Meanwood Park and The Hollies, Leeds

Walk: Stroll around north Leeds park and woodland.

Difficulty: depends on the walk you choose – mainly easy.

Accessibility: paved paths in park, other pathways can be very muddy (after rain). There are some steep areas especially in The Hollies.

Parking: At The Hollies Grid ref: 276378 and Meanwood Park Car Park Grid ref: 282373. Cafe here as well.

I love Leeds and it’s parks. This one is on the edge of the Outer Ring Road, but you would never of guessed it – apart from the traffic noise. You could be in the middle of the country.

I usually park at The Hollies, but to confuse the The Dog I parked at Meanwood Park. Two areas merge into each other so you get woodland, parkland, streams, ornamental gardens and past industry all mixed into one! The Dog loves it – a woodland full of grey creatures with bushy tails to chase and water to having a cooling drink and a swim in.

There are many paths and different ways to walk around these two area, so I have a “follow your nose” policy and see what you discover. I usually spend a good couple of hours here.

The Meanwood Valley Trail passes through here. The trail starts further in the city at Woodhouse and meanders through the suburbs to Golden Acre Park in the North.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meanwood_Valley_Trail

This is one of the main paths, but other parts can be quite muddy after rainy weather and wellies are the best footwear.

This is Meanwood Beck which runs from beyond Golden Acre right through the city centre and into the River Aire. Many years ago when I worked in a school, we did a year long project with kids and followed the Beck to the Centre (where it disappears underneath the city via tunnels and gullies!). Really fascinating and the kids loved it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meanwood_Beck

There are fascinating glimpses of an industrial era in the area. There were mills for flax, corn and paper and the Beck was used to great advantage. This is clearly a man made water course and probably used to power the mills.

There are several quarries dotted in the woodland around the Hollies too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meanwood

More evidence of Meanwood’s hidden past. It’s sort of pleasing that nature can take back what we take and it hasn’t taken long to do so.

How do these trees stay alive and remain standing!!!!

This was an absolute delight to see. Usually someone points out a kingfisher as it’s flying downstream and I’m lucky to see its back end. Today, this one was just sitting on a branch looking into the Beck for ages. I couldn’t believe my luck. I carefully took photos on my phone, but sadly couldn’t get closer. Oh for a proper camera!

This row of cottages are between The Hollies and Meanwood Park. They must of been workers cottages years ago as they are stuck on their own. If it wasn’t for the park and woodland, I think they would of been swallowed by suburbia. Housing is not far away and can be seen through the trees and across the park.

The start of the parkland, but with two stones protruding in the middle distance, Again, must of been part of a gateway or something.

A beautiful packhorse bridge spanning the Beck. It’s still in use.

Love this building with bottles used for windows. It is very fascinating. Looks like it’s been converted for a garage which kind of spoils it.

Very clever.

Then you get this monument tucked in a corner out of the way. I tried to get closer, but there was a quagmire of mud and I only had my trainers on. And there’s me telling you to wear wellies!!! Tried to get a photo of the plaque.

And failed.

And one final picture of the park itself. It’s a lovely combination of tended parkland, woodland one end and undisturbed woodland at the other end with its remnants of its industrial past. There seems to be an untidy ornamental garden with rhododendrons in the Hollies. They are beautiful when they flower in May. It’s a real mish mash of everything which is just wonderful. Enjoy.

Author: apathtosomewhere

Come with me and my dog on my meanderings around northern England and further afield, encountering all walks of life and everything in between!

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