7 city walks Leeds: best urban trails to stretch your legs during lockdown - from Leeds Country Way to Eccup Reservoir

Walking has soared in popularity with many shops, pubs and restaurants closed during the Covid pandemic

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 4:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 5:30 pm

There is nothing quite like a breath of fresh air to reinvigorate the mind, body and soul.

One of the few positives of the coronavirus pandemic has been the chance to explore outdoor areas close to home and appreciating those walks and landmarks on the doorstep.

Due to the closure of many shops, pubs and restaurants, walking has soared in popularity over the past year as we look forward to stretching our legs in our free time.

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A third national lockdown has put further restrictions on our lives, meaning we can only go outdoors once a day for exercise in our local area - so why make that walk a pleasant one?

Here are seven city walks in Leeds.

Rawdon Billing

Starts at Jubilee Hall, Layton Avenue, Rawdon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 6QQ.

An ideal short walk for those limited on time, or during a lunch break from work, this two-mile circular route around Rawdon Billing offers everything.

Varied terrain, wide open spaces and exposure to the elements means this walk is far from straightforward, but remains a popular route for many.

From the Jubilee Hall car park, uphill paths lead to Billing Dam, Larkfield Dam and Billing Hill.

Leeds Canal Walk

Starts at Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT.

Experience both sides of Leeds in this 13-mile stroll discovering the city's illustrious history and local scenery.

A long walk but one which is fairly straightforward from the Royal Armouries and finishes in Shipley.

Among the sites on the way you will see Kirkstall Valley and Rodley Nature Reserve, Kirkstall Abbey and Bramley Fall Park and Calverley Woods.

Leeds Country Way

Starts at Golden Acre Park, Arthington Road, Bramhope, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 8BQ.

If you want to see Leeds then why not take on the biggest walk the city has to offer?

The country way is a 62-mile route around the city that takes in some of the region's biggest landmarks - and don't worry, it doesn't all have to be done in one day.

Split your journey into four different sections and take in the views across the Eccup Reservoir and the woodlands of Barnbowl Wood, among others.

Eccup Reservoir

Starts at Alwoodley Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 7DJ.

This circular route around the reservoir offers walkers scenic views across the water and is ideal for all the family.

From Alwoodley Lane, walkers continue past Goodrick Plantation and through Owlet Hall Farm before stepping out in front of the Eccup Reservoir.

At 91 hectares, it is the largest area of water in West Yorkshire.

Trans Pennine Trail

Starts at Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT.

Sample part of one of the most famous walks in the UK by taking on the Leeds to Wakefield section of the Trans Pennine Way.

This challenging 14-mile route from the Royal Armouries will see walkers take in the Thwaite Mills Industrial Museum and St Aidan's Nature Park.

The stretch also includes the banks of the Aire-Calder Navigation, bursting with wildlife, before finishing up at the Stanley Ferry Marina.

The Meanwood Valley Trail

Start from Woodhouse Moor Car Park, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS6 1BJ or Golden Acre Park, Off Arthington Road, Bramhope, Leeds, LS16 8BQ.

This walk, situated just minutes from the city centre, can be broken down into sections if time is tight or you don't want to go the whole seven miles.

Not long after starting the trail at Woodhouse Moor car park or Golden Acre Park will walkers be able to take in the scenery from Woodhouse Ridge.

The disused Seven Arches Aqueduct towers can also be spotted on this route.

The Dales Way Link - Leeds to Ilkley

Starts at Woodhouse Moor, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 3AP.

Blessed with an abundance of scenic viewpoints, this link path to The Dales Way shows the countryside that can be enjoyed within the city boundaries.

A long walk, of roughly 20 miles, this one will take a whole day to complete, so set off early, take water and snacks and be prepared for changes in the weather.

Starting at Woodhouse Lane, the route takes in Adel Woods, Otley Chevin and The Cow and Calf and offers walkers challenging hills and paths.