Leeds has the luxury of being situated only minutes away from the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside, no matter where you live. With summer raising its beautiful head amid the muggy weather, it’s almost time for long sunny days and those post-work drinks.
In Leeds there are a whole host of activities to do over the weekend but one of the best options is the take a long walk around the gorgeous countryside. We’ve compiled a list of the best summer walks around Leeds that’ll not only get your heart pumping but also be a feast for the eyes…
One of the most popular and classic walks in West Yorkshire, Otley Chevin is the best of both worlds. Whether you’re a rock climbing enthusiast or just looking for a leisurely stroll in the country, Otley caters to all. There are a number of self-guided walks you can do courtesy of Friends of Chevin Forest which are perfect for a family-friendly day out. Alternatively, walk aimlessly into the woods and see where it takes you. The walks are dog friendly and you’ll see plenty of people taking picnics with them. With a terrain juxtaposing rocky cliffs and thick, wooded areas you’ll find your curiosity spiked. Finish your walk in the town of Otley where there are a host of interesting shops, quaint pubs for a refreshing drink and weekend markets.
Otley Chevin is easily accessible from Leeds with various car parks around the forest. From the town of Otley you can easily walk up to the Chevin. Bus X84 starting from Leeds Bus Station takes you into Otley passing the Chevin. Get off a few stops beforehand to walk straight into the forest.
Leeds Canal Walk
One of the most underrated walks in Leeds is the one in the heart of the city itself. Starting from the centre of Leeds and stretching up to Kirkstall Abbey alongside the River Aire, it’s as picturesque as any walk in the Yorkshire countryside. You’ll be able to explore the city in a way you’ve never done before, walking past sprawling golf courses and wooded areas. The one thing that may surprise you, is how big the barge community is in Leeds when you walk past the Aire Valley Marina, with a whole group of canal boats parked next to each other with inhabitants sunning themselves and socialising. Other areas of interest include the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. End your walk turning off at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn for a refreshing pint and then check out Kirkstall Abbey and the host of events that are hosted there over the summer.
Hop on the bus into town and start from DoubleTree by Hilton hotel next to the train station and follow the river west on the right hand side. The walk is signposted throughout, so it’s difficult to stray from the path accidentally!
The beauty of this walk is that you can make it as long or as short as you please. Ilkley Moor spans over miles of gorgeous Yorkshire countryside with landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles on Burley Moor, Ilkley Crags and the majestic Cow and Calf. Take intermittent stops to see if how far you can climb but be careful. Possibly best known for the purple carpet of heather that stretches across the landscape, Ilkley Moor is as gorgeous as you’d expect, making it one of the most ideal summer walks near Leeds. After the walk take the time to wander around the idyllic country town of Ilkley or visit the Ilkley Pool and Lido to cool off from the hot sun.
Travel to Ilkley is easy from Leeds; take the train into the heart of the town or get the X84 from Leeds bus station. Ilkley Moor is directly accessible from the town in just a few minutes walk.