The best running routes near central Leeds

Woodhouse Ridge

Running on a treadmill at the gym while staring mindlessly at the same machine can be tedious and demotivating. Exercising shouldn’t have to be a burden or a chore. Instead it should be a chance for you to push yourself, feel invigorated, explore more places and free your mind as well as your body.

Running is a proven method of stress release, as well as a fantastic way to stay healthy and keep fit. Here’s a few pretty running routes near the centre of Leeds which can help banish the boredom of the gym and motivate you to experience the great outdoors.

Woodhouse Ridge

One of the few remaining wooded areas of the ancient manor of Leeds, Woodhouse Ridge has a network of paths which wind through the woods, showcasing a stunning view of Meanwood through the tops of the trees. With the option of flat paths for beginners, or steep hills for intermediates, this route has an option for every type of runner. Home to many plants, flowers and trees, Woodhouse Ridge is beautiful in any weather. But be warned, when rainy the mud comes out to play and makes staying clean a near impossible task.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

With a total distance of over 127 miles, this route can be short and sweet, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even make your way towards Liverpool. As a popular destination for joggers or cyclists, you will often pass friendly faces who will reward you a smile or nod. The canal provides many sights to see: passing trains, dedicated fishermen, hurried business people, leisurely dog walkers, busy construction workers, and best of all; nature. Following the right hand side of the canal leads you to fields of horses and a sheltered tree route, while the left hand side provides an open concrete path with the view of the rushing water and the grand offices leading towards the city centre.  

Sugarwell Hill

This hill can be found on Meanwood road, and is not one for the light-hearted. Getting up the hill can be a challenge for both your legs and your heart, but it’s well worth the push. Showcasing the whole of Leeds from Woodhouse to the city centre; you can see for miles. Watching the sunrise over Leeds is a treat which is well worth the effort of getting out of a warm and comfy bed.

Running up a steep hill or jogging through a treed pathway is a great escape from the repetitive and tasking trips to the gym. Mixing up your exercise routine is the best way to stay on track; your body and mind will thank you.


Photo: Rebecca Midgley

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I love cocktails. Also a big fan of bargain hunting, running and hummus.

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