Here’s a full list of  family walks in Leeds, the best walks near Leeds and places to enjoy the Great Outdoors with kids in and around Leeds.

circular-walks-around-leedsA circular walk is the perfect walk when coping with little legs, there is no going back on yourself or having to traipse back to the car!  These are Mumbler’s favourite circular walks for families in and around North Leeds.

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Take part in your biggest ever game of hide and seek on your visit to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Hide in all corners of the large abbey ruins before following the river to the water garden. Race around the moon ponds, see the swans swimming and discover the winding dark tunnel. Emerge from the tunnel to find three fun buildings called follies along this woodland path. With acres of space to explore, hidden places to discover and lots of sniffs to sniff, Fountains Abbey is the perfect place to bring your four-legged friends. Dogs are welcome in all the outdoor spaces and in the Visitor Centre Restaurant too.

Be sure to have a playground adventure. There are things to wobble along, jump over and climb on…you’ll find a wooden abbey, a woodland house, scramble nets and posts, swings, fireman’s poles, a slide, a roundabout, a gigantic rope bridge and a huge zip wire for the most daring adventurers of all.

Have a well-earned sit down with a seasonal meal in the Visitor Centre Restaurant, tuck into tea and cake with a lakeside view at Studley Tea Room or a sweet treat at Mill Café.

If there’s still oodles of energy left visit the deer park. Admire the views down to Ripon Cathedral and see if you can spot the deer. There are three different types from small fallow deer to the largest of them all: red deer.

There’s lots to do but don’t worry if you can’t fit it all in this time – we’ll be here another day! Become a member on your first visit and come back for free as many times as you like. Plus, get the feel-goods about it as every time you scan your membership card, you’re contributing towards the essential conservation work we do.


01765 608888
fountainsabbey@nationaltrust.org.uk
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walk-with-a-cafeHere’s our pick of places around North Leeds and Wetherby where you can enjoy a good family walk and some tasty refreshments from a pub or cafe!

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12 child friendly walks you can enjoy in and around Leeds

If you have over indulged over the Christmas period you are probably craving fresh air and the kids are likely to have excess energy to burn off!  It’s time to wrap up and get out of the house!

We’ve compiled a list of Boxing Day and New Year walks in and around Leeds – all child friendly – and great for seeing our local countryside at it’s best.

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A Goathland Waterfall Walk

Sponsored blog by Visit North York Moors

If your family enjoys walks, this beautiful circular walk starting at the ‘Heartbeat’ village of Goathland is absolutely fabulous! A fabulous waterfall (and a bit of an adventure to get there), some lovely views and a glimpse of a steam train!

  • Length: 3 miles
  • Facilities: Food and toilets available in Goathland, Beck Hole has a small pub (closed on Saturdays)
  • Accessibility: Some steep paths, not suitable for buggies
  • Route: Map available on the North York Moors website here.

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Adel Dam Nature Reserve

Area: North Leeds

Car Parking: Car parking at Golden Acre main entrance (can get busy)

Amenities: Not at Dam itself but Golden Acre not far away


Opposite Golden Acre Park, Adel Dam has been open to the public since it became a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve.  The circular fern-lined path, winds in an impressive loop through the wet and dry woodlands, where you’ll have the chance to see badgers, roe deer, foxes and kingfishers to name a few.

The route is great for little legs, the paths are level and easy going up until the first hide (Marsh Hide), this section is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The remainder of the circuit is a more natural uneven surface, including steps, bridges and narrow points. Some areas do get boggy so suitable footwear required and you are required to stick to the paths.

Dogs not allowed.

Entrance via Golden Acre Park

Anglers Country Park – Wakefield

Area: Wakefield

Car Park: Plenty of car parking, charges apply

Amenities: Cafe, toilets and adventure playground next to the Visitors Centre


Large country park that is great for walking, children’s biking and picnics. It also has a children’s adventure playground and The Room on the Broom trail. You can purchase activity packs from the Visitor’s Centre for £2. From the centre you’ll follow the trail, find sculptures, look for animal footprints, trace rubbings and have fun doing activities along the way.

At the visitor’s centre you can hire running buggies and bikes for the whole family including bike trailers for the tiniest!

Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 2EB. Tel: 01924 303980

Beningbrough Hall, York

Area: York

Car Park: Pre-booking is required for all cars. National Trust members park free.

Amenities: Cafe, toilets, adventure playground


Just eight miles north of York is beautiful Beningbrough with its glorious gardens, sprawling parkland and hands-on art galleries.

Whether it’s swinging from heights or climbing the wall up the pyramid tower in the popular wilderness play area, fun and games on the lawn, borrowing a bike to ride around the gardens or dressing up as royalty in the hall, Beningbrough is a fantastic family day out.

Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD Tel: 01904 472027

Bolton Abbey, Near Skipton

Area: Wharfedale

Car Park: Pre-booking is required for all cars. £10 per car.

Amenities: Cafe, toilets at numerous locations.


Enjoy a picnic, build sandcastles have a little paddle in the river or simply relax and take in the view of the Priory. The 60 stepping stones offer a fun and challenging experience, but there is a bridge offering a safe and dry passage. There is a large beach area popular with visiting families. Seasonal events take place throughout the year, including the famous Welly Walk (end May – November).  Read our review here.

There are various walks, all routes can be viewed here. 

Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD236EX. Tel: 01756 718000

Brimham Rocks – Harrogate

Area: Harrogate

Car Park: Parking is free for National Trust members.
Non National Trust members, car parking charges £6 for 4 hours, £9 per day.

Amenities: Toilets and catering facilities are located 550 metres from the car park, baby-changing facilities


Dramatic moorland rock formations. Explore Brimham Rocks and have a great day out at nature’s playground. This amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations makes a great day out for families, climbers and those wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air and magnificent views over Nidderdale.

There’s no admission charge at Brimham Rocks.

Summerbridge, Harrogate, HG3 4DW.  Tel: 01423 780688

Chevin Forest Park

Area: Otley

Car Park: Various car parks.  See more details here. 

Amenities: Plenty of picnic areas, see map above for locations of cafe and toilets

Collect your free map and wildlife spotting guide from Otley Library or The White House Café, then set off on one of two walking trails.


Chevin Forest Park is located in the Wharfe Valley and overlooks the market town of Otley.  There are various routes, some of which are buggy friendly.   A few of our favourites are:

Geology Trail, – Eight stone carvings make up the 3km geology trail helping to explain how the Chevin’s steep slopes and gritstone crags and boulders were created.

The Surprise View and Otley Chevin walk starts at a free car park just across from The Royalty

Child, Pram and Dog Friendly Walks in Leeds!

Finding suitable walks that have both paths suitable for prams and are dog-friendly can be quite daunting, but there’s so much more to do than circuits of your local park!  ‘Muddy Boots Mummy’ shares some of her favourite walks which are suitable for both!  (pram and pooch non-compulsory!).

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Circular Walk from The Crooked Billet, Saxton

A lovely 3.5 mile walk around Saxton starting at the Crooked Billet. It gives lovely views over the countryside and is a good way for children to strech their legs- there are a couple of uphill stretches (nothing too severe). AND what’s better than finishing where you started and enjoying a good pub lunch at the Crooked Billet (which does offer children’s meals). Read more about this route on the Muddy Boots Mummy site.

Dalby the Great Yorkshire Forest

Dalby Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission, offers over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore, enjoy and discover, including the Grand Father Oak play area for children, family BBQ and picnic areas, adrenalin activities for the thrill seekers and walking and cycling trails for all.

Admission free, just pay to park (£9 per car)

Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, YO18 7LT. Tel: 01751 460295.

Eccup Reservoir Walk

On the outskirts of Leeds, the route on this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) runs alongside part of Eccup Reservoir and across the dam. You’ll have the opportunity to see varied wildlife including wintering wildfowl and from an observation area on the dam the spectacular red kite. The route is 4.5 miles long. Download it here.

Difficulty: 1 out of 4 (Easy access, parking)

Family Activities at Dalby Forest

Dalby Forest is always a fantastic day out with the family. Here’s some of our favourite things to do;

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Friends of Roundhay Park Children’s Adventure Trails

roundhay-park-trailFriends of Roundhay Park (FORP) FREE adventure trails in Roundhay Park have been designed by local children!   

The trials are free to use by all park visitors, with clue sheets being accessible in the Lakeside Cafe, Tropical World and the Mansion art gallery. You can also download the trail sheets here forp.org/little-friends-trails/

There are two trails, the first is an imagination trail called The Magical Fountains of Roundhay and is aimed at under 6s.

Designed for pre-schoolers this trail route is fully accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs.  The route is split into 3 sections (ranging from 1km -1.5km in length) which can all be done together or split over several visits – children will need your help to read and understand what to do.  Imaginations at the ready

The second is an adventure trial where older children (6+) have to solve The Secret of Roundhay Castle by undertaking various tasks.

Designed for children of ages 6 and older, this trail is longer and more challenging.  The route is split into 3 sections (ranging from 1.5km – 2.5km in length) which can be done together or split over several visits.

FORP are encouraging children to undertake the trail and upload a photo to social media with the hashtag #littlefriendstrails. The answer sheets, certificates of completion and further information can be found on the FORP website – forp.org/little-friends-trails

Golden Acre Park

This popular park is renowned for its wonderful gardens, popular tea rooms and circular lakeside walk. Ideal for a family walk, scooter/pushchair friendly (on paths) and a great place to feed the ducks, play ball games and have a picnic

Off Arthington Road, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ Tel: 0113 261 0374

Hackfall Woods, Ripon

Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales within a steep rocky gorge of the River Ure. You can take a walk through the woods and paddle in the river and streams.

Find out more on the Woodland Trust website.

It’s on the outskirts of the village of Grewelthorpe, there is a small car park before you enter the village or roadside parking.

No amenities but there is a family friendly pub, The Crown in Grewelthorpe.

Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve, Scarcroft

Area: Scarcroft, North Leeds

Car Parking: Limited roadside parking available.

Amenities: None


Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve is a great place to explore as a family, there are lots of paths to follow through the woods and some great opportunities for a game of hide and seek!  There is a tree swing and a lovely little stream to paddle in or have a game of ‘poo sticks’.

You can do a nice circular route from the car park, if you follow the path down to the stream, hang a right and follow the path around in a loop.  Suitable for younger children distance wise but not buggies.  More walking route details here.

A favourite place with my Mumblers and you can call off on the way home for ice cream at the Milk Churn!

If approaching via the A58 Leeds-Wetherby road, to reach the main entrance on Milner Lane take the  turn right signposted Thorner at the New Inn pub crossroads at Scarcroft. Keep left at a triangular intersection and the nature reserve entrance is on the left, 0.5 miles further on. There is also a public footpath (parking for a few cars) from the side of the A58 at Bardsey.

Milner Lane, Scarcroft, LS23 6NA.

Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park

Rich in wildlife, winding woodland paths, cooling water ways and unique land art, the Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park near Ripon has 45 acres of gardens, arboretum, lakes and over 80 sculptures …. a log cabin tearoom & horsebox full of tasty treats with a woodland playground for kids.

Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park, Grewelthorpe, Nr Ripon, HG4 3DA

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve

From meadows of bluebells and woodlands of oak, birch and willow, there’s loads to see at this delightful 2.5 acre reserve. Bring a net or a jar to go dipping in the ponds, or watch the many butterflies and dragonflies

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve, 110 Commercial Road,  LS5 3AB

National Trust Sites for families Near Leeds

We have some great National Trust sites in Yorkshire, and they’re perfect for families who like to get out and about! Here are our favourite National Trust Houses, Gardens and other places to visit within 1 hour of Leeds.

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Meanwood Park & Meanwood Valley Trail

Area: North Leeds

Car Parking: Plenty of free car parking at Green Road Entrance

Amenities: Cafe, Toilets and Playground at Green Road Entrance


Starting from the main bottom car park there is a playground and the lovely Three Cottages Cafe. From the car park, there is a range of extensive walks for various abilities.

You can follow the beck (opportunities to paddle) to the waterfall and back, or turning left up into the hollies, or venturing right into the woods where you can stumble across fairy doors hidden within the trees. There is also a rope swing in the cavern which has some old ruins of houses.

Further along into these woods you will come across The Myrtle Tavern pub with a great children’s play area and a good beer garden. Also over the lane there is a perimeter walk around the housing estate which can lead into the woods if you choose and another playground along the way.

The Meanwood Valley Trail runs from Woodhouse Moor to Golden Acre Park

The 7 mile linear walk is an excellent way to explore The Meanwood Valley Local Nature Reserve which runs from Meanwood into the more rural countryside around Adel and Alwoodley. Download the Trail Map HERE

Click here for more info on walks from Meanwood Park

Green Road, Meanwood, LS6 4LE

Pram Friendly Walks Near Leeds recommended by Mumblers

pram-buggy-walks-leedsHere our our favourite pram walks and buggy walks near Leeds, West Yorkshire. They’re recommended by fellow parents and carers, on paths and tracks suitable for prams and buggies.

Please follow guidance, as some paths are rubble tracks, so more suitable for big-wheeled and off-road prams and buggies.

 

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Reservoir Walks in and around North Leeds

We love a walk around a reservoir, there is so much wildlife to spot! We are very lucky to have some beautiful spots locally which you can enjoy. Here are further details!

 

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Rodley Nature Reserve

Covid Update: Currently open Wednesday and Saturdays 1-5pm

Rodley Nature Reserve is designed to bring wetland wildlife back into the Leeds area.

Lots of activities for families: quiz trail guide, pond dipping (April – Oct), mini beast hunt, bird watching, moth trapping….and if the weather should spoil itself colouring sheets and quizzes are available in the Education Room at the Visitor Centre.

The Visitor Centre is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and most Bank Holidays from 10am until 4pm.

Rodley Nature Reserve, Moss Bridge Road, Rodley, Leeds LS13 1HP. Tel:  0113 2040441

 

Room on the Broom Trail – Anglers Country Park (Wakefield)

The Room on the Broom trail takes visitors across Anglers Country Park on a special themed walk.

Starting from the Discovery Centre, the trail follows a route around the lake giving youngsters the chance to see sculptures of Witch, Cat, Dog, Bird, Frog and the terrifying Dragon! For extra fun and games along the trail, purchase an Explorer Pack for £2 from the Discovery Centre before you set off. As you journey along the route look out for the wildlife that call Anglers Country Park their home.

Some parts of the path may be muddy so sensible footwear is advised. Suitable for bikes and pushchairs.

The Adventure Trail and Country Park are both open all day, every day with free entry (parking is pay and display). There is also a great outdoor play area at the end of the trail.

Haw Park Lane,Wintersett,Wakefield,WF4 2EB. Tel: 01924 303980

Roundhay Park Walks

Roundhay Park has lots more to offer than many visitors realise! Make sure that you do more than the standard Roundhay park walk round the Lake. Explore the Secret Gorge, adventure into the Woodlands and follow the FORP Adventure Trails!

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RSPB Fairburn Ings

With pond dipping, regular fun events and walks to help you get away from it all, RSPB Fairburn Ings is the ideal place for adults and children to find out more about wildlife. Visitor centre open daily except Christmas day. Small parking charge. Accessible paths. Shop, snacks & toilet facilities.

Fairburn Ings, Castleford, WF10 2BH. Tel: 01977 628191

Seven of the best ‘Big’ Walks around Leeds

If you’re a family who loves walking and the great outdoors, you may be looking for some good options for longer walks; walks that mean a day out, a possibility of a picnic, and a hopefully a pub or cafe somewhere along the way. You want more of a family hike than a potter, but something achievable for your adventurous children. Here are my suggestions for some GREAT family walks- all within a 90 minute drive of Leeds.

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St. Aidans RSPB Reserve

St Aidans RSPB reserveis managed by the RSPB for visitors and wildlife, on behalf of Leeds City Council.

Visit our new visitor centre with cafe, shop & toilet facilities. There are 12km of trails, plus the transpennine trail which passes the nature park on the southern side. The main trails take you amongst a variety of habitats including reedbed, wetland, meadows and woodland.

See website for directions and facilities – accessible from Woodlesford, Methley and Allerton Bywater. Suitable for bikes and pushchairs.

Swinton Estate Parkland & Gardens

Stunning parkland and gardens. Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the gardens, lakes and ponds.

Entry: £5 per adult| £.2.50 per child| Unser 5s free| £12.50 for a family of four.

Or enjoy a yomp through the woodland to the Druid’s Temple at Swinton Bivouac. £3 car parking charges apply.

Ripon HG4 4JH

The Best Spring Walks with Children in and around Leeds

Spring is a fantastic time to get out walking; the weather gets that little better, blankets of spring flowers cover woodland floors, and baby animals are out saying their hellos!

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The Best Woodland Walks in Leeds for Families

Here’s our Mumbler picks of the Best Woodland Walks in Leeds for families (and some just outside of Leeds but DEFINITELY worth the effort)! Woods and forest walks are also BRILLIANT for those rainy days or super sunny days where you want to get out but want a little bit of shelter!

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The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created within a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park and the Yorkshire Dales. A tourist visitor attraction unlike anywhere that you have been before, ideal for the adventurers and those young at heart!

Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Middleham, Leyburn, DL8 4TJ Tel:  01969 640638

The Gnome Roam, Newmillerdam

This FREE two mile walk is great for children! A bear has scattered the gnomes around Newmillerdam and you must follow the trail and find them all (just watch out for the bear!). Each gnome has a different activity for children to enjoy.

The route can be steep in places (particularly the start from the car park) and is on trails but you can get round with a buggy.

Location: Newmillerdam Country Park, sat nav postcode: WF2 6QP

Find more information on the Muddy Boots website here.

 

Valley Gardens and Pine Woods – Harrogate

You can walk from the bottom entrance at the Pump room museum right up through the valley gardens and pinewoods to Harlow Carr and either loop round or come back along Otley Road (Via the play park!) and either Coldbath Road or Cornwall road.

Curious about Leeds

Have fun (re-)discovering Leeds, spotting things you’ve never noticed before, with two quirky treasure hunt style heritage walks.

Visit our website to buy in printed booklet or instant download format, using code Mumbler20 for 20% off all purchases.
Other Yorkshire Curious About walks are: Harrogate, Hull, Ripon, Scarborough, Sheffield, Whitby and York.

READ OUR MUMBLER REVIEW HERE

 

Wetherby Short Circular Walk

This easy short walk around Wetherby is a little over two miles, and is great for children!

Start your walk at the old station carpark on Linton Road. The first section of the walk is on the Harland Way, a lovely bridlepath, take the right fork signposted towards Deighton Road. Turn right at the road (beware of little legs, this is a busy road) and head towards the town centre, where you can stop off at one of the great cafes in Wetherby for refreshments!
Cross Wetherby bridge, and take the first right towards the leisure centre, then pick up the path that follows the river. In drier weather this route is great for buggies, but this river path can get muddy. Cross the footbridge, have a little play at the play area and then climb the stairs (or ramp) to the road and back to the carpark!
If you pack a little bike then you could also enjoy a visit to the Little Toe Pump TrackLittle Toe Pump Track!

Yeadon Tarnfield Park

Lots of fishing, and sailing on this tarn, but essentially an easy walk for children, good for bikes etc.With ducks to feed. A very good children’s playground near the carpark. A Planespotters paradise.

Cemetery Road, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7UR

York City Walls Walk

On a nice day, there isn’t a much better way to see the beautiful city  of York than walking around the walls.

Children can enjoy following the route via the golden disks on the floor and remember to take some paper and crayons so they can complete the map rubbings at each of the bars.

The walls go most of the way around the city, just having to get down to street level a couple of times. Not strictly buggy friendly but I know many who have managed it fine. Always a friendly visitor or local on hand to help!

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