyone should do at least once. Want to give it a go? Leeds experts The Airienteers will take you out into the scenic Otley Chevin Forest Park for the day. They’ve put together two routes, the first is designed for first-timers, while the more complex course is for the orienteering veterans. With your map in hand, you’ll follow the clues to hunt out the wooden posts, each of which has a number and a letter written on it.

The Airienteers, Otley Chevin Forest Park, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3JL.

Attempt to escape a locked room

The Escapologist

Fancy being locked in with a bunch of mates? At these Leeds escape rooms you and your friends will be escorted into a labyrinth filled with riddles, puzzles and clues. Your task is to solve them to find the hidden keys and combinations that will eventually get you out. There are a number of places in the city to do it. Tick Tock Unlock, Escape Hunt and The Great Escape Game sit conveniently in the heart of the city centre, while you’ll find The Escapologist at The White Rose and even more in the suburbs.

Check out our guide to the city’s escape rooms.

Head off on a ghost hunt

Lost Drummer Boy, tunnel

Into all things spooky and supernatural? Ghost hunting may just be the ticket for your next adventure. There’s no shortage of places you can do it in Leeds, with some of the city’s most haunted venues opening their doors come night for the curious. You can partake in seances and put the spirit board to action, as well using the latest in ghost-hunting tech to seek out the souls left behind. Join Haunted Happenings as they regularly take over the likes of Armley Mills, the Thackray Museum of Medicine and Abbey House Museum.

Check out our guide to ghost hunting in the city.

Fly away in a hot air balloon

Virgin Balloon Flight

What better way to see Leeds than in a hot air balloon? This is a bucket-list worthy adventure activity you’ll remember – and it will see you visiting one of the city’s most famous landmarks, Lotherton Hall. The 18th-century house and estate is a beauty to behold and, from the skies, you’ll have the chance to appreciate its lakes, parks and woodland. Float out further to get a cracking view of the city skyline, the River Aire and the rolling West Yorkshire countryside.

Virgin Balloon Flights depart from Lotherton Hall, off Collier Lane, Aberford
Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 3EB.

Take a cruise on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Kirkstall Flyboat

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

Step off dry land and onto the Kirkstall Flyboat for a ride down the Leeds-Liverpool Canal that will see you taking in some of the city’s finest scenery and landmarks, all from the unique vantage point that comes with travelling on a traditional canal boat. If you want to make it really special, you can take one of their afternoon tea cruises, which come with homemade sandwiches, cakes, and of course, scones loaded with jam and clotted cream. If you fancy adding something extra to your outing, you can even disembark at Thwaite Watermill.

The Kirkstall Flyboat sets off from Granary Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.

Explore Leeds on two wheels

Mountain biking, cycling, bikes

If you’re looking for adventure activities in Leeds, you can’t go wrong with mountain biking. There are loads of places around the city to take your bike out, from the bridleways of Harewood House which will lead you to the set of Emmerdale, to the winding Leeds-Liverpool Canal path and the routes of both the Tour de France and the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon. You can even visit Leeds Urban Bike Park, home to a BMX track that will challenge even the most experienced of riders.

Leeds Urban Bike Park, Ring Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 3TN.

Take on the Meanwood Valley Trail

Meanwood Valley Trail

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Max Wailes

Fancy stretching your legs? You can head just outside the city to take on the 7-mile trek that is the Meanwood Valley Trail. Start on Woodhouse Lane, near the statue of H.R. Marsden, before setting off on a journey that will send you through woodlands, grassy meadows and muddy marshes. You’ll see all manner of wildlife along the way, as well as a few remnants of Leeds’ past, including the former Meanwood Tannery, the Slabbering Baby – a stone carving with unknown origins – and Alwoodley Crags.

The Meanwood Valley Trail starts at 229 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AP.

Top out at The Climbing Lab

Climbing Lab

If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure activity in Leeds, The Climbing Lab is a must-visit. This is one of the city’s finest climbing centres, with a custom-built wall you can climb up and over, just like you would outdoors. With routes for beginners, pros and everything in between, it’s a great place to dabble in the sport or finesse your technique. They hold classes for flexibility and core, as well as courses that will teach you the fundamentals of bouldering. You can even finish up your climb with a cuppa and a chat in the social space.

The Climbing Lab, Kirkstall industrial Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AZ.

Try your hand at axe throwing

Whistle Punks

You can let out your inner viking at Whistle Punks in Leeds with a bit of urban axe throwing. They’ve got several lanes, a bar serving on-theme cocktails (for afterwards) and a menu of outstanding pizzas. After a safety briefing and a few practice throws to get your technique down, it’s time for the competition. The aim here is to hit the target, much like archery, except you’re throwing a tomahawk axe, not firing a bow. It’s tricky, but with the help of your instructor, you’ll be able to give your mates a run for their money.

Whistle Punks, Millennium Square The Electric Press 4, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD.

Explore The Lines Way

The Lines Way

Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Leisurely strolls through the Leeds countryside don’t get much better than The Lines Way. It’s a 4-mile stretch of disused railway that links together some of the city’s most beautiful natural sites. You can take a long, refreshing walk in the great outdoors, with a few equally impressive stops along the way, including Letchmire Pastures, Hollinghurst Wood, Owl Wood and Pit Plantation and Townclose Hills. There’s definitely enough to keep you busy for a whole day – and what a day it will be.

The Lines Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, map reference SE 419 280.

Go bouldering in the great outdoors

If bouldering’s your thing and you fancy a day out in the beautiful Leeds countryside, a trip to Otley Chevin Forest Park is definitely in order. You’ll find a whole host of obstacles at Caley Crags, with the likes of Sugar Loaf, High Noon, Roof of the World and Martin’s Muff all offering interesting climbs, alongside beautiful views over the countryside. There are plenty of complex climbs here for experienced climbers, but you’ll also find a selection of easier routes, like Pedestal Wall and Zig Zag if you’re after something a bit less challenging.

Caley Crags, Otley Chevin Forest Park. The best entry point is on the A660, look out for the boulders on the road side a few miles before you get to Otley.

Race your mates on the go kart track

team sport go karting

Credit: TeamSport Karting

Go karting is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and will give you and your pals a chance to find out who really has the best driving skills. TeamSport is one of the best places to do this heart-racing adventure activity in Leeds – the 580-metre go kart track is the longest in Yorkshire and is full of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes, with an elevated pitstop for a full-on Formula One experience. Jump in one of their 270cc LPG Karts and see if you can beat the fastest lap time.

TeamSport, South Accommodation Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NQ.

Test out your skills at the skate park

Indoor Activities For the Kids in Leeds-Skateboarding-Shutterstock-web

The Works Skate Park is a heck of a cool venue for adventure seekers in Leeds. It covers 25,000 square feet, with a mix of professional and bespoke ramps, perfect for skateboarders, but equally good for BMXing, rollerblading and scooter riding. There’s something for everyone at this not-so-little gem, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, plus a cafe to take respite in after your session. They also offer one-to-one coaching if you want to brush up your skills or learn a few new tricks while you’re there.

The Works Skate Park, Kitson Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NT.

Polish up your survival skills

Bushcraft, Live for Today

Leeds might be a thriving metropolis, but you can also get back to nature here – this is God’s Own County, after all! So if you’re looking for outdoorsy adventure activities to do in Leeds, why not try your hand at bushcraft? Bozz Bushcraft run courses in the Leeds countryside, which will see you venturing out into the woodland where you’ll learn how to make a fire and build a basic shelter, just in case you get stranded on a desert island some day. They even offer hen and stag-dos, as well as bespoke one-to-ones.

Bozz Bushcraft, 32 Osmondthorpe Lane, Osmondthorpe, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 9EF.

Take a walk to a surprise view

Otley Chevin

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ali Turner

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best, and that’s certainly true of The Surprise View. It’s one of the easiest places to reach at Otley Chevin Forest Park, but it will give you one of the best views in the entire city, looking out over the countryside and the town below. From here, you’ll have panoramic views of Yorkshire, stretching up to 60km and, on a good day, you can even see York Minster. This is one of the most memorable things to do in Leeds – you don’t want to miss it.

Otley Chevin Forest Park, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3JL.