6 of the most scenic Leeds running routes for all abilities

Escape the gym and get out into the great outdoors on one of these inspiring Leeds running routes (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you’re tired of hitting the treadmill and are craving a change of scenery while you work out, there are plenty of picturesque paths to explore around Leeds.

Take to the great outdoors and enjoy the views along these popular running routes, suitable for all abilities.

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(Photo: Shutterstock)

Meanwood Valley Trail

Beginning at Woodhouse Moor this scenic trail stretches for seven miles.

Jog through woodland to Meanwood Park, then through Adel Woods and along the edge of Headingley Golf Course, before arriving at Golden Acre Park.

This rural run is a nice change to pounding the pavements.

If you’re a beginner, it can be tackled in shorter sections of up to two or three miles, giving you chance to build up your stamina before attempting the route as a whole.

Visit: LS16 5QP – leeds.gov.uk

Eccup Reservoir

Beginning at Alwoodley Lane, you can embark on a picturesque, circular route around Eccup reservoir, with plenty of glorious countryside views to enjoy along the way.

The easy-to-follow route follows part of the Dales Way and extends for approximately five miles, so it isn’t too challenging for runners who are just getting started.

Visit: Alwoodley Lane, LS17 – walkingbritain.co.uk

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Roundhay Park

It may attract plenty of visitors thanks to Tropical World, but Roundhay Park is also home to more than 700 acres of rolling parkland, woodland and lakes, making it a popular destination for walkers and runners alike.

There are numerous paths and trails which can be followed around the park, but the route around Waterloo lake is perhaps the most scenic, and at a distance of just over 1.5 miles, it isn’t too taxing either.

Visit: Mansion Lane, off Princes Avenue, LS8 2HH – roundhaypark.org.uk

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The Leeds and Liverpool canal stretches for more than 127 miles, passing old mill buildings, residential areas and wide open countryside along the way.

It’s a great place to run for those based in the city centre,

Since the canal is flat and follows a straight route, it’s manageable for both experienced runners and beginners.

Follow the route as far as you like, and enjoy the many sights along the way.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Golden Acre Park

Spread over 55 hectares, Golden Acre Park is home to beautiful gardens, woodland and a circular lakeside walk - perfect for running, jogging or a bracing stroll.

The park is part of both the Leeds Country Way and Meanwood Valley Trail, making it suitable for those looking to tackle a longer route.

Alternatively, the parkland and lakeside trail are ideal for shorter runs of up to five miles.

Visit: Arthington Road, Bramhope, LS16 8BQ – leeds.gov.uk


These free weekly events are suitable for all ages and abilities, and are held at numerous locations around Leeds, including Woodhouse Moor, Temple Newsam and Cross Flatts Park.

The scenic 5km routes are timed so you can track your progress each week.

With Parkrun's ever-growing popularity, it’s a great social event, as well as a physical one.

More info: parkrun.org.uk