Wild Swimming in the Yorkshire Dales
Discover more about Wild Swimming and try some of the best spots in England with Lizzie Carr.
Roundhay park is one of the most popular parks in Leeds. Covering 700 acres of parkland, you can easily plan enjoyable walking, running or cycling routes around the park, of various lengths. With two lakes at the park, you can enjoy being both in nature, near some soothing water.
Several sports clubs use the facilities at Roundhay park, as well as being for things such as rowing, canoeing, cycling, fitness classes and more. Parkrun also runs every Saturday morning. There are also several walks you can do, along a variety of paths and trails, allowing you to see the various sights that Roundhay Park has to offer. If you want to make a day of it, there are several cafés where you can get food and refreshments. Or, you can have a picnic on one of the benches.
Roundhay Park is home to Tropical World, where you will find a large selection of wildlife and tropical sea life. There is a vast range of animals, wildlife and plants at tropical world – but do note that you have to pay to get in. Roundhay Park is, however, free.
A large selection of events are held at the park, from Food Festivals to Triathlons. To check out their full list of events, see here.
Golden Acre Park is set on the outskirts of Leeds. With 179 acres of woodland, and a beautiful lake, the park is the perfect escape to nature for anyone.
The paths are perfect for walking with a pram, and so should also be suitable for wheelchair or mobility scooter users. There is a path around the park that allows you to walk, run, skip, or cycle a loop, as well as a circular walk around the lake.
If you want to take young children to the park, they can enjoy feeding the ducks in the ponds (although make sure this is done from the grass area rather than the bridge).
Golden Acre Park has a large selection of flowers for you to feast your eyes on and enjoy the scent of. The evolving selection changes every year.
Finally, for your cup of tea and snack, Golden Acre Park has a tea rooms that also has outdoor seating facilities.
Yeadon Tarnfield Park is set 9 miles north-west of Leeds city centre. The park is home to a tarn (a large lake), and provides the perfect spot for viewing planes taking off and landing at Leeds and Bradford airport.
With scenic walks and paths suitable for wheelchair users – Yeadon Tarnfield Park is accessible to everyone.
A host of activities are available here, such as playing bowls or fishing. There’s a BMX track if you’re into bikes, and a playground for the children. There is also a range of water sports activities, including the Yeadon Sailing club.
Yeadon Tarnfield park can definitely provide enough activity for you to get outside this summer!Open in OS maps
Darwin Gardens Millennium green is an area of open space in Ilkley, that is free to visit. Most of the site is wheelchair accessible.
Only a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, along a pedestrian route – it is the perfect place to walk to.
The gardens contain many features that have been inspired by the evolution of Ilkley, such as the fact Charles Darwin resided here during the writing of his first book. There are also features inspired by the historic buildings surrounding the Millennium Green.
Darwin gardens millennium green is overlooked by Ilkley Moor, which rises to 402 metres above sea level. This moor is also where a retired policeman claimed to have spotted an alien and UFO, in 1987.
The gardens also have picnic tables and seats for you to enjoy a leisurely lunch or rest – if you haven’t been abducted first!Open in OS maps
Four miles from the city centre, resides Middleton Park. Made up of ancient woodland and grasslands, the park provides the perfect place for walking and exploring.
The park has a history of coal mining, and there are still shaft mounds visible in the park (270 to be precise!). Why not try and find them all during your visit?
When you fancy an activity whilst exploring this greenspace, there are two bowling greens to keep you occupied. There is also a children’s play area and other recreational areas, as well as a fishing lake meaning there are plenty of activities for all of the family!
The park has a bowling club that uses the bowling green, so if you’re into bowls you could join their club. The park is also host to a variety of events, such as walks and music, so have a look at their events page for more information.
When everyone is exhausted from activities, the park does have a café (although make sure you check opening hours).Open in OS maps