The Gledhow Valley Woods 6 kilometre route blends road running with woodland trails. In the matter of metres this run will take you out of the suburban city and connect you to a ribbon of ancient woodland that is bursting with plant, animal and bird life.
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 6.1km and an elevation gain of 125m.
The largest non-stop incline begins within the first kilometre of of the route, and has a distance of 440m and an elevation gain of 23m. You can see this on the above elevation chart in red.
The largest continual decline is 282m long with an elevation drop of 21m which starts in the final third of the route. This is shown on the chart as green.
The biggest highlight of the Gledhow Valley Woods route is easily the woodland section of the run. Transitioning from concrete pathway next to the road to a mud trail that winds further into thickets of trees is so satisfying. At this moment you're bound to forget you're so close to the city centre.
Best Time To Run
Hands down the best time to run the Gledhow Valley Woods run is in spring and summer when the flora and fauna is buzzing with life. Expect to slow the pace and take a break from the run... timeout spots in the woodland are numerous!
Your run will start on Chapeltown Road and head north through the trendy bar and shop area of Chapel Allerton onto Harrogate Road. This section is the biggest upward climb on the run.
At the junction with the allotments you will take a right onto Gledhow Valley Road. Here the run now moves away from the hustle and bustle of the commuter road and onto a gentler downhill stretch. Around 300 metres ahead on your left hand side you will deviate onto the trail and into the woods. Follow this trail through the magical woodland section until you re-join Gledhow Valley Road at the little Switzerland crossroad.
Run down the final section of Gledhow Valley Road before turning right onto Harehills Avenue. It’s a gentle climb all the way back past Potternewton Park and back onto Chapeltown Road.
Trail running is all about striding on uneven terrain. Keep an eye out for a spindly root or hidden stone on this route. Our top tip is to strike the foot lightly to allow it to absorb any extra shock.
On the flipside the busiest part of the run is in the first half running up Harrogate Road – one of the busiest car and bus routes in and out the centre of Leeds. Take care when crossing the road anywhere along this section.
Gledhow Valley Woods is located 2-miles from the city centre and next door to popular Roundhay. The woods are a stretch of ancient woodland around 1.5km in length.
The most convenient toilet break will come in the first half of the run up Harrogate Road. We recommend popping into somewhere nice and friendly like Seven Arts in the centre of Chapel Allerton. If you’re caught short in the woodland section you’re never too far from the big Roundhay Tesco.
Park up for free on the residential side street of Mexborough Avenue, postcode: LS7 3DX (Google Map Directions). A couple of minutes walk from the start of the run on the Harehills Avenue crossroad.
Food and Drink
You will start and finish this run on one of the busiest roads in north Leeds. The upside of this is you’ve got some really good food and drink choices right on your doorstep.
Kalabash Authentic Caribbean Food has Jamaican inspired hot dishes and bakery bites. Whatever your appetite post-run this menu should hit the spot. Just up from Kalabash is Cantors – a traditional fish and chip shop – that allows you to takeout and eat at your leisure in places over the road like Potternewton Park.