Middleton Woods features an impressive 200 acres of ancient woods. It is the largest remaining ancient woodlands in West Yorkshire.
Dotted with historical and archaeological features, parts of the site date back to 1300 giving a fascinating glimpse into Leeds historical past. Venture into the woods for a teddy bears picnic, go bug hunting in the undergrowth and imagine the stories that the ancient trees could tell.
Also known as Middleton Woods Nature Reserve, it is an important site of conservation in Leeds and home to an array of trees, insects, birds and mammal species.
Whilst you’re here, why not give Middleton Park a visit for a packed day of nature and family fun.
Take a look around
Things to Note
Middleton Woods has the following on-site or nearby:
- Accessible Toilets
- Disabled Access
- Disabled Parking
- Dog Waste Bins
- Nearby Food & Drink
- Nearby Parking
- Nearby Shops
- Nearby Toilets
- On-site Food and Drink
- On-site Toilets
Middleton Woods is located in the Leeds suburb of Middleton, situated on a hill 4 miles south of Leeds City Centre, offering views over the city skyline. The woods are entwined in the fabulous Middleton Park. Visit both today, to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Leeds historical past and a host of activities for all the family to enjoy.
Things to Do
Explore the ancient Woodlands
Middleton Woods is the largest remaining ancient woodland in West Yorkshire and has been continuously wooded since 1600. The woods are home to beech, hazel, sycamore, birch and sweet chestnut trees. Can you spot them all? Take in the ancient beauty of the tree barks standing tall, hear the leaves rustle in the breeze and wonder what fascinating events they have witnessed and stories they could tell.
Visit in the early spring to see the delightful carpet of bluebells and wildflowers in bloom. Admire the butterflies displaying their wings in the summer. Watch the tree leaves as they turn hues of red and yellow during the autumn, gather seeds and see what varieties of fungi you can spot in the autumn.
Look closely at the dead and fallen trees and leaves scattered on the floor and you will find hidden life scuttling amongst the undergrowth. Look out for woodlice, beetles and spiders going about their daily business.
The woods are home to a variety of mammals and birds. Keep your eyes peeled for mice, voles, squirrels and bats. Can you hear the woodpeckers pecking at tree bark?
Take a ride on the world’s oldest working railway
Ride the world’s oldest railway which enables you to ride on steam trains of days gone by. Enjoy a 25 minute round trip from Moor Park to the edge of Middleton Woods. A great addition to your day and suitable for all the family. To find out more and how to book visit Middleton Railway.
Run in Middleton Woods
Get yourself down to Middleton Woods every Saturday at 9am to take part in the Middleton Woods 5km time Parkrun where the only person you have to beat is yourself. The event is free but please register before your first run. Find out more about Middleton Parkrun. Take a look at the parkrun route here.
Middleton Woods and the adjoining Middleton Park are great places to take your four legged friends for a stroll. Put your dog on the lead and take them for a leisurely stroll around the park and rose gardens. Need to let off some steam? Let them roam freely and explore the old tram tracks in the heart of the ancient woodlands.
Be sure to visit Middleton Park
When in this neck of the woods make sure you visit the adjoining Middleton park which has a playground, visitor centre and fishing lake and is home to the Leeds Urban Bike Hub and Middleton Park Equestrian Centre.
Want to support Middleton Woods?
Join the Middleton Park Estate Volunteers where you can make new friends and get stuck in with gardening and estate maintenance. The group welcomes new volunteers and meets every Thursday between 10 am and 3pm. To express your interest contact the Middleton Park Estate Officer.
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Delve into the Middletons Woods historic past and take part in the transport trail which takes you on a journey to the sites of historic and existing means of transport through the park and woods including tramways, waggon ways and the world’s oldest working railway.
Middleton Wood is an ancient woodland with a rich history. The land has been wooded since the 1600s, so some of the trees here may be hundreds of years old.
Hidden amongst the woodland you will find bowl-shaped pits. These are believed to be the remains of an early form of medieval coal mining dating back to the 1300s, which archaeologists completed survey work to find out more about the land in 2007.
Home to the world’s oldest working railway, Middleton was instrumental in developing travel for Leeds and the wider world. Can you spot the hidden tram tracks and wagon ways amongst the trees?
Toilet facilities, including an accessible toilet can be found at the Visitor Centre in Middleton Park, a short walk from the woods. Toilets are opening during the visiting centre’s opening hours. Hours may vary. There are bins located around the woods and park.
Food and Drink
Middleton Woods provides the perfect backdrop for a picnic. Take a seat on the benches or throw down a blanket under the trees and tuck into your sandwiches. Out for a spontaneous walk, feeling a bit peckish and didn’t bring your sarnies? Head over to the cafe in Middleton park and pick from a selection of sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and ice-creams.
Picnic not your thing? Why not head to the nearby White Rose Centre where you can find a selection of great eateries including Prezzos Italian, Pizza Hut and Frankie & Benny’s and indulge in some retail therapy.
There is ample car parking for Middleton Woods.
Middleton Woods is an inclusive space. There are tarmacked paths around the visitor centre, park and woodlands that are accessible to wheelchair users and pushchairs. Whilst in the woods please stick to the main paths.
Be careful in the rain and cold weather as paths may become wet and slippery. To help with access mobility scooters are available to hire free of charge from the visitor centre. Please call 01133781142 to book.
How to Get To Middleton Woods
Travelling by bus? Routes 2, 3, 3A, 12, 13, 13A and 17 will drop you within a short walking distance of the park.
If travelling by car from surrounding areas the park can be reached via M621 and the Ring Road. Visitors can use the Middleton Park car park.
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