Adventures around Leedswith PlusBus
The varied countryside around Leeds is full of fabulous destinations you can reach with a PlusBus ticket. There are bluebells and red kites around Harewood House and - further north still - the heathery expanses of Ilkley Moor. Head south for rhubarb and canal-side walks or find your own adventure in the huge area covered by the PlusBus ticket. Just ask for PlusBus when you buy a train ticket and the whole of West Yorkshire is your oyster. Here are just three of the many adventures you could have.
1. Harewood House
Buy your PlusBus ticket at the station or online from any of the rail operators serving Leeds Station. Kick off in style by catching bus 36 to Harewood, a classic country house with Chippendale furniture, portraits by Gainsborough and more than a hundred acres of landscaped grounds. There are some great walks nearby, a choice of pubs and cafés and half price entry when you arrive by bus.
- How to get to Harewood House: Follow the Good Journey directions.
- On the way: comfortable bus 36 speeds through the green fields north of Leeds and passes through some interesting suburbs and rolling Yorkshire countryside.
- When you get there, there is plenty to do from a popular five-mile loop around the estate to crafts and art exhibitions in the house.
- Refreshments: The bus stops outside the Harewood Arms, an early 19th-century coaching inn with views over Wharfedale. The buses are every 20 minutes so there’s not much of an excuse for a drink while you’re waiting, but you can always catch the next one… There’s also the Muddy Boots cafe round the corner, where the cakes are legendary. Or there’s the Courtyard cafe or the Terrace tearoom near the house itself, serving produce from the estate and views across the parkland, landscaped by Capability Brown. For a treat to match the vista, book an afternoon tea with cakes, sandwiches, scones and jam.
2. Ilkley Moor
For an even longer excursion from Leeds, take bus X84 from Leeds bus station to Ilkley to explore this lovely West Yorkshire spa town with its lido, manor house art museum and riverside gardens. Best of all, you can walk over the wild, restless moors, always changing with the seasons and home to ancient, prehistoric rocks.
- Begin with a ten-minute stroll through the heart of the city from Leeds railway station. Follow New Station Street with its colourful cafes, turn right on busy Boar Lane and soon left on pedestrianised Briggate. Turn right onto Headrow and catch the bus from stop Headrow E. The bus leaves every 30 minutes (Sundays too) and takes an hour to reach Ilkley.
- The X84 to Ilkley takes a bit longer than the train, but it costs less and the journey is an adventure in itself. As the bus heads north out of Leeds, look out for glimpses of Woodhouse Moor and lots of other green space. Leaving the city behind, the bus passes through Otley Chevin Forest Park and the road is lined with trees.
- The market town of Otley is next with its cheerful pubs and cafes. Speeding onwards, there are views of the River Wharfe beyond Burley in Wharfedale, running alongside the main road as the bus arrives in Ilkley.
- Walk up Wells Promenade to reach Ilkley Moor and climb the bracken-fringed paths for spectacular views across the Yorkshire Dales. It’s about a mile and a half from Ilkley to the famous viewpoint at Cow and Calf Rocks, but you’ll need a map to find them.
- Another of many walks on Ilkley Moor leads up from the edge of town to the Twelve Apostles, bronze age standing stones. On the way there, you’ll see some of the Stanza Stones Trail, where rocks on the moor have been engraved with lines of poetry.
- Wherever you wander on the moor, it’s bound to be an adventure.