Running in the beautiful south: Middleton Park

As at last it looks like the springtime is finally upon us, the best way to enjoy the weather is to get out and enjoy the outdoors whether that be in the form of a walk, run or bike ride. Here’s another suggestion from the South Leeds Lakers Running Club:

Middleton Park is a gem in the urban expanse of Leeds. It is a 190 hectare (470 acre) green space with a mixture of parkland and ancient woodland just four miles from the city centre. If you want to combine a day out with a run or just have a quiet jaunt in the fresh air, Middleton Park can accommodate your needs.

For those who like to explore, there are many paths and woodland trails that incorporate the mining and transport heritage trails. The profile of the park is, well, a bit hilly so it is ideally suited to those who like hills, want a variation from a flat canal run or just want a new challenge. The paths and trails consist of long gradual climbs, such as the old tram track, with the option of short steeper ascents for those wanting a harder session.

The locally known ‘Scrooge Hill’ is a steep set of steps next to the John Charles Centre for Sport, which make for good hill reps. Information plaques on boulders along the Heritage trail allow you the opportunity for a breather and to take in some history of the park and its wildlife. As with any grassy area and off-road trail the footpaths are prone to mud in wet weather so trail shoes would be advisable; otherwise road shoes would be suitable.

The main footpaths take you around the park, which bloom with bluebells in spring and the canopy of trees provide shelter whatever the weather. The path takes you past the rose garden and Nicks view; a memorial to a former Chair of the Friends of Middleton Park, which overlooks the former golf course. The clearings and the old golf course are grassed areas that offer another terrain for your run. The clearings is the only flat area within the park, it is a large grassed area used by South Leeds Aero Modellers Society to fly model aircraft on Sundays.

It is quite easy to clock up 10k or more by snaking your way up and down the many routes. The new Urban Bike Park features a café if a pit-stop is required en route. The Park is also popular for events and has played host to the West Yorkshire Winter League, Leeds Christmas 10k and Go-Tri duathlons. The Park will become part of the parkrun family from 28 April 2018.

With its visitor centre, café, free parking, bowling greens, fishing lake, playground, multi-use games area and access to the world’s oldest working railway, Middleton Park has much to offer so there is no excuse not to make a day of it, or at least to check it out.

Courtesy of Friends of Middleton Park. Click to enlarge


This post was written by Linda Featherstone using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.