It’s time to go for a lovely walk – stopping at a few pubs along the way.
Roundhay Park is a cracking day out, with beautiful lakes, swathes of greenery and amazing gardens to discover, but that just scratches the surface. It’s nestled between Oakwood and Roundhay, two suburbs that are home to some of the best pubs and bars in Leeds – and we’ve brought them all together in one brilliant walk. It’s a fantastic outdoor adventure, with a pint or two along the way.
Let’s start with one of Oakwood’s a longstanding favourites – The Stew and Oyster. They have a slew of local ales on tap, with plenty of craft beer behind the bar. And if you want to line your stomach ahead of your walk, you can take advantage of their signature, wait for it – stew and oysters.
Cross the road and head past the Oakwood Clock to get to your next watering hole. Sylva is a brand new addition to the suburb with an eye-catching design that’s sure to tempt you in. It’s split across two floors, with a downstairs cafe and an upstairs bar – although only the former is open in the day. However, you can still enjoy a range of lagers on, as well as a selection of wine and gin in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere or out on one of their many balconies.
From here, it’s on to Roundhay Park. Take in the stunning surroundings as you walk past the football pitches and over the hill to reach the Park’s centrepiece – The Mansion, a stunning Greek-revival house built in 1826. It’s home to a cafe, if you fancy a brew, but that’s not the purpose of our visit – so head left from The Mansion and make your way to The Roundhay Fox, one of the best old school pubs in town. It’s a lovely, traditional pub with a slew of great local ales on the bar and a menu of classic pub grub if you’re yet to eat.
Once you’ve polished of a pint or two there, it’s time to head back into the park. Head left when you leave the pub and make your way to The Monet Garden, which will welcome you in through an eye-catching arch. It’s inspired by Monet’s own gardens by Giverny on the River Seine, giving the area burst of French vibrancy. Further up, you’ll come to the Alhambra Gardens based on the 13th century Spanish garden at Alhambra, and they blend beautiful plants with impressive water features.
Then it’s on to the Upper Lake and up towards the Roundhay Gorge. The gorge flows into the Upper Lake, and is surrounded by lovely woodland. Wander through the trees to find the castle ruins, once used as a hunting lodge and summer garden, it’s now a spectacular monument that overlooks the lake below.
Speaking of which, Waterloo Lake sits just at the bottom of the hill, and you’ll be following it round on the woodland side until you reach the dam. Don’t cross over, instead, head down through the woods to Wetherby Road where you’ll find your next pub stop.
The White House is a cosy, traditional pub that’s incredibly welcoming – especially if you’ve got four-legged friends. They have plenty of local ales on the taps, like Black Sheep, and a decent menu of traditional pub grub. There’s a nice outdoor area too, tucked away from the main road, so you can stay out in the sun.
From here, take the short walk back into Oakwood, where you’ll find your last two stops. First up is the wonderful Preston. This is one of North Bar’s suburban venues, so you know what to expect – an endless supply of amazing beers from Leeds and beyond. If you’re not sure what to have, just ask, they’ll definitely be able to find one for you. It’s only a little bar, but they have outdoor seating, great for people watching.
Next door is Oakwood’s newest arrival – Hessian. It’s a cafe-cum-bar-cum-restaurant and it really looks the part. You’ll have to order food to get a drink, but with a menu of contemporary British cuisine, it’s well worth it. They do huge sharing boards, filled with the likes of halloumi, mac & cheese, mozzarella and melted goats cheese – or you can go for something small, like polenta chips with garlic & herb aioli. Whatever you choose, it’ll go down a treat with a glass of wine, a craft beer or a cocktail. What better way to end the day?