Buggy-friendly Temple Newsam, Leeds

As a family with two young children, we’re always on the look out for places to go that really make you feel that you’ve done a ‘proper’ walk, but are also buggy friendly! Aaagggghhhh they are definitely few and far between, but we are persisting with our pursuit, and you can find descriptions on many of my walks on my Muddy Boots Muddy site.

Temple Newsam Estate in Leeds is one of our favourite places to go for a family day out. As well as the playground, Home Farm and cafe (which makes it great for children) the walking is brilliant- and largely undiscovered!

The Temple Newsam Trailway takes you on a seven mile route around the estate, but for a buggy-friendly 3km version, walk from the house and take a short circular route that brings you back in the estate at the back of the ponds. This is a walk that we’ve done with our own buggy many times during the drier months- but please be aware that the track can get VERY muddy in winter and after rain. You’ll get lovely views up to the House, pass below the Little Chapel and see some of the more unexplored areas of the estate. Read more about this walk here.

Rabbit Ings, Barnsley

Family walks are not about distance. They’re about spending time together, exploring wildlife and having fun. Short walks keep little legs happy and give you more time to play games and picnic!

And Rabbit Ings Country Park is a fantastic place to do just that, with a number of routes that you can follow around the 64 hectare site, all quite short. There’s a hill which offers a great viewpoint of the surrounding area and all the way across to Emley moor. If you enjoy a walk whilst your children cycle next to you, the paths around Rabbit Ings are mainly surfaced tracks so perfect for little riders.

Read more about walking at Rabbit Ings Country Park here. On your way round you can see lots of different types of wildlife- why not take a camera and ask your children to take pictures of what they see? Back at home go through the pictures and learn the names and some facts about what you have seen. Draw pictures from your photos or make some models from play-doh. Make sure children have had an adventure, not just a ‘walk’.

Family adventures at Meanwood Park

This Meanwood Park and the Hollies walk is sponsored by Weetwood Hall Estate

As a mum, I love getting out for walks. In fact, I thank walking for saving my sanity when I had a new, colicky baby. Walking has no rules, it can be as far or as challenging as you want it to be and you can do it anywhere! This walk is in Leeds, a fantastic place to visit without even leaving the city!

Meanwood Park, in North Leeds, is one of my absolute favourite places to visit as a family. It’s not at all what you think of as a park, especially being so close to Leeds centre (but does have a good cafe and playground if that’s your thing). It has little streams and bridges, fabulous woodland and LOTS of opportunities for little explorers to, well, explore! We love this route which is just over 3km and takes you up to the Hollies.

Luckily I’ve found that a lot of new parents share my love for getting out with their babies and children on walks. My Muddy Boots Mummy blog has a range of suggestions of family-friendly Yorkshire walks, and has led to the Muddy Boots Baby Walking Group, who meet weekly to go on walks with our babies! Meanwood Park is a favourite of ours because it is so accessible to families! We’re always on the look out for new friends, so feel free to join in!

Useful links

Visit Leeds

A nature reserve, marina, canal and river in Leeds!

canal-path-at-lemonroyd-marina

As a family with small children, we love walks that offer a bit of everything, with lots to see and explore. One of the main reasons that I wanted to suggest this place to all you walk-lovers, is that it’s such a great example of the diverse environment in Leeds. Families don’t need to travel to the Yorkshire wilderness to enjoy some fantastic nature and beautiful walking.

Lemonroyd Marina, is in Woodlesford to the South East of Leeds City Centre. It’s one of our regular places to visit with our children, who can enjoy a walk down to Woodlesford Lock (to meet the Guffalo) or cross the River Aire to take a circular route around RSPB St Aidan’s, with up to 12km of trails as well as the transpennine trail. In dry weather the tracks are great for pushchairs, but be aware that they can get a little muddy in places. Read about walking from Lemonroyd Marina here.

South Leeds Mumbler is a website that provides loads of ideas and support for local parents; everything from children’s classes to days out and activities when your stuck at home. We’ve got loads of walks around South, East and West Leeds for families with children to enjoy, have a look at all our suggestions here.

Find the Gruffalo on the Leeds Canal

Sometimes it’s prettttttttttty difficult to get your children out on walks. My first tip is NEVER call it a walk; it’s an adventure, it’s going exploring, it’s finding some sticks or collecting treasures….. or in the case of this walk, it’s going to see the Gruffalo!

Woodlesford Lock is a fantastic place to visit with children. There’s about a mile between the lock and the next one towards the City Centre (Fishpond Lock), and here you can cross the canal to return on the other side. You can ramp up the excitement by getting the train to Woodlesford Train Station (just 12 minutes by train from Leeds) and the canal is just a few hundred metres down the hill.

But the real attraction here (yes, on top of the locks, the canal boats, the ducks to feed, and the train journey) is the collection of character carvings that can be discovered. The Gruffalo takes a starring role, but you can also find Olaf, Stick Man, Donkey and more! Read more about this lovely walk here.

Haw Park Wood with Children

Many families will have discovered the joys of Angler’s Country Park in Wakefield before and completed the popular Room on the Broom Trail. But for us, the charms and true magic of Haw Park Wood draw us into any walk from the Waterton Centre! Inside you’ll find wooden toadstools and magical picnic spots, and even a pixie village!

This fantastic 5.5km circular route around the wood is mostly flat and easy walking, so perfect for children. There are a few tight squeezes though, so buggies should be avoided. You’ll even get a glimpse of the beautiful Cold Hiendley Reservoir, great for a well-deserved snack stop.