From aerial adventures to water sports and street food festivals, make the most of it...
Something strange happens to Leeds folk when that giant ball of yellow makes its rare appearance in the sky. Freed from our stuffy houses and umbrellas, we suddenly crave to be out in the ‘God’s own country’ Yorkshire is famed for.
Whether you’re a ‘meal deal in the park’ type or a serious adrenaline junkie, here are a few of our favourite ways to get outside and soak up some vitamin D.
Take to the trees in Temple Newsam for a Go Ape experience that is open to all ages and abilities. With one-metre high crossways right through to the freefall Tarzan swing, you can tailor your adventure to your own bravery, taking in expansive views across the grounds and farms.
It’s not the cheapest day out, at around £90 for two adults and two children (slightly cheaper if booked far in advance), but it’s certainly a memorable one - just remember to come dressed sensibly with hardy trainers and gloves.
LEEDS SAILING & ACTIVITY CENTRE
Channel your inner Enya with a boating trip across Yeadon Tarn, just eight miles out of the city centre. Here you’ll find sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding and plenty of non-water based activities besides.
One-hour taster sessions start at just £5, or sign up for fully accredited courses that’ll keep you fit and active throughout the whole summer. If you’re looking for something more term time-orientated, take a look at Women on Water - a weekly class designed to help females gain competence in a sociable, networking environment.
If you’re unlikely to make it off our fair island this summer, the City Beach is the next big thing to a holiday. It’s recently moved from Millennium Square to just outside Leeds Art Gallery, and is open from 12 August until 3 September. Expect fairground rides, ice cream vans and deckchairs aplenty – just remember to get there early if you want to stake out a decent spot.
ILKLEY OUTDOOR LIDO
Technically in Bradford, but with an LS postcode…who knows where Ilkley really is? Still, one thing they do have going for them is an absolutely cracking outdoor pool, open seven days a week until September. Hit up the off-peak between 7-9am to really maximize on price, or pay £7.90 for an adult entry. Best of all, for just £200 you can hire the whole pool out for a kid’s party of twenty - ‘parent of the year’ prizes up for grabs right there.
MEANWOOD VALLEY FARM
Meanwood is a great place to get your hands dirty - and no, we don’t mean fighting for the last organic strawberry punnet in Waitrose. The Meanwood valley farm is a surprisingly interactive day out where you can feed sheep and alpacas, pet the cows and generally go Countryfile for the day.
Although the cute newborn season of spring is over, the animals are all very friendly and there are plenty of ways to get involved in the farm’s educational programmes and charitable projects. Best of all, admission is an absolute steal - just £2 for adults and 50p for children.
LEEDS TOTAL WARRIOR DAY
Fancy spending your weekend sweating it out? Leeds Total Warrior returns to Bramham Park on 23-24 June. With a 12km course featuring the ‘Peaks of Pain’, ‘Human BBQ’ and the ominous sounding ‘Cement Mixer’, this may not be the most leisurely of activities, but it certainly will secure you bragging rights. Keen beans need to get registering quick - application closes on 21 June.
CHOW DOWN, HALIFAX PIECE HALL
From the team who brought you Leeds Indie Food, Halifax is getting its very own slice of tasty artisan magic this summer. Chow Down sees food traders, arts and music unite in the stunning surrounds of Piece Hall for monthly events that promise good times and even better refreshments, just five minutes away from Halifax train station.