The Wyke Beck Valley is the only urban park route in Leeds; a jewel in the crown of the city’s green space. The route follows the freshwater Beck through a mix of concrete and greenery teeming with wildlife.
- Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2HH, UK Get Directions
Things to Note
Wyke Beck Valley Way has the following on-site or nearby:
- Nearby Food & Drink
- Nearby Shops
- Nearby Toilets
The Wyke Beck Valley Way starts at the idyllic Roundhay Park. The route is over 10 kilometres in distance and is well signposted – just follow the little red signs. You will travel through the suburbs of Gipton, Seacroft, Killingbeck and Halton, circumnavigating the inner ring of east Leeds. On average it takes just over 2 hours to walk or less than an hour to cycle with a generous downhill gradient all the way to Temple Newsam.
Things to Do
The Wyke Beck Valley Way is a green space that packs a tropical punch of opportunities. A family walk; a challenging run; a museum day out; a wildlife paradise are just a few of the adventures waiting to happen. Check out our list of top things to do here:
Roundhay Park is the premier park of Leeds, recognised nationally by the Royal Horticultural Society with the ‘Best Public Park’ award. The 700 acres of green space hosts sports and physical activity, cultural events, food festivals and live music.
Is for the little explorer in you. Conservation, education and fun is the order of the day at this tropical paradise, located on the edge of Roundhay Park. The exotic animals include crocodiles, monkeys and meerkats.
Temple Newsam is a country estate in the city of Leeds. The 1500 acres of land blends working farmland with wood and parkland. If the majestic Tudor-Jacobean house or gardens don’t take your fancy then one of the numerous sports and physical activities will.
The Way has an abundance of space to picnic and chow down outdoors. From dedicated picnic spaces at Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam to five different Nature Reserve spots on route. Just please remember to take your rubbish with you or dispose of it properly.
The Wyke Beck Valley Way is a registered route on the Sustrans cycle network where “we create places that are walkable and cycle friendly”. You can be sure that the route will be smooth from start to finish.
British Cycling has taken inspiration from The Wyke Beck Valley with their very own ride starting at Fearnville Leisure Centre in east Leeds. Even with the slight adaptations this route is mainly traffic free and showcases some of the more offbeat landscapes in the area.
Runners are spoilt for choice on the Wyke Beck Valley Way. parkrun takeover Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam every Saturday morning from 9am. This free timed event will have you pitting yourself against the clock over 5k.
Flying solo? Then head over to the best site for running in the city. Run Leeds has a great tip for runners, walkers and cyclists alike. Reverse a route and you’ll see it with completely different eyes. And with heavier legs working up the gradient. Give the Wyke Beck Way route a go!
The Wyke Beck Valley Way is scattered with five local nature reserves over a 6 mile stretch. That’s pretty impressive for a suburban city environment. They are…
Ancient wood meets meadow and the historical remains of a formally designed garden. For more information, take a look at our Discover Leeds Wykebeck Wood page.
Wildflower grassland with a scattering of Sycamore, Oak and Willow.
A patchwork of woodland, meadow and pond carved up by hedgerows.
A species rich grasslands with clusters of broad leafed trees. For more information, take a look at our Discover Leeds page on Primrose Way.
Grassland, woodland and scrub makes up the southernmost nature reserve.
The Wyke Beck Valley Way has an extensive community of wildlife. Up above you can spot the Red Kite roving for its next meal. More conspicuously tucked away in the water is the endangered Whiteclaw Crayfish, evading the eye of the Kingfisher. And the most elusive stars of the show are the Otter and the Water Vole.
The Wykebeck Valley Way relies on volunteer led conservation to maintain and improve the local environment along the Beck. Volunteers commit to activities like clearing and planting every Friday between 10am-4pm – join the Wykebeck Valley Volunteer group here. Examples like this are part of the Wyke Beck Valley Pride partnership: a collective of organisations, community residents and Leeds City Council that aim to improve the ecology of people and wildlife living side by side.
Dog walking is allowed at Roundhay Park & Temple Newsam and on the Wyke Beck Valley Way route.
Prior to the start of the industrial revolution during the 18th century the Beck ran openly off larger water sources like the River Aire, a major Yorkshire river. By the peak of the industrial boom in the mid 19th century, these courses became open sewers for the city’s waste. In recent decades it has been the council’s mission to reverse this damage. Including rebuilding the wildlife that was once teeming within these waters.
The smell and sight of the Beck are two good indicators of its overall health. In the last century the sewage has been rid of but a distinctive orange tinge was left in the water. What isn’t commonly known is the cause of this. Temple Newsam pit was part of the Waterloo colliery in operation at the height of the industrial revolution. It was said that if you put your ear to the ground at Temple Newsam you could hear miners digging. And when the iron from the mine found its way into the Beck it would rapidly oxidise and turn into an orange deposit called ochre.
Toilets and refreshments can be accessed at the start in Roundhay Park (The Lakeside Café), at the halfway point (Asda Killingbeck) and at the end (Temple Newsam Tea Room). Public bins have been added to the 6 mile route.
Food and Drink
Quench your thirst ready for the journey with a quick one at The Roundhay Fox, who promise of “a drink to suit every taste.” Just off the A58 on Easterly Road, and near Arthur’s Rein is Captain Thortons. This little chippy boasts the “Finest Fish & Chips” in Yorkshire and is ideally placed for those prioritising the walk and munch combo.
On the Temple Newsam side of the Wyke Beck Valley Way, on Selby Road, is a pub called The Woodman Craft Union. If you didn’t fancy the country chic of the Fox then this boozer will bring you back down to earth.
At the end of the route we’ve found a local tapas restaurant that has been a popular destination for East Leodians since the early noughties. Morenos Mediterranean tapas comes with the impressive tag of laying on a “indulgent dining experience.” Enjoy!
Parking is free at Roundhay Park, the starting point of the Wyke Beck Valley Way. Use the dedicated car park at the end of Park Avenue in front of the Lakeside Café. Alternatively, on busy days try Mansion Lane – be warned this is a two hour limit though!
This route is fully inclusive. It has disability access and is suitable for all forms of travel including pushchairs and wheelchairs.
How to Get Here
To get to Roundhay Park via bus you will need to take the First Leeds number 2 or 12 service from Leeds City centre.
The nearest train station to Roundhay Park is just over 4 miles away in Crossgates outer east Leeds. For those travelling from central Leeds we advise taking a bus.