Last Wednesday, with Mick still on holiday from work, we were looking for somewhere to go. Daniel had gone off to Scarborough to watch Yorkshire Cricket Club in the LV County Championship so it was just the three of us, and Archie, again. I fancied a park, somewhere like Lotherton Hall or Temple Newsam where we often go, but somewhere different. I had a look online at Leeds City Council parks and came across Middleton Park, somewhere we'd never been before.
The write up made it sound fascinating, 470 acres with 200 acres being ancient woodland and a designated nature reserve. We decided this was the place for our outing.
The first thing we saw when we parked our car was the pond. There were lots of people fishing, both young and old.
Lottery funding was awarded to regenerate Middleton Park in 2008 and this visitor centre and cafe was constructed. It was being well used.
A bandstand was also built and there's now regular events staged in the park.
We decided that we'd take one of the many tracks which lead in to the woods.
This is the largest ancient woodland in Leeds.
The pathways are great for those less able. As we had Archie with us, we decided to venture off the beaten track so that he could have a good sniff around.
Oak dominates the woodland, and there's lots of ferms here too.
We found lots of rope swings.
I enjoyed looking at all the different shapes of trees, some were really very peculiar.
There's lots of streams and ponds in the woods and a number of small bridges have been constructed so that you don't get your feet wet.
You could have been forgiven for thinking it was a dull day being shaded by the canopy of leaves, but every so often, the sun streamed through.
Eventually we came to a clearing.
Just a little further on we found Middleton Railway. This is the world's oldest continuously working public railway. It was founded in 1758 and is now a heritage railway run by volunteers.
As you can see, this station is the end of the line.
We walked back through the woods, this time taking a different route and encountering different things to those we'd previously seen.
Middleton Park isn't very far away from us, it's at the other side of Leeds, but still surprising that we didn't know about it. We'll definitely return.