Out and about: making the most of the Yorkshire walks waiting on your doorstep this winter
It’s time to fight the urge to get out the snuggle blanket and embrace the season instead.
We’ve got loads of gorgeous winter walks and activities in and around Leeds to get you out and about exploring the great outdoors… then you can head home for some well-deserved cosying up by the fire!
Blow away the cobwebs
Just a short drive from Leeds, Ilkley Moor is a splendid destination for winter walks. The rugged landscapes, including the iconic Cow and Calf rocks, make for a picturesque backdrop, but be sure to wrap up warmly as the moor can be quite windy.
Ten miles from the city centre lies Otley Chevin Forest Park in the Wharfe Valley, and it’s perfect for all abilities with lots of free car parks to start your walks. There’s so much beauty to take in here with its mix of woodlands, meadows and craggy outcrops, making it an excellent spot for winter walks, particularly if you’re craving a blast of fresh air along with panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Take in the splendour
Explore the beautiful grounds of Harewood House, which are transformed into a winter wonderland during the season. As well as 150 acres of impressive grounds and a three-mile walking trail across the North Park, South Park and Lakeside, there’s also a packed calendar of festive events in wintertime.
The historic estate of Temple Newsam, with its grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, offers a serene spot for a winter stroll through extensive parkland, woodlands and gardens; the formal gardens are beautifully tended while those craving something less ordered may prefer the nature trails which are perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Get wild about nature
Located on the outskirts of Leeds, Golden Acre Park offers a lovely setting to enjoy the changing seasons. It boasts 179 acres of mature woodlands and gardens alongside a beautiful lake where you can spot wild birds, rabbits and squirrels – and even the resident deer! Runners might want to check out the Meanwood Valley Trail run which starts in Headingley and ends here.
Elsewhere, the unique Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a fantastic place to experience art amid the winter landscape while immersing yourself in nature. The park features outdoor sculptures and installations, as well as indoor galleries if the weather’s really wild.
Fancy getting festive?
The Ice Cube in Millennium Square is a popular spot for outdoor ice skating that offers a fun and festive way to enjoy the colder months; it’s also home to the Christmas Markets with its enticing stalls and bars.
Stroll through the city centre from 24 November and enjoy the festive lights and decorations during the holiday season. Leeds puts on a dazzling display, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Stay safe this winter
Leeds offers a variety of ways to enjoy the season, from beautiful winter walks to festive celebrations, but do check the weather conditions in advance and make sure you have adequate daylight for your chosen activity.
It's important to dress warmly and wear appropriate footwear, especially for muddy or icy walks; it’s worth considering carrying essentials like maps, compasses and extra clothing to stay safe and comfortable during your winter outings too.
Power up – and stay that way
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