Best Parks for Pups in North Leeds
There are many different features that make this park fantastic- the bridges that go across the beck, in autumn when the leaves are all turning the shades of russet and orange…
North Leeds has an impressive number of beautiful parks and wilderness areas where you and your pups can experience the best of the nature and enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. In this blog I will outline my views the different parks that I have visited as a dog photographer, how they are suited for dog/pet photography and how they are in general with their dog-friendliness, amenities, parking, access and paths and beauty.
Meanwood, The Hollies, Scotland Wood and Adel Wood
Meanwood Park is a mixed managed woodland and grassed area park found in the bustling area of Meanwood, just nestled between Headingley and Alwoodly, with great amenities including the Three Cottages Cafe, where excellent refreshments are on offer. The paths are mixed in nature, with some tarmacced, some stone-based but many of a semi-rough nature. There is a circular route that follows the main paths meandering route through the pin-oak forest and joins the Meanwood goit (an old water channel designed for the powering water wheels in the industrial mills that were there many years ago) after crossing a bridge above a small weir across Meanwood Beck.
The main route then follows alongside the goit and Meanwood Beck to return to the main fields and cafe. There are many different features that make this park fantastic- the bridges that go across the beck, in autumn when the leaves are all turning the shades of russet and orange, the variety of the terrain and the friendliness of the puppers and their humans. It also has a slice of Antarctic Heroic History, with a monument dedicated to Captain Lawrence Oates, who perished on the ill-fated Scott Antarctic expedition to the South Pole.
Meanwood Park is linked to three other parks - The Hollies up the hill to the South-West, and under the outer ring road, Scotland and Adel Woods.
The Hollies are a spectacular park with large impressive rhododendron bushes of all colours and are well worth a visit when they are in bloom in spring and summer. The paths from the Meanwood Park are quite rough and not well formed but there is access to the Hollies from Weetwood Lane and a more accessible path at the top of the park. The paths meander through the older mixed rhododendron and azalea woodland with mixed mature beech, oak and conifer trees, and small springs.
Scotland Woods and Adel Woods
Scotland Wood is another section of mixed pin-oak, beech and conifer woodland that is linked to Meanwood Park by a culvert going under the Outer Ring Road (A6120), which follows Meanwood Beck. The trails here are well formed especially after taking the right hand fork over the stone bridge and up onto the top trail, where several well designed paths and small bridges follow the side of the hill. There are walkways over the more soggy sections, and the path comes out at the Seven Arches aqueduct, a main water artery from Eccup Reservoir to the city of Leeds. Beyond this is one of the hidden gems of the Meanwood Beck/Adel Beck green corridor- Adel Moor. This is a fantastic site of urban open moorland where heathers and other moorland species thrive. It is particularly spectacular during the purple flowering season in August-September! Both Scotland Wood and Adel Wood have easy access to Old Leodesians rugby and cricket club, with a car park just off King Lane. Adel Woods also have a car park off Stair Foot Lane, near to Adel Crags and the woodland on the other side of the rugby grounds.
The whole area is a popular place for walkers, runners and bikers, who follow can the Meanwood Valley Trail from Woodhouse Moor all the way through to Golden Acre Park, passing through Meanwood Park, Scotland Wood, Adel Wood and going past the impressive Seven arches viaduct. To extend the Meanwood Valley Trail even further, follow the signs to Eccup Reservoir, and go even further through to historic Harewood House! (Just beware that when going through the farmland around Eccup and Harewood you should have you furry friends on leads as there can be cows and sheep in the paddocks).
Overall I think that Meanwood Park, where an interesting mix of woodland and park, old industrial relics and modern cafe scene, and a wide network of track options to keep even the most intrepid four-legged explorer busy for many walks!