Top 5 Autumnal Run Routes

Author profile image of Ben Fraser
Author: Ben Fraser
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Runner running around a lake with a dog walker behind

The season has changed to arguably one of the best running periods of the year – autumn!

To welcome this change we have compiled a list of the top 5-routes to check out this autumn. 

Think picture postcard views; a well-lit and safe running spot; surfaces that are kind to your feet; a route with a cracking coffee shop nearby; and a remote escape that has decent parking at the end of the journey. With this in mind here’s the top 5-routes of where to run in Leeds this autumn:

Weetwood Loop

A woodland running trail in the Hollies in Leeds.

Kicking it off in visual style is this road-trail-woodland route that covers some of the most beautiful inner-city green spaces in and around Headingley. The variety under foot is more than matched by the beauty of the Hollies and Meanwood Park – also a starting point for the Meanwood Valley Trail.

Just over 6km in length, the Weetwood Loop is a great one to pick when trying to push past the 5 kilometre marker.

To lose yourself in your surroundings on a run is one of the best feelings. The Hollies is said to have influenced J.R.R Tolkien’s creation of Middle Earth; you’ve found a  run route with more than a sprinkling of magic on it.

Expect the gradient to climb and drop in a kind way on this run. If you haven’t gone already, go and get lost on the Weetwood Loop

The Leeds 10k 

Runners dressed in neon in Leeds city centre.

One of the biggest changes you’ll have become attuned to in autumn is the dwindling number of daylight hours. Now if you’re trying to squeeze a run in after work you’re probably contemplating what road to run on. It might not come as a surprise to you but one of the safest run routes starts and finishes in Leeds city centre.

The Leeds 10km route has a PB written all over it – runners regularly sign-up to the event to break their own record over 10 kilometres. Take the official Leeds 10km route and enjoy the illumination of the city after dark. You might even see another side to Leeds running around it at night. 

More after this. Continue reading below ↓

Kirkstall Rollercoaster 

When a well tarmacked road meets a decent hill climb you’ve arguably found a run surface as close to perfection as possible. Off Kirkstall Road is a 6-set hill rider of 140 feet of elevation. And this is a good thing for you because all the effort – from the torso downwards – of running the hill will naturally stabilise your body. Plus, you’ll burn more energy and get better at running the flats.

This route is officially only 2.5km, however there is no need to stop after one loop! Take a break and then go again!

We recommend that you increase or decrease the number of hills you run based on your fitness and general energy levels on the day. All together now… hills, hills, hills! Take a ride on the Kirkstall Rollercoaster

Meanwood Valley Trail Run

A tree in Meanwood Park dropping orange leaves in Autumn.

What better than to work up a thirst and hunger pounding the trails of Meanwood Valley. The Meanwood Valley Trail is 11-kilometres of gorgeous trails that is practically road free; you won’t get many routes like this in inner city Leeds! What’s more you’ll be happy to know that the post-run refuel is well taken care of in this neck of Leeds.

This particular run route for the Meanwood Valley is 14km. A real sightseeing tour of the trail.

Once you’ve left Meanwood Park make your way to Otley Road and pop into Loaf. This café is built on the spirit of the local community and sells coffee, homemade treats and fresh to order sandwiches.

Make the Meanwood Valley Trail your next autumn run!

Temple Newsam to Skelton Lake 15km 

On the edge of east Leeds before the M1 cuts an assertive boundary around the towns and suburbs of LS is Temple Newsam. For lots of Leodians the starting point of this route is distant enough to feel like a bit of an adventure. The Temple Newsam to Skelton Lake route is one of the most picturesque in Leeds, and this isn’t surprising for one that travels through 1500 acres of spectacular parkland.

What’s even better is Temple Newsam comes equipped to host your runaway day of travelling by car or bike. Grab one of the free parking spots in the generously sized lots to the north or the south of the grounds and join the Temple Newsam to Skelton Lake 15km route


These top 5-routes with your running comforts in mind show you that Leeds is a great place to run in autumn. Now you’ve scratched the surface, why not check out the ever-growing selection of Leeds Run Routes all-year-round.  

Author profile image of Ben Fraser
Ben Fraser

Ben is an experienced runner and fitness enthusiast who has been working in the sport and fitness industry for over 10 years. His passion for running began when he founded the Run Leeds project, while working for England Athletics. Ben is passionate about the sport of running and is always looking for ways to improve it. He is dedicated to helping runners of all ages and abilities to achieve their goals. He believes that running is one of the most enjoyable and accessible sports and loves to spread the joy of running.

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