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West Wood

West Wood

A quirky ancient woodland with secrets to discover and hidden grottos to explore. Great for nature lovers and dog walkers.

West Wood

An ancient broadleaved woodland located near the village of Calverly, once the garden of an impressive Victorian House now transformed into a woodland home to a variety of birds, including the nuthatcher.

West Wood is part of the West Leeds Country Park, a 62 mile circular trail that runs from the City Centre through the green corridor of the Aire Valley around Calverly, south of Pudsey and into Armley and Wortley.

This quirky site has lots of hidden glimpses of the past to discover. Go for a hike or take the dog for a walk, grab your binoculars and see what birds you can spot and forage for wild berries.

Location Details

Things to Note

West Wood has the following on-site or nearby:

  • Disabled Access
  • Dog Waste Bins
  • Nearby Food & Drink
  • Nearby Parking
  • Nearby Shops
  • Pushchair Access
  • Rubbish Bins

Location

West Wood is a 19 acre stretch of woodland located in the beautiful Aire Valley between Shipley and Pudsey. The woods are close to the village of Calverly and are 10 miles from Leeds City Centre and 4 miles from Bradford. West Wood links with Calverley Wood and Lodge Wood, creating a mass of woodland alive with wildlife and luscious foliage. Why not make the most of your visit to this part of Leeds and explore them all.

Things to Do

Explore the ancient woodlands

West Wood is an ancient woodland planted in the Victorian era. Walk through the woods and you will find a forest of  broadleaved trees including Oak, Birch, Beech and Sycamore, Maple and Lime. Take a moment to admire them in all their glory as you listen to the swishing leaves as the trees sway in the wind. Visit in the spring to see the woodland flow adorned with beautiful Bluebells.

Spot the wildlife

A haven for wildlife, West Wood is home to a variety of birds and small animals. The woods are a popular place with birdwatchers. Grab your camera and binoculars and keep an eye out for blackbirds, robins, great tits, blue tits, chaffinch, nuthatch and the great spotted woodpecker. Visit in the summer months and listen closely, you may be able to hear the songs of the willow warbler and wood warbler.

Forage for wild delights

Take in the sights and smells throughout the seasons and forage for wild goodies for dining and crafting. Spring is a great time to collect fresh flowers and pick wild garlic. Visit in the autumn and forage for wild cherries, blackberries and sweet chestnuts. Gather Holly, Rowan and Ivy to adorn your home in the winter months. Visit Woodland Trust for a detailed guide on foraging delights to look out for each month.

Get involved in activities

The woods host a variety of activities throughout the year. Past events have included guided walks, wellbeing and photography sessions and tree planting events. Woodland events are a great day out and vary to suit a variety of interests and ages.

Great for a leisurely stroll or hike

West Wood is a great place to walk or hike. Take a leisurely stroll along the woodland and old victorian pathways whilst you enjoy the sights and sound of nature. Extend your visit with a walk down waterside walk down Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which passes close by at Apperley Bridge. The Canal & River Trust have created a map to help. For those who enjoy a challenging walk, why not venture along the Leeds Country Way a 62 mile circular trail that takes you on a journey round Leeds and passes through West Wood.

West Wood is Dog Friendly

West Wood is a great place to walk the dog, with places to play fetch and undergrowth to explore. Woodland Trust asks that dog owners follow the dog walking code of conduct and keep dogs on a lead in areas where there are grazing animals or nesting birds.

History

Once the garden of an impressive Victorian house known as Champion Hall, West Wood is a site with lots of quirky secrets to uncover. As you explore the woods look out for remains of the house’s woodland gardens. You will find a walled kitchen garden, a cottage, a large pond that was used as a swimming pool and grottoes interweaved with pathways and steps, partially hidden amongst the greenery.

Did you know that during the Second World War West Woods was a training ground for troops preparing for the D-day landings. It later housed Prisoners of War. Rumour has it that Italian prisoners helped build the houses in the nearby Greengates area.

West Wood was the site of Guy’s Firework Factory in the 1950s. The factory had 16 huts throughout the woods and employed up to 80 people during peak times of business, which came to an abrupt end in 1957 after a large explosion at the factory. The blast killed 3 people, with the inquest finding that the explosion was caused by a spark from a workers drill bit which ignited gunpowder stored in the hut.

Amenities

There are no toilet facilities at West Wood. The nearest public toilets are located at Morrisons Supermarket on Bradford Road, Greengates.

Food and Drink

The woods make for a lovely spot to picnic. Pack your sandwiches and stop for a bite to eat, fallen trees double up as a great picnic bench.

Or head over the the Apperley Bridge  where there is a selection of places to eat including  Aldo’s Italian  a lovely family run business  serves up delicious classic pizza, pasta and Mediterranean dishes in a warm and inviting family atmosphere.

If you’re after a beverage or two pop into the Dog and Gun  , choose from a selection of cask ales, wines and hot and cold drinks. Visit on a Sunday and treat yourself to a fabulous roast dinner.

Parking

Roadside parking near West Wood is available at Apperley Bridge and Parking Lane.

Access

There are a number of well used paths that run through West Wood. Sections of pathways are uneven; there are some steep sections, boggy and slippery areas. Use caution when visiting with wheelchairs and pushchairs.

How to Get To West Wood

Google Map Directions

West Wood can be reached by car by following either the A647, A657 or A65 from Leeds City Centre.

Travelling by bus? The 60 Airline bus takes you direct from Leeds City Centre. There are also a number of bus routes which run along Carr Road (A657) and stop in Calverly, a short distance from West Woods.

Other Locations Near West Wood

Looking for other places near West Wood? Here are three other locations just around the corner.