Walk: Small urban woodland walk in North Leeds
Accessibility: Available to everyone. Good paths. There are side paths that can be muddy and uneven with tree roots.
Parking: Golden Acre Park. Bus stops nearby on A660. Grid reference: 269417.
Breary Marsh and Golden Acre Park are adjacent to each other. Golden Acre is a ornamental parkland and back in the 1930’s an ambitious amusement park, but that’s another story, while Breary Marsh is a woodland.
I park the car in the main car park off the A660 road and walk down the steps. Here the path splits. To the left, you go under the underpass to Golden Acre and across the bridge to Breary Marsh.
A great information board by Leeds City Council. The woods are full of birds and animals. Once The Dog took off when she was younger and to my horror, she was chasing a deer. Thinking both would disappear into the distance, never to be seen again, the deer elegantly jumped a fence while The Dog failed to calculate and slithered to a halt as the deer legged it across open fields. Phew.
The path from the car park, heads down the middle of the wood and takes you to the other end where it opens up and you arrive at Paul’s Pond. It was part of Cookridge Hall, a former stately home which still stands beyond the pond and is now part of Cookridge Golf Club which butts Breary Marsh. The pond was used by the owners for boating and in the winter supplied the house with ice which was broken up and taken to an ice house which is hidden on the golf club somewhere.
The pond is usually full of ducks, swans, colts and other fowl as well as fishing platforms.
This tree is just great. It looks like a gang of woodpeckers used it for target practice as it’s riddled with holes. It’s probably a great place for insects and fungi and all manner of creatures. Long may it stand.
One of the main paths running through Breary Marsh wood.
Earlier in the afternoon it was raining and hailing, not conducive to walking, but then the sun came out, the skies cleared and there was beautiful light. Breary Marsh is on the Leeds Country Way as well as the end of the Meanwood Valley Trail. It is well signposted.
The Meanwood Beck runs through here from its source on the Otley Chevin. Here’s the beck running under the bridge and where The Dog gets to wash off the mud. It continues into Golden Acre Park and onto Adel Woods and ultimately into the River Aire in central Leeds.
Breary Marsh is only small and I do several circuits to wear The Dog out. There is a path that leads to the suburb of Cookridge called Pinfold Lane which is another way in, and involves street parking. Another footpath comes in across the Golf Club (if you don’t mind dodging golf balls), so there is variety. I can usually get an hour out of it, and it’s beautiful in May with the bluebells. Paul’s Pond was surrounded by overgrown and unruly rhododendrons, but the City Council did tackle them and got them under control, but they added colour to the woodland too.
As I said, it is adjacent to Golden Acre but that’s for another time and blog. Meanwhile enjoy.