The top 10 parks and gardens in Leeds

Leeds, located in West Yorkshire, is one our favourite cities in England and, indeed, a couple of our developments are based in and around Leeds, including Strawberry Fields and Greenlock Place.

A big reason we love Leeds is the sheer number of parks and gardens the city boasts. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to go for a leisurely stroll or a fun picnic, Leeds, with its large open spaces and beautiful country estates, has something for everyone.

Here’s our list of our top 10 parks and gardens to visit in Leeds:

Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park is one of the largest parks in Leeds and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The park covers over 700 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in the world. 

The park has many great features such as lakes, gardens, a playground, sport pitches, a cafe and much more. There are different events all year round, including the annual bonfire and firework display. There is something for all ages at Roundhay Park, a must visit with friends and family. 

Temple Newsam Park

Temple Newsam Park is a beautiful country estate that features a house and gardens which date back to the 16th century. The estate is home to a variety of animals and birds, and there are also many walking trails that wind through the gardens. You can also take guided tours of the house which allow you to take a closer look at the art and the antiques displayed inside.

Temple Newsam Park also has a Home Farm where you can see farmyard animals such as lambs, piglets, guinea pigs and more. 

Golden Acre Park

Golden Acre Park is a large park, boasting 179 acres of parkland, located in the north of Leeds, and is perfect for a family day out. The park features a lake and a café where you can grab snacks and refreshments.

There are also a number of species of duck, swans, geese and more to look out for, as well as rabbits and squirrels. Children are welcome to play ball games on the grass and make the most of the cycle paths around the park.

Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined abbey situated on the banks of the River Aire. The abbey is a great spot for a picnic, or to simply indulge at the café if a picnic isn't for you. Visitors are encouraged to explore the ruins and learn about the history of the area.

Kirkstall Abbey holds regular events throughout the year so keep an eye out for family and seasonal activities. The abbey can also be hired out for weddings and events.

York Gate Garden

York Gate Garden is a beautiful Eden that’s been managed by the Spencer family since 1951 – with work only finishing on it in 1994. It is one of the famous Perennial’s Gardens – The UK’s only charity helping everyone in horticulture build and live better lives, offering one-to-one support, advice and guidance to enable people to be more in control of their lives physically, mentally and financially. It also won TripAdvisor’s ‘Travellers Choice Award’ in 2022 and 2023.

Asides from visiting the gardens, you can also grab a bite at the York Gate café, known for their homemade food, made using local produce. The café’s menu changes from season to season, so you’re always guaranteed something new and exciting. 

You may even feel inspired to transform your own garden once you’ve paid York Gate Garden a visit. Luckily, the garden also has a special nursery where you can purchase specialist garden tools to help you do so!

Middleton Park

Middleton Park stretches across 630 acres, with 200 acres being ancient woodland. The park also has a children’s play area, two bowling greens, plenty of grassland, and a visitor centre with a café. 

The park regularly hosts special events throughout the year so keep an eye on their website for more information.

Walking around the park, you may also notice a number of bowl-shaped pits. These are the remnants of a bygone area when the park was a coal mine back in the 1660s.  

The perfect place to visit if you’re interested in natural history.

Meanwood Valley Trail

Meanwood Valley Trail is a trail that stretches for 7.5 miles and runs through the Meanwood Valley; a beautiful natural area located on the outskirts of Leeds. The trail is helpfully clearly signposted and there are plenty of places to stop off for a meal or a drink along the way. 

The trail is perfect for walking, cycling, or horse-riding and offers beautiful views of the valley and the surrounding countryside.

Beckett Park

Beckett Park is a small park located in the Headingley area of Leeds. It offers great views of the Kirkstall valley and is a particularly great place to take in a sunset. 

As well as offering stunning views, the park also features a skate park, a children’s playground, an outdoor fitness centre, and a number of tennis courts which are open to the public and completely free to use.  

Leeds University Sustainable Garden

Leeds University Sustainable Garden is an eco-friendly garden situated on the university’s campus. The garden is home to a number of plant types, boasting a diverse ecosystem that includes wildflowers, fruit hedgerows, insect houses and more! 

The garden has a ‘Little Library’ which operates as a leave a book/take a book communal area and there’s also a mindfulness space currently in development. 

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve is located on the banks of the River Aire and is home to over 130 species of plants and 16 species of butterflies.

Whilst the reserve is the perfect place for a walk or a picnic, if neither for you, you can always pop down to the City Golf Club House to grab a drink. 

If you think these parks are as amazing as we do, why not browse our selection of new houses in Leeds at our Strawberry Fields and Greenlock Place developments?