Exploring the parks of Leeds…

We are here today to introduce you to some interesting parks around Leeds that you can explore and create beautiful memories there with your friends and loved ones. As students, we totally understand that student life can be stressful. Working on the computer for long hours, going through tons of reading and attending lecturers can take a toll on productivity.

It is always good to take a break and refresh the mind, and the easiest way to do that is to get out and explore nature. We can all agree that we like to have a spot in our neighbourhood, where we can enjoy nature and entice our senses with fresh air and green sights. Parks are the ultimate place to experience that and find respite from our hectic schedules. The parks of Leeds give one many options to enjoy nature, in a number of ways.

I am Marina and here are my favourite picks from the city:  

Woodhouse Moor 

Located just 10 minutes away from the University, Woodhouse Moor is the perfect place to hang out with your friends. Being the first park of Leeds, Woodhouse Moor enjoys being a popular site for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts, as it has a skate park, basketball, and tennis court. Along with lined trees, the 26-hectare area also boasts of wooden tables and benches, where you can have picnics and soak in the sun whenever the weather obliges. You can also bring your furry friends along in the big, open space to play or have a run. 

Golden Acre 

The best thing about Golden Acre Park is that there is just so much to discover. One might get tired of walking around this huge, 179-acre area but will still not get over the beautiful woodlands, sublime lakes, manicured gardens, and trees lined with fruits. Birdwatchers are in for a delight, as the park houses breeds of geese, herons, and swans, among other birds. Golden acre also falls along the Meanwood hiking trail route and is close to natural reserves, Breary Marsh and Adel dam. Fancy a bite? The Golden acre café provides the perfect stop for warm coffee and delicious sandwiches. 

I am Olivia and my 2 favourite parks are St George’s Fields and Park Square.

St George’s Fields 

Situated right at the heart of campus next to Henry Price residences, St George’s Field is an excellent park and garden easily accessible for all students. With its lush lawns and foliage, many students choose the Fields to find a bench or tree and sit down and read a book or have lunch, listening to the chirping of the birds with the faint mumble of the hustle and bustle of the city in the background. At the centre of the fields lies the remains of a  beautiful chapel, with its classical Roman architecture. Be sure to see the vast contrasts between the four seasons at St George’s fields; especially the calm of the autumn leaves falling onto fresh piles, with rabbits hopping about. 

Park Square 

Arguably the only green space right at the centre of Leeds city, Park Square is a beautifully maintained plot surrounded by stately Georgian buildings. Park Square is similar to other city center parks around the UK, such as Russel Square in London, with its flower beds blooming in summer. Park Square is a great location to sit after your shopping in the city center, with its close proximity to many student accommodations. It’s also a lovely spot to have your lunch, weather permitting. In a busy city center like Leeds, this is a place where has lots of seating and benches that you are able to enjoy the peace and the sunshine, recharge your batteries and watch the world go by. Also in here, you can appreciate the many barristers and solicitors’ offices that lie along the perimeter of the Square, many of the buildings boasting significant historical establishments. 

I am Khanh and I will introduce to you 2 of my most favourite parks in Leeds: Kirkstall Abbey and Roundhay Park. 

Kirkstall Abbey 

If you love to explore history and old architecture, you should come and visit Kirkstall Abbey. Kirkstall Abbey is known as one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries of the UK which was built over 800 years ago in 1152. The monastery is now located in a public park in Kristall, north west of Leeds city centre near to the River Aire. As you wander through the area, you will immediately feel a true sense of the past with the ancient architecture of the abbey, set amid a large area of parkland and woodland right beside the River Aire.

In fact, now with restrictions easing, there are many other interesting things that you can do and discover in Kirkstall Abbey. As a Grade 1 listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument along with its long history and magnificent architecture, Kirkstall Abbey is a perfect place to discover for anyone who takes interest in arts and history or just simply want to learn more about the history of the abbey. Moreover, when you come to Kirkstall Abbey, not only can you learn about the abbey’s history and how it was built, you will also have a chance to enjoy the Abbey Park, where you can wander around in tree-filled parkland along the river and probably plan a picnic with your friends on a beautiful, sunny day.

Last but not least, I would highly recommend that you should plan a visit on the last weekend of every month from now till November so that you can experience Kirkstall Abbey outdoor market. You can enjoy delicious local food and pick up hand-made crafts and gifts from across the Yorkshire area. To get there, you can take buses 33, 34 and 757 or you can take a train there, the nearest train stations are Kirkstall Forge and Headingley. 

Roundhay Park 

If you are currently in Leeds and will be in Leeds, I highly recommend a visit to Roundhay Park. And once you plan to go there, make sure that you spend half a day or a full day in the park because there are a lot of interesting things, and places for you to explore. Roundhay Park is just a little bit far from Leeds city centre, around 3 miles away. In order to get there, you can either take buses or a taxi. Last time I went there with my friend, we took an Uber and it cost us around 7 pounds each for 2-way drives. 

My first impression of Roundhay Park was how huge the park is. Roundhay Park, which covers an area of over 700 acres (2.8 km2), is regarded as one of the biggest parks in Europe. Moreover, Roundhay Park is also known as one of the most popular attractions in Leeds with over a million visitors per year. For me, Roundhay Park is a really special park as not only can I enjoy beautiful landscapes of parklands, gardens, woodland and lakes, but I can also explore many interesting places and take part in various activities, namely Tropical World, playgrounds, skate park, garden, sports pitches for football, rugby, tennis and some coffee shops.

For me, one of the most interesting places to explore in Roundhay Park is Tropical World. If you love to explore nature and discover different kinds of animals , you should come to visit. Tropical World offers visitors chances to explore and learn more about the fauna, flora and animals that live within rainforest, mangroves and desert such as crocodiles, snakes, butterflies, bats, and even a group of meerkats. This place is super popular for families and young kids. When I visited Roundhay Park in April, this place was still closed (huhu 🙁 ). But now it is open for everyone to come and visit!

The last time I visited Roundhay park with my friend, we just simply walked around and explored the park. There are 2 lakes in Roundhay Park: Waterloo and Upper Lake. Waterloo lake is huge and it covers a large area in the Eastern area of the park. When I went to visit the park last April, my friend and I walked around Waterloo Lake and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It was a really nice walk as we had a chance to breathe fresh air and admire breath-taking scenery, we also saw a lot of swans and birds. Near Waterloo lake, you will find a folly in the appearance of a castle gate that was built in 1811.

After the walk we grabbed some ice cream, (even though it was cold), and sat on one of the hills to watch the sunset. It was such a peaceful time, listening to the wind blowing and waiting for the sun to go down.

Here are some pictures of the sunset that I took, they look really amazing right? I hope that by chance you guys read about this blog, and you will immediately plan a visit to Roundhay Park with your friends and loved ones as I am sure that you guys can create many beautiful memories there together. 

Thank you for reading our blogs. Myself, Marina and Olivia, hope that through our sharing’s, you can get to know more about many interesting parks in Leeds and now there will be more places and activities for you to discover and enjoy your time in Leeds. So what are you waiting for? Choose your most favourite park and plan a visit right away! 

Authors

Olivia Fan
Hi guys, it’s Olivia here. I live in Leeds right now, but I’m originally from Beijing, China. Currently I’m in my second year at university of Leeds, studying in BSc...
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Khanh Ngo
Xin Chào, I am Khanh, an international student who is pursuing MSc Sustainability and Consultancy. I am from Vietnam- a beautiful and lovely country in Southeast Asia.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtoVLIU4m5c&feature=youtu.be Since I...
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Marina Abey Thomas
Hello, I am Marina and I come from the vibrant and multicultural nation of India. I am currently pursuing the MA New Media degree. I completed my Bachelor’s in History,...
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