Get outside in Leeds

Parks

Across the city, there’s 62 different community parks to explore — places for picnics, exercise, walking or quiet contemplation. As a place for fresh air and a home for wildlife, these are perfect to visit for a change of scenery, a location for you to find your peace.

The Mansion in autumn — Roundhay park

Roundhay Park

The jewel in the crown of Leeds parks, and one of the largest city parks in Europe, this has to go on your bucket list for a visit.

The Hollies/Meanwood Park

Part of the Meanwood Valley trail, Meanwood Park is a beautiful and varied strip of green on north Leeds, about ten minutes walk from Headingley. The park has lots to explore — from winding streams, forgotten gateposts to nowhere, waterfalls and hidden monuments. J.R.R Tolkein, during his five years working at the University of Leeds enjoyed walking through here — and it’s thought The Shire and Middle Earth may have been partly inspired by his time spent in Yorkshire.

Waterfall in Meanwood park

The Leeds and Liverpool canal

Reflections in the water of the Leeds and Liverpool canal

Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey, one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in the country, founded over 800 years ago

Countryside

The undulating topography of the Leeds has shaped the development of the city, and with it have evolved ribbons of woodland, becoming home to wildlife and trees, perfect to explore on a quiet weekend, or a free afternoon.

Swans on Gledhow valley lake

The roads less travelled

It’s not always about the countryside — the roads and streets are full of surprises, and can be perfect to explore. Across Leeds, the streets echo with the history of different times.

A lost zoo in Headingley?

Did you know there was once a bear pit in Leeds? Cardigan Road was part of Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens and opened in 1840. Victorian visitors could climb the spiral staircases within the towers and look down safely upon the brown bear. Other animals seen in the gardens, which opened in 1840, included a pair of swans, some fowl, an eagle, a racoon, a fox, some monkeys and tortoises.

The forgotten bear pit in Headingley

Hyde Park street art trail

On the side of buildings and walls across Hyde Park are beautiful and vibrant artwork — street art and murals, by local artists that are nice to discover.

Fem Sorcell | @femsorcell| Chestnut Avenue mural

Summary

Whatever Leeds is to you — a place you’re passing through for a term, or are here for the long haul, get out, get active, discover and explore. To get to know your surroundings helps put things into perspective, helps see where and how you fit.

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