Leeds Parks and Gardens

(Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, UK)

Leeds Parks and GardensWhen it comes to green spaces in West Yorkshire, there are certainly plenty to choose between. In the city of Leeds are a number of public parklands and gardens, with popular choices including Middleton Park, Woodhouse Moor and Roundhay, the latter of which plays host to many sizeable city events and is home to a number of notable family themed attractions.

Roughly ten minutes to the north of Leeds city centre, the Golden Acre Park is a real highlight for horticultural enthusiasts and features plenty of seasonal colour, while next-door is the Breary Marsh Nature Reserve and its woodland trails. Those prepared for a drive may like to consider visiting the estate of Newby Hall at the market town of Ripon, Bramham Park in nearby Wetherby, the Townclose Hills Nature Reserve at the neighbouring village of Kippax, and the stately gardens of Ripley Castle, close to Harrogate.

Also of note and within driving distance of Leeds is the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden near Ripon, and the Chevin Forest Park at Otley. At the Thorp Perrow Arboretum at Bedale, the Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre is an added bonus and opens on a daily basis, with regular falconry demonstrations each day.

Leeds Parks and Gardens

Bramham Park

Address: Wetherby, Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England
Tel: +44 (0)1937 844 265
Bramham Park is to be found some 12 miles / 19 km to the north-east of the city centre, close to Wetherby. Based around a late 17th-century Baroque mansion, the estate covers 60 acres / 24 hectares and offers a naturalistic charm, accompanied by more formal fountains, sweeping vistas and a number of follies, such as the Gothic Temple next to Half-Moon Pond. Guided tours of the house are possible for groups, although must be prearranged. Each June, the Bramham Horse Trials draws large crowds of equestrian enthusiasts.
Open hours: February to September - 10:30 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children

Ripley Castle and Gardens

Address: Ripley, Harrogate, HG3 3AY, England
Tel: +44 (0)1423 770 152
Ripley Castle and Gardens is situated in the nearby spa town of Harrogate. The historic castle dates right back to the 16th century, while the surrounding parkland was actually originally landscaped by famous garden designer Capability Brown. Visitors should leave time for a quick stroll around the charming village nearby.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:30 (16:30 in the winter)
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Leeds Parks and Gardens

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Address: B6265, Ripon and Pately Bridge, Near Ripon, Yorkshire, HG4 3DY, England
Tel: +44 (0)1765 608 888
The Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden can be found on the northerly outskirts of the city, being located around 48 km / 30 miles from central Leeds. This impressive estate was originally landscaped in the 18th century and comes with large ponds, waterfalls, temple-like buildings, a deer parkland, a visitor centre, a café and a popular gift shop. Of note, this World Heritage Site is currently owned and managed by the National Trust.
Open hours: daily, October to March - 10:00 to 17:00, April to September - 10:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and families, members of the National Trust are free

Newby Hall and Gardens

Address: Ripon, HG4 5AE, England
Tel: +44 (0)1423 322 583
Around a 50-minute drive to the north of Leeds and just past Harrogate, Newby Hall is located in Ripon and is part of the scenic Yorkshire Dales. This grand stately home is surrounded by equally impressive gardens, which include many rare, mature plant specimens, seating areas, formal gardens, a miniature railway and a playground area with slides, climbing frames, swings and sandpits.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 11:00 to 17:30, open on Mondays during the summer holidays
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Address: Thorp Perrow, Bedale, DL8 2PR, England
Tel: +44 (0)1677 425 323
The Thorp Perrow Arboretum lies next to the neighbouring market town of Bedale, roughly 45 miles / 72 km to the north. Featuring a vast collection of trees from around the world, the arboretum covers more than 100 acres / 40 hectares. There are nature trails, picnic areas, a visitor centre, a café and gift shop, and seasonal events, with the spectacular autumn colours and spring flowers worth looking out for. Members of the RHS will be able to enjoy free entrance, except for special events.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and seniors

Chevin Forest Park

Address: East Chevin Road, Otley, LS21 3HB, England
Tel: +44 (0)1943 465 023
Located approximately 11 miles / 18 km to the north-west of the city centre and designated as an important nature reserve in the late 1980s, the Chevin Forest Park is a popular reserve and full of wildlife. Visitors will discover woodland walks, scenic views, horse riding trails, picnic areas and mature trees, as well as some enormous rocky outcrops and superb panoramas of the Wharfe Valley. Notable attractions include two orienteering courses , guided walks all through the year, and self-guided routes leading to various vantage points, such as 'Surprise View'.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: free

Breary Marsh Nature Reserve

Address: Near Golden Acre Park, Leeds, LS16 8BQ, England
Tel: +44 (0)113 278 2951
Breary Marsh, in the northerly district of Bramhope, is an important boggy woodland area. The marsh is rich in wildlife and called home by a number of rare animals and plants. There are numerous pathways, nature trails and bridleways, with this spot being protected as a 'site of special scientific interest'.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: free

Golden Acre Park

Address: Golden Acre, Otley Road, Leeds, LS16 8BQ, England
Tel: +44 (0)113 261 0374
Based on the far northern outskirts of the city and best reached via the A660 (Otley Road), the Golden Acre Park is roughly 6 miles / 10 km away and comprises some 135 acres / 55 hectares of mature gardens and woodland, based around a large lake. The Lilac Walk is a particular highlight and the park actually boasts a national collection of lilac trees, as well as sizeable collections of hostas and day lilies. The Golden Acre was established way back in the early 1930s and is known for its floral heritage, impressive pinetum, large collection of mature trees and herbaceous flower borders. The adjoining Breary Marsh Local Nature Reserve offers a treat for wildlife enthusiasts.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: free

Middleton Park

Address: 218 Town Street, Leeds, LS10 3TN, England
Tel: +44 (0)113 271 5811
Middleton Park covers more than 200 acres / 80 hectares and lies roughly 15 minutes to the south of the city centre, where it is filled with wildlife. Along with woodland trails, streams, large trees and wild flowers, visitors will also find two golf courses, numerous recreational spaces and literally acres of ancient woodland with centuries-old oak trees. Children will be pleased to find a recently upgraded playground, while a £15 million Heritage Lottery Grant has also resulted in additional seating, public art, a new bandstand and replanted rose beds, amongst other improvements and additions.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: free

Roundhay Park

Address: Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS8 4AR, England
Tel: +44 (0)113 266 1850
Roundhay Park is the most popular parkland in Leeds and regularly attracts almost one million visitors each year. Home to many festivals throughout the year, including a number of open-air concerts, Roundhay features large expanses of open grass, sports facilities, vast woodland areas, nature trails, a café with views of the lake, mature gardens and plenty of seating. Other notable attractions here include the butterfly house at Tropical World, colourful flower borders within the Canal Gardens, and the adjacent Leeds Golf Club, while the nearby Red Hall Playing Fields may also be of interest.
Admission: free
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk

Townclose Hills Nature Reserve

Address: Station Road, Kippax, LS25 7LE, England
Tel: +44 (0)113 232 3069
The Townclose Hills Nature Reserve is to be found within the Kippax / Great Preston district, being roughly 10 miles / 16 km to the east of the city centre. Visitors to the reserve will find woodland areas, large expanse of grass, wildlife, colourful flower borders and seating areas. There are lots of trails suitable for jogging and cycling, with the woodland areas providing extreme peace and quiet, as well as great elevated views.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: free

Woodhouse Moor

Address: Moorland Road, Leeds, LS2 9JT, England
Woodhouse Moor is located in the north-westerly Hyde Park area of the city and is a particularly popular parkland, being next to the University of Leeds Business School. With large open areas of grassland, suitable for sports, sunbathing and picnics, other attractions include seasonal events, statues and monuments, flower borders, pathways and benches.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk
Admission: free