Kirkstall Rollercoaster

6 leg pounding ups and downs that will make you a better runner in the end – a bit like life!


Elevation gain:92m

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The Kirkstall Rollercoaster is 6 up and 6 down on the hills.

It’s over 140 feet of solid climbing to work your body, lungs and heart. What goes up must come down on this route. The ups are all about pushing it to the limit, whereas the downs act as a perfect recovery.

For more information on hill running take a look at the article: Why All Runners Should do Hill Training.

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 2.48km and an elevation gain of 92m.

The largest non-stop incline begins in the second third of of the route, and has a distance of 237m and an elevation gain of 19m. You can see this on the above elevation chart in red.

The largest continual decline is 144m long with an elevation drop of 17m which starts in the final third of the route. This is shown on the chart as green.

Route Highlights

A big benefit of running this rollercoaster hill route is the gains you will make. You will burn more calorific energy in the short-term. And you will get stronger and better at running the flats in the long-term.

Best Time To Run

The Kirkstall Rollercoaster run route is a good all year rounder. As the route is all road and well lit you won't be excluded from running it day or night. Please take care if it's been frosty and there's a layer of ice.

Route Description

Start at the bottom of Haddon Road and find your path straight up that hill. Give it some energy because as soon as you hit the top it’s recovery time. Jog down the next street (Haddon Avenue). Following this pattern you will complete 4-sets of these until you reach Bankfield Street.

Drop down Barnbrough Street and get ready for the final two sets of up and down. By this point the gradient is getting steeper and more challenging. Finish with the hill crescendo and feel the burn.

Add or subtract the number of sets depending on your energy and fitness levels. Our top tip for running form on hills: gently lean into it and drive upwards with strong high knees!


When your climbing these hills with everything you’ve got you’re going to run it better on the width of the road. Running on the road comes with a higher risk of colliding with cars. If you do this keep an ear out for a car and get on the pavement when you need to.


The Kirkstall Rollercoaster is around 2-miles to the north west of Leeds City Centre. The road runs parallel with the River Aire. One of the best things to see (and run to!) locally is the Kirkstall Abbey. It’s just down the road from this route!

If you like running in this area, why not take a look at some other routes in similar areas. This route went through: Kirkstall.

More after this. Continue reading below ↓


The nearest toilet to the Kirkstall Rollercoaster that’s open all hours is the Cardigan Field McDonalds – a couple of minutes walk on Kirkstall Road towards the city centre. Hold back from refuelling on that junk though!


Park for free on the quiet residential road of Greenhow Walk, postcode: LS4 2HQ (Google Map Directions) – the start of the run on Haddon Road is the street next to Greenhow Walk.

Food and Drink

If you want to refill that energy burn straight after then you won’t do much better than grabbing a hot bite to take away from Italian maestro’s POCO Sicilian Street Food. It’s only a couple of minutes walk from the finish of the run on Kirkstall Road, towards the city centre.

Other Running Routes Nearby

Looking for other routes near Kirkstall Rollercoaster? Here are three just around the corner.