Adel Woods Loop

A woodland trail run around Adel Woods and its historical sites.


Elevation gain:130m

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The Adel Woods Loop takes the Seven Arches and Slabbering Baby; never far from the Adel Beck waterway. The loop also skirts the edge of Scotland Woods at the southern end.

This route follows the more well known paths through Adel wood, but if you are looking to extend your run there are lots of little cross-cross routes to try!

Wanting to find your way to the start of the route? Here is a link for a Google Maps Directions page.

This route has a distance of 6.26km and an elevation gain of 130m.

The largest non-stop incline begins in the second third of of the route, and has a distance of 361m and an elevation gain of 20m. You can see this on the above elevation chart in red.

The largest continual decline is 254m long with an elevation drop of 18m which starts near the start of the route. This is shown on the chart as green.

Route Highlights

The back end of the route heads along the top of the Scotland wood. Here you can look down the hill across Adel Beck, and the path winds around the trees. A real joy to run!

Best Time To Run

This route is best run in the summer or autumn. The sun passes between the trees giving the pine needle paths a really enjoyable glow. Also makes it far easier to run when it isn't muddy!

Route Description

The run starts at the King Lane-Stairfoot Lane juncture. Turn right onto the first trail once you reach the end of the entry path. The run will continue anti-clockwise on this boundary route; join up with the Adel Beck waterway and run alongside this until you reach the water crossing just before Ring Road Meanwood. You’ll come across the Seven Arches aqueduct along here.

Once you’ve crossed you’re on the return leg working your way back up through Scotland Wood. Without clear signposting as a rule of thumb keep on the trail closest to the outer boundary. After Alwoodley Cricket Club take the next right and you’re back where you started.


The Adel Woods Loop is a trail running route. In both good and bad weather we highly recommend you run in the trail shoes for this one. In a lot of areas there are exposed rocks and roots. Keep an eye out for these.

Adel Wood and Scotland Wood both tend to get fairly busy on the weekends and summer evenings due to their locations. Dog walkers, other runners, and those out for a general stroll, so keep an eye out. There’s also quite a few people on two wheels making their way through these parts –  watch out for the cyclists!


Adel Woods is 175 acres of woods north of Leeds city centre. It’s one part of the Meanwood Valley Trail. Scotland Wood sits within Adel Woods – it’s common for visitors to confuse one with the other. It is a maze of trails and paths, ponds and a stream. The woods are dotted with remnants of the industrial past that jut out from the undergrowth.

The name Adel comes from the old English “adela” meaning “dirty, muddy place”. This feels like a well deserved name, as after a bit of rain this woods can get very muddy. Make sure to wear your least favourite trainers or some trail shoes if doing this any time other than summer!

More after this. Continue reading below ↓


There are no toilets within, or close to the woods. if you are bursting you may need to settle for a nature wee – or hold it until you have finished the run. Depending on where you are, you may be around the corner from a pub, Lawnswood Arms for example. Maybe pop in to use the facilities…

There are some bins along the route, but these are few and far between. However as the run isn’t a marathon distance this shouldn’t be an issue as rubbish can be left at home or in the car.


There is a free car park for Adel Woods on Stairfoot Lane. The postcode for this car park is LS16 8DR. Please bare in mind that it is only accessible by car or small van as there is a height barrier in place.

Food and Drink

A little way down Otley Road is a tasty fish and chips shop called Barnie’s. If you want a hot takeaway fix that will replenish those carbohydrates this is the place! When we went they were super friendly, and the warm inside of the shop was a nice change from the brisk cold that we had just run in!

If you are looking for a something a bit more pubby, why not check out the Lawnswood Arms.

Other Running Routes Nearby

Looking for other routes near Adel Woods Loop? Here are three just around the corner.