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Life in Leeds

Getting outdoors in Leeds

By ResLifeLeeds 07 Aug 2023

Explore nature spots that are close by and further afield.

In the midst of the city hustle, sometimes all you need is a mini escape back to nature. Whether that be a park, a forest or just a patch of grass you can chill on for a bit. So when the weather is going your way, check out a few of the options you have for green spaces in and around Leeds.

On campus

Here are a few small getaways which you can make the most of easily:

  • St George’s Field between Cemetery Road and University Road, is a great place to relax and unwind.
  • Wildflower area behind the School of Earth and Environment (including a bee apiary).
  • Rooftop garden on the Laidlaw Library (including three beehives).
  • Space behind Leeds University Business School.
  • Edible campus corridor through Leeds, including the sustainable garden, and fruit trees in St George’s field.
  • Fruit trees and edible border plants at the end of Lyddon Terrace, and edible plants at the Social Sciences plaza.
  • Sensory Garden at Charles Morris Hall is a wheelchair-accessible sensory garden focusing on use for people on the autism spectrum.

Nearby spots

a flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water
  • Woodhouse Moor ("Hyde Park") - Right at your doorstep (literally a minute away from campus), Hyde Park offers a serene respite from lectures and study sessions. Take a leisurely stroll around the park, enjoy a picnic or join a game of football with friends. In the summer, this park sometimes turns into a mini festival with the number of people that park themselves on the grass, it has a great community atmosphere.
  • Meanwood Park - About a 40-minute walk away, Meanwood Park has a nice variety of open spaces, woodlands and walking routes that are great for exercise. You can usually find an ice cream van nearby or grab a drink in a beer garden close by.
  • Roundhay Park - Venture a bit farther to discover the expansive beauty of Roundhay Park. Boasting landscaped gardens, woodlands, and even Tropical World - a mini zoo that has a Butterfly House. Don't miss out on the stunning views from Waterloo Lake too.

Further afield

a herd of sheep grazing on a lush green hillside

These options you'll want to get to by car or public transport:

  • Middleton Park - From ancient woodlands to open meadows, Middleton Park feels like a real escape from the city. It's an ideal spot for a day of hiking, birdwatching, and embracing the tranquillity of nature.
  • Harewood House - A bit farther afield, Harewood House offers a grand estate with ornate gardens, bird gardens, and even an adventure playground. Immerse yourself in history, art, and nature all in one visit.
  • Ilkley Moor - For a rugged outdoor adventure, Ilkley Moor beckons with its rugged beauty and panoramic views. Hike to the famous Cow and Calf rocks, and revel in the feeling of being on top of the world. It's easily reached by direct train from Leeds station.

These are just a few of the options you can take advantage of. There are plenty more spots out there, so get exploring and let nature work its wonders on you.