Wharfemeadows is one of the prettiest parks in the metropolitan district of Leeds. Beautiful landscape that is both manicured and natural combines to make this an oasis of escape for locals.
Take a look around
Things to Note
Wharfemeadows Park has the following on-site or nearby:
- Accessible Toilets
- Disabled Access
- Dog Waste Bins
- Nearby Food & Drink
- Nearby Parking
- Pushchair Access
- Rubbish Bins
- Wheelchair Access
Otley is a market town on the apex point of the River Wharfe around 10-miles north-west of Leeds city centre.
Things to Do
Here is our top picks of things to do at Wharfemeadows Park:
River Wharfe Walk
The River Wharfe walk takes you through some of the best parks and nature reserves located on the river in Otley. Wharfemeadows Park is the mid-point stop off between Manor Garth Park and Gallows Hill Nature Reserve. Tittybottle Park is also a stones throw away. The walk is around 2-miles in total and will give you good wildlife spotting opportunities. For the full route head over to GPS Routes.
With so much beauty on offer and the bonus of having the river run beside you this spot is perfect to let the dog off the lead on a walk. Bring a ball for those big green expanses too!
One of the best things of Wharfemeadows is the ability to get onto the river on a boat or pedalo. In good warm weather you can rent one of these to venture up and down the stretch of river next to the park. Why not combine this with a duck and swan feeding session before heading to the playground or skatepark.
The Wharfemeadows playground is soft floored and comes with a variety of slides and swings for children of all ages to play on. Separated with a lower and higher level for the young’uns and big’uns play.
There’s even a hydroelectric screw that connects to the weir opposite. Bring some wet clothes as the play can get wet when turning this to generate green electricity. It’s the first hydroelectric scheme on the river.
Alongside the river in Wharfemeadows Park is the skate park which was opened back in 2012. It’s got all the ramps you’ll need to catch some air on a bike or skateboard.
There are two hardcourt tennis that are well maintained in the park. You’ll need to catch some good daylight to play on these as they aren’t under lights.
The outdoor gym comes ready armed with a press, stretch, pedal and step equipment.
In and amongst the parkland of Wharfemeadows are a series of beautiful gardens. Take a leisurely walk through these and appreciate the temporary beauty of the seasonal flower beds and the perfectly shaped conifers.
Otley in Bloom, Otley 2030 and Wildlife Friendly Otley are managing the wildflower beds to increase diversity of pollinators.
Much of the wildlife on show is of the aquatic kind – get spotting for the swans, ducks, kingfishers, and occasionally heron.
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Otley Walking Festival
Many of the routes at the Otley Walking Festival start and finish at Wharfemeadows Park. For the full walkdown of the yearly event check out the full festival listing online.
History of the Park
The area became a park due to a combination of a purchased by the Council in 1924, and a donation of land by Major Fawkes. The total area of the park is around 60 acres alongside the River Wharfe.
Originally there were open-air swimming pools, seesaws and swings, sandpit, 6 tennic courts, a 9 hole putting green and a bowls green.
History of Otley
The development of Otley as a town starts with the Saxons and King Athelstan. It was said that the archbishops of York had a residence and were lords of the manor at first.
Alongside the beginning of agriculture and the use of woodland, there was a push to the production of stone and potash which helped the finishing of woollen cloth. These materials were supplied by abundance of the Chevin forest.
From the 18th century the advancement and mechanisation of industry gave birth to cotton mills in the area. Water and steam played a pivotal part in this!
There are toilets within the park. Attached to the café to the right of the ice-cream hatch. A radar key can be obtained from the staff at the café for the disabled toilet.
If these are closed, the other option is a 15-minute walk over at the Orchard Gate shopping centre. Don’t forget to bring 30p for the entry charge.
Rubbish bins and dog waste bins are available in the park.
Food and Drink
There are some fantastic scenic spots along the river for a picnic. Bear in mind that there isn’t any picnic benches available, so bring a blanket.
Fish and Chips
Fancy a chippy? Pop into The Wharfe on Bridge Street for some traditional fish and chips.
The Wharfemeadows Park café makes a mean coffee and ice-cream. Keep an eye on the short opening times and if you fancy something bigger then get yourself to one of the pubs.
Like the super dog friendly Black Horse on Westgate that serve up some top quality pub grub and local craft ales.
Park for free on the residential street of Farnley Lane, postcode: LS21 2BD (Google Map Directions). This is the closest parking spot to the Wharfemeadows Park. However this can fil quickly on popular days.
The Licks/North Parade Car Park is free on Sundays and is a 10 minute walk. There are no blue badge spaces at this site.
Wharfemeadows Park is disability and wheelchair accessible.
How to Get To Wharfemeadows Park
Otley Bus Station is a 15 minute walk from Wharfemeadows Park
34 to from Otley Bus station to Menston RS ( First Leeds).
965 from Otley Bus Station runs via Wharfemeadows Park to Wharfedale General Hospital and North Otley.
To return to Otley
965 outside Parkgate Cafe and alight at Otley Bus Station to catch 34 to Menston RS.
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