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Leeds, UK

The Great Runs guide to the best places to run in Leeds and surrounding area

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Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of West Yorkshire and is the UK’s fourth-most populous urban area. The center features elaborate Victorian buildings, covered galleries, and elegant squares. Running in Leeds is a pleasure, owing to its canal-side and river-side trails, and the fact that over 60% of the district is green belt.

There’s an excellent variety of running options in Leeds. To get oriented, take our Leeds ‘Runseeing’ tour, which includes Woodhouse Moor. For waterside running, choose a section of the 127-mile Leeds & Liverpool Canal Trail or paths along the River Aire. Additional longer off-road running There are also wonderful off-road paths for running in Leeds, including the Meanwood Valley and Wykepack linear park trails. Among the best parks for running are Roundhay Park, Golden Acre Park, and Middleton Park, plus numerous smaller parks. For gentle trail running, we love the the route combining Temple Newsam, Skelton Country Park & Rothwell Country Park, as well as Eccup Reservoir and Horsworth Hall. The Fullneck Loop Circular is great introduction to Yorkshire’s extensive series of trails and bridle paths. For additional running ideas, RunLeeds is an excellent resource, and this site is a good resource for trail running.

Although there is a bus system, Leeds is the largest city in Western Europe without a light rail or metro. Leeds weather is typical of that of the UK: cool, overcast winters and mild summers.

 

 

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Leeds, UK

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Leeds Canal to Kirkstall Abbey

Leeds, UK

Choose a section of the 127-mile Leeds-Liverpool canal path for a classic English canal run. We've mapped an 8-mile out and back from Leeds to Kirkstall Abbey, with nice water views, pastoral sections, and attractive Abbey parkland. Add Armley Park stairs!
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Leeds Waterfront and River Aire Paths

Leeds, UK

One of two excellent waterfront running options in Leeds, this route includes a loop around Leeds Dock and then follows paths along the River Aire southeast of the city. We've mapped 5 miles one-way, but the paths continue for many miles.
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Wykebeck Way Linear Park

Leeds, UK

A well-marked linear park trail, running for nearly 6 miles between Temple Newsam and Roundhay Park. Most of the gravel/dirt path passes through parks and across fields. Good additional paths at Temple Newsam, Primrose Valley Park, Roundhay Park.
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Roundhay Park

Leeds, UK

700-acre park with miles of wonderful trails and paths for running. Choose your own route or use our 5.3 mile 'grand tour', which includes two lake loops, formal gardens, and wooded 'geology' trails.
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Meanwood Valley Trail

Leeds, UK

A terrific opportunity for a longer off-road run in Leeds. The 7-mile linear park trail starts at Woodhouse Moor and heads north to Golden Acre Park. Includes Woodhouse Ridge, Meanwood Park, Seven Arches Aqueduct, & more.
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Golden Acre Park and Eccup Reservoir

Leeds, UK

Lovely spot for a run, combining a wide gravel path and a public Bridleway. A loop around the Reservoir is 4 miles, combining water views, woods, and farm fields. Connect to Golden Acre Park and the Meanwood Valley Trail for a longer run.
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Fullneck Loop Circular

Leeds, UK

An introduction to one of the many 'bridle path' walks that are popular in Yorkshire. A fairly easy trail run on dirt paths and small lanes, combining wood and fields. Highlights include Fulneck Moravian Settlement, Pudsey & Tyersal Beck, Black Carr Woods.
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Middleton Park

Leeds, UK

470-acre park in the southern part of Leeds that's a terrific spot for an easy trail run. There are 3-4 miles of rolling hill trails though fields, woods, and around a small lake. There's also a running track at the northeast end of the park.
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Horsforth Hall Park & Hunger Hills

Leeds, UK

Combining the paths around the open green space of Horsforth Hall Park with the trails through the wooded Hunger Hills makes for a fun, hilly run in the northeastern section of Leeds. There's a running track at Leeds Trinity University.
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Leeds Canal to Kirkstall Abbey

Leeds, UK

Choose a section of the 127-mile Leeds-Liverpool canal path for a classic English canal run. We've mapped an 8-mile out and back from Leeds to Kirkstall Abbey, with nice water views, pastoral sections, and attractive Abbey parkland. Add Armley Park stairs!
Explore

Leeds weather is typical of that of the UK: cool, overcast winters and mild summers. In summer, average highs are in the 19-20C (high 60sF) range, with cool nights. It rarely gets overly hot, but it can be humid. Winters temperatures are in the 0-5C range, with occasional snow. Although nearly half the days every year see precipitation, it only amounts to 660mm (25 inches) — less than New York. Runners should also note the significant difference in day length due Leeds’ latitude.

Wikipedia

Leeds has a good variety of accommodations. From a running perspective, if you stay in the center city inside of the A58/A61 highways, you’ll have access to several of our major running routes.

RUNNING STORES

Leeds has a large selection of running and outdoor recreation stores. The popular UK chain of running stores, Up and Running, has several outlets in the area. We also love Runners Need Leeds. Yorkshire Runner is a bit outside the city and is a good gateway to some of Yorkshire’s extensive parks and trails.

GROUP RUNS

Yorkshire has a vibrant running culture, with many active running groups, parkruns, and local running events. RunLeeds  is an excellent resource for running groups, events, and routes.

 

Time Outdoors is an excellent resource for running events in Leeds and the surrounding Yorkshire area.