Leeds, UK

Leeds Canal to Kirkstall Abbey


Choose a section of the Leeds-Liverpool canal path to enjoy a classic English canal run. At 127 miles, it’s the longest canal in Britain built as a single waterway. Starting at the Leeds City Center waterfront, just south of the central train station, head northwest on the path, which follows the water with nice views. The initial couple of miles offer a good sense of industrial Leeds with historic waterfront buildings, becoming more pastoral past the city outskirts.

You can run for miles and miles. Running west to Kirkstall makes for a nice 10k out and back. For a scenic extra, we’ve mapped an extra 1/2 mile to the Kirkstall Abbey, a well-preserved 12th-century abbey ruins with some lovely parkland. For the real adventurous, a popular route is to take the train to Saltaire and run the 13 miles back to Leeds along the canal. Perfect for a half-marathon training!

Add-Ons and Longer Run: For some extra running adjacent to the canal path at the 2.5 mile mark, you can enjoy Armley Park/Gotts Park just south of the path. Make sure to tackle the 161 Victorian stairs! Also, the Kirkstall Valley Nature Preserve is just north. There’s also some nice parkland at Kirkstall Abbey. And of course the canal path extends for miles past Kirkstall.

  • 8.2 miles (13.2 km) out and back to Kirkstall Abbey
  • 322 feet (92m)
  • Granary Wharf, just south of the central train station