Potternewton Park is a popular and versatile park in the heart of Chapeltown, with activities for people of all ages. For one weekend in August the park becomes a focal point for the celebration of West Indian culture and is recognised as one of the longest running, and fastest growing celebrations of its kind in Europe.
Take a look around
Things to Note
Potternewton Park has the following on-site or nearby:
- Disabled Access
- Dog Waste Bins
- Nearby Food & Drink
- Nearby Parking
- Nearby Shops
- Pushchair Access
- Rubbish Bins
- Wheelchair Access
The park is over 32 acres in size and is located between Harehills and Chapeltown, 2-miles north east of Leeds city centre.
Things to Do
Friends of Potternewton Park
The Friends of group are committed to keeping the park a tidy, clean and inviting space for the public. This volunteer group work alongside the council in promoting a positive environment through relationship building; fundraising; community events; and practical work to the environment. Sign-up to volunteer with the Friends of Potternewton Park.
Running at Potternewton
The park is a perfect terrain to get your heart beating and your lungs pumping. This short park loop mapped by Leeds Run Routes will test any walker and runner.
If you feel confident to share a walk or run with other people then check out the super supportive parkrun event every Saturday morning. Over 100 people come to complete 5k and have a brew afterwards. You can join the event for free every Saturday from 9am at Potternewton parkrun.
The exercise trail – hanging bars, bikes and strengthening equipment – are ideal for an exercise regime on your terms or with friends. This trail can be found spread across the northern end of the park.
Alongside the more contemporary take on sport and fitness is the traditional game of bowls played on a crown green bowling surface. Potternewton Park Bowling Club are based here.
There is a concrete marked basketball court in the middle of the park next to the tennis court and skatepark.
The skatepark comes with different sized ramps, inclines and rails for any board, BMX or scooter to use. Installations include a mini-ramp, a back and forth run with a quarter pipe and bank on the sides of a jump-box.
LS-TEN host a bi-weekly skateboard and roller-skating coaching session every other Saturday between 10am-12pm in Potternewton Park. Simply turn up and take part.
Potternewton Park has 2 hard tennis courts that are in reasonable condition. Anyone can use the court and there is no requirement to book in advance. Simply turn up and play.
In the centre of the park just below the sports courts is the playground that comes with a variety of installations that appeal to both a toddler and a child.
Our picks are the aerial zipwire, slides, swings including a bucket, bucket spinners, sandpit, spider web climbing frame. And after the fun you can unwind on the picnic bench or take it down a gear with a giant game of chess marked on the floor.
Take a look at our break down of the best playgrounds in Leeds.
Walk around the park and orchid
The park itself is adorned with beautiful trees that shelters the greenery from the busy roads. Follow the path around the edge and appreciate the numerous open flower beds and a community orchid tucked away just behind the tennis courts. If you do a full loop you’ll pass the mansion house to the north of the park.
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Black Music Festival
The Black Music Festival – previously called the Leeds Reggae Concert – is Europe’s biggest free to access open-air reggae concert and festival with sound systems; a fun fair; food; arts and crafts to experience. Beginning its musical journey in 1985 the festival was setup to showcase some of the best Reggae music from around the world. And from R&B to Hip Hop it has since gone on to celebrate the wider evolutions of black musical culture. We recommend you check it out on the bank holiday Sunday as the perfect carnival warmup.
West Indian Carnival
Famously founded in 1967 by Arthur France and a group of West Indian students in Leeds as a need to embrace their Caribbean culture and heritage. Drawing hundreds of thousands of people from all over Yorkshire, and beyond. This annual August bank holiday festivity is a tapestry of costume, rhythm, food and entertainment that celebrates the depth and beauty of Caribbean culture. Immerse yourself in the heritage of the event and follow the path of time with the Leeds carnival trail map.
The origin of Potternewton Park is a literal namesake. In the Roman period the park and wider area was a place of pottery manufacture. Over time the area became private property of different landed gentries – the Mauleverers, the Scotts, and the Hardwicks – and eventually the Earl of Mexborough and Earl of Cowper. You’ll recognise these latter two names on the residential streets either side of Chapeltown Road.
By the 1800s a gentleman known as James Brown presided over the legal deeds to much of the area in and around the park. And by the early 19th century mansions were popping up left, right and centre in the area we now know as Harehills and Chapeltown. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the 750-acre estate saw back-to-back terraces built on it – many you will recognise surrounding the park now.
With ongoing development reaching a peak at the end of the 19th century the council, formerly known as Leeds Corporation bought and created Potternewton Park in 1900. Soon after, Potternewton Mansion was opened to the public in 1906, becoming an educational hub for the local area in 1929. The house is now the start and finish for the Leeds Carnival procession.
Dog walkers can make the most of the wide hilly expanses between the sports courts and play installations; with rubbish and dog waste bins on many of the paved walking routes around the park. But, please factor in that there are no public toilets available when using the park.
Food and Drink
Just under 1-mile from the park is Maureen’s – arguably the best Caribbean restaurant and takeaway in Leeds. For over 20 years Maureen has been serving up traditional Caribbean home cooking favourites like curried goat, jerk chicken and a slice of pineapple cake to finish it off. And thirst quenching homemade drinks including Mo special juice, sorrel and ginger, cucumber juice and pineapple punch.
There is no official parking for Potternewton Park. However, as the park is located in a residential area, there are plenty of side streets to park on. We suggest:
All the entrances apart from one – there is a step entrance at the top of Avenue Hill not suitable for wheelchairs – are accessible to all.
Once in the park each path is negotiable with a wheelchair and pushchair; keep in mind that some of these paths can be hilly and steep. And over in the playground the equipment has been installed to promote inclusive play.
How to Get To Potternewton Park
Getting to Potternewton Park is really easy. First Bus Leeds numbers 2, 3, 36, 48, 91 all take you from the city centre to Chapeltown Road. Alight at the Reginald Centre and walk 200 yards down Harehills Avenue to enter the southern end of the park. If travelling by taxi it is a 10-minute journey from the centre of Leeds.
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