Some car-free adventures aroundLeedsWest Yorkshire
Hellebores hang their green and purple heads under red dogwood stems in Harlow Carr’s Winter Walk while the duckpond dreams nearby in the pale sunshine; this easy day trip from Leeds is just one way you can enjoy the fresh Yorkshire air. Here are three very different car-free trips around Leeds: catch a water taxi to the docks, take a hike on Ilkley Moor or a stroll round the RHS gardens. Of course, there are plenty more adventures to be had in the city itself and magnificent Harewood House is not far away.
1. Ilkley Moor
Everyone’s heard of wild Ilkley Moor from the famous Yorkshire song “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at”. The moors are just up the road from Ilkley station, but even a short walk here, through the grouse-filled heather and the prehistoric rocks, can be quite an adventure. If you have a map and compass, you can follow the north-eastern edge of the moor and go on through fields and farms to the village of Menston, where regular trains run back to Ilkley.
- Trains run from Leeds railway station to Ilkley frequently (regularly on Sundays).
- Cross the road outside the railway station and walk up Wells Road, passing shops and cafés.
- Beyond Crossbeck Road, you can go through a gate onto the moors and climb to the café at Whitewells spa cottage up ahead or turn left up the tarmac drive past the tarn.
2. Water Taxi
Water taxis to Leeds Dock and the Royal Armouries Museum leave from Granary Wharf, just outside Leeds railway station’s new South entrance. They run every 20 minutes and the scenic journey gives you views of the city’s historical and industrial heritage, with the minster and monumental warehouses reflected in the peaceful River Aire.
- Just hop on the little yellow boat for a ten minute trip along the water and hop off again at Leeds Dock.
- The Royal Armouries are free with a really impressive collection of weapons decorating the walls of the tower and four floors of displays. Look out for the armoured elephant in the Oriental Section on the fourth floor and regular demonstrations of various kinds of fighting. Great for kids too! Our car-free feature writer went there for the Guardian.