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Leeds is the largest city in Yorkshire and has beautiful historic buildings, delicious cuisine and several charming coffee shops, meaning it won’t disappoint those looking for an urban adventure. As Leeds is so big it has loads of great spots to walk.

The outskirts of the city centre definitely have a few local record-worthy sites. Before we reveal our favourite walks in Leeds though, you should know that the city offers plenty of bike rental services. So, you can catch the train up to Leeds via Northern Rail lines and leave the stress of driving at home to fully enjoy your day out.

1. Meanwood Valley Trail (A Leeds City Walk)

Offering a mean 7 mile linear trail, the stunning Meanwood Valley Walking Trail in Leeds meanders through lush woodlands to reach Breary Marsh. This nature reserve is home to a variety of flora and fauna, and features rolling meadows, ponds, and streams. For a lovely day out in nature then there is no more seemingly-remote place than the Meanwood Valley. This is a great walk for all abilities but can be muddy and overgrown in places as it's a wild area, so be mindful when bringing the kiddos.


2. Middleton Woods Ilkley Walk (A Country Walk)

The Middleton Woods Ilkley Walk will take you into the largest expanse of ancient woodland in West Yorkshire, the wood's 100 acres of Middleton Woods are managed as a Nature Reserve by Leeds City Council. However, step into the quiet peacefulness beneath the trees, and you couldn’t feel further away from the busy city of Leeds on this walk. On the Middleton Woods Illkley Walk you'll find plenty of historical and archaeologically important sites, such as bell coal pits and old tram tacks used to carry the coal to the homes of Leeds, oaks are the predominant tree, with magical copses of birch and beech, sycamore and sweet chestnut scattered throughout. Listen out for the hammering of woodpeckers, or try and spot the tiny, curve-beaked tree creeper.

In spring, bluebells carpet the ground, with delicate wood anemones and vibrant celandines, and as summer approaches, butterflies appear in abundance. The wood is beautiful, and a fantastic place to bring your family and furry friends.

3. Hawksworth Wood Circular (A Leeds City & Canal Walk)

The Hawksworth Wood Circular is a beautiful 6.7-mile Leeds city and canal walk through some of the best scenery that North West Leeds has to offer. The walk takes you through the wilds of Hawksworth Wood, past the stunning Kirkstall Abbey, and along the River Aire before looping back around via Newlay Bridge and Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath.

Along the way, you'll enjoy stunning views of wildflower meadows, woodpeckers, and maybe even spot a roe deer! The walk is also a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, and it's suitable whatever your fitness level. Whether you're a keen walker or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, the Hawksworth Wood Circular is well worth a visit.

4.The Dales Way Walk (A Country Walk)

The Dales Way Walk in Leeds is a lengthy 20-mile trail that takes one whole day to complete. The route goes from Woodhouse Moor to Ilkley, passing through the lush Adel Woods, and affording stunning views from Otley Chevin, giving the perfect backdrop to photos of your day out.  Challenging hills and paths will provide a good workout, and the Dales Way walk is a great way to see the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, and get some fresh air and exercise. It's also the best way to spend time with family and friends or for anyone looking for a challenging but rewarding walking experience.


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5.City Walks Leeds (A City Walk)

Taking two big loops through Leeds city, the folks at have devised a fabulous Leeds city walk for you to enjoy. Leading you almost 5 miles for 2 hours, this walk guides you through some of the major sights of the city including the Town Hall, Dark Arches, Temple of Edfu, and the City Museum. Perfect for a self-guided tour of the city, this walk is sure to lead you to every nook and cranny in Leeds city centre, as well as past plenty of cafes and restaurants for when exploring has you footsore.


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That rounds off our list of five of the best walks in Leeds! From the city to the outskirts, wherever you choose to venture in Leeds you are sure of a beautiful walk and an interesting day out. What’s more, all our suggestions can be reached by trains on the Northern network, so you can leave the stress of driving at home and fully enjoy your walking day out. Book your train tickets ahead of time to save up to 65% off!

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Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.