Living in South Leeds, we were frustrated in the amount of time that it takes to get across the city and out to some enjoyable countryside. 

We were wrong and more recently, we've discovered some great areas for walking in our locality, sometimes it just takes a bit of local knowledge to find where paths link up. I'll try and document some of what we've found here.

I use for planning and recording my routes. I'm also able to embed those routes in this site very easily. Komoot is a great community for walkers, cyclers, runners etc, where the focus is on mapping routes and sharing highlights rather than competing for segments.

I've also just started a YouTube channel to publish my routes. Have a look over there by clicking here: South Leeds Walker

I think this is probably the last of the batch of walks beginning at the White Rose Centre for now at least!

The route for this walk is very similar to the Farnley/Gildersome 11m (West Leeds Country Park) walk I added at the start of the year. It goes in reverse to that walk and cuts across from Gildersome to New Farnley, making the most of the stretch of farmland running just north of the M621 and Gelderd Road from the Ring Road out to Gildersome. It cuts out around 4 miles of walking by cutting out the section which runs from Farnley into Cockersdale, so it's a good option for a shorter mid-day walk.

Most of this route was on good paths - a few short muddy sections thanks to the weather we've seen so far this year, but nothing to stop anybody with decent footwear.

West Leeds Country Park was something of a surprise to me - I didn't realise that it existed until I was at the furthest point on this walk, but in reality it's a really convenient network of footpaths leading out west from the Ring Road as it goes through Farnley etc, to Pudsey/Tong.

This was a walk I'd had planned for some time, but circumstances never permitted getting out to do it. It's another walk which starts around the White Rose Centre for extremely easy access (although could equally begin in Farnley, New Farnley, Gildersome or Churwell). This time I've taken the footbridge over the railway as the start/end point, but obviously you can add on parts of the nature trail around the White Rose Centre depending on where you're coming from.

The walk again skirts the residential areas mentioned above in order to link up rural sections, but this walk has some real gems along its way.

This is a route I planned a little while ago and finally got to complete this week. It's somewhat more of an Urban Ramble than the other walks that I've added so far, spending more time within Leeds/Rothwell, but taking in some of the linking countryside paths along the way.

I've suggested that this walk starts at the Leeds Urban Bike Park. It has good cake and coffee. From there, we will head down to the tramway, head north along the Middleton Railway and then out to the Aire & Calder Navigation. We'll start to return back at the Rothwell Country Park, before walking briefly through Rothwell and joining a disused railway to take us to Robin Hood, before climbing back up Middleton Hill and back to the bike park.

Many of the routes around the south of Leeds tend to skirt residential/industrial areas. This isn't significantly different, but for a 6 mile walk, you spend a lot of time in the countryside. There is a downside and that is a fairly significant period walking alongside the M1 as you skirt the West Yorkshire Police Training and Development Centre and approach Kirkhamgate. You can reduce this by taking an option as the Wakefield Way crosses the Leeds country way, which I'll mention as we get there.

This is an otherwise nice route - good parking at the Ardsley reservoir and a little elevation. Not too much in terms of hidden/overgrown footpaths either.

This route is similar in length to my Ardsley walk, it also shares a similar style, taking advantage of as many footpaths across farmland and nature reserves as possible and skirting the conurbations where the alternative would be a significant detour.

Again, starting at the White Rose shopping centre for familiarity, the walk is easily reached from most parts of South Leeds. I wouldn't recommend parking in the White Rose car parks if you have come just to do this walk, I believe they fine people for parking without shopping.
Having said that, there are a good selection of restaurants and cafes within the shopping centre, so it would be an ideal place to stop off for refreshment at the end of your walk!