Roundhay Train - photo: Tony Quinn
Tropical World has now re-opened following stage 2 of refurbishment work (Feb 2014).
Events in Roundhay Park
Cricket? Geology? Canoeing? Dragon Boat Races? Farmers Market? Asian Festival? Fun Fair? Fitness? Soccer, Running? Walking? Rowing? Cycle Racing? Childrens Rides? Brass Bands? Red Bull FlugTag? Annual Bonfire and Firework Display, What's on in Roundhay Park? More details.....
Remember Springtime in the park? - enjoy the Daffodils...
The garden which won a historic first-ever gold medal for the city of Leeds at the Chelsea Flower Show is now permanently installed in the park. You can take a 360 degree virtual tour of the award winning speciality gardens here...
The DeLacy family of Pontefract Castle owned the area known as Roundhay in the thirteenth century, when it was a hunting park of around three square miles.
A Public Park
The estate was purchased by the City of Leeds in 1872 and was opened as a public park by His Royal Highness Prince Arthur on the 19th of September the same year.
The White Elephant
The Lord Mayor of Leeds at that time, John Barran was made fun of in various publications for buying a 'White Elephant' - as at that time Roundhay was a long way from the city centre, and could only really be reached by one route - the old 'turnpike' road which dated from 1808.
The purchase of the park was regarded as a reckless waste of ratepayers money - critics even published a printed booklet: 'The Big White Elephant' in 1879.
Open Air Swimming Pool
In June 1907 the open air swimming pool 'lido' was built on the Wetherby Road side of the park below the Waterloo Lake, at a cost of just over £1,600, it was built mainly by unemployed citizens. In its heyday during the 1950's and 1960's about 100,000 people a year visited the 'swimming baths'. The baths finally closed in the 70's and is now partly grassed over, and part car park - although signs around the park still direct visitors to the 'Lido'.
Park and Gardens
Roundhay Park now covers over 700 acres of parkland, lakes and woodland and is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The Park has a scented for the blind, National Plant Collections, Canal Gardens, the Monet and Alhambra Gardens, plus Tropical World (also known as Butterfly Gardens and Butterfly World) which attracts visitors all year round. Newly opened in 2005 is the Friends Garden, located alongside Canal Gardens and the Rainbow Garden. In the 21st century, following extensive renovations to the park a new area of award winning 'Chelsea Gardens' has been created where gardens created for the Chelsea Show have been rebuilt for all to enjoy in the 'Speciality Gardens' area just off Mansion Lane.
In addition to the Gulls and Geese which visitors to the park enjoy feeding from the side of the lake you can also see Mute Swans, Whooper Swans, Herons, Great Crested Grebes, Common Warblers, and Woodpeckers amongst the birds which visit the park.
The Upper (smaller) Lake is maintained as a wildlife area, the larger Waterloo Lake is used for fishing. The Park Arena is a natural amphitheatre which, in addition to being both a cricket pitch and a cycle tracks is used as a venue for many special events ranging from sports days to major pop concerts. For many years this was the location for the spectacular annual Roundhay Park bonfire and firework displays in November which are now held on the Soldiers Field.
Sports and Leisure Facilities
Facilities at the Park also include tennis courts, childrens play area, a small skateboard park, sports pitches, bowling greens, the sports arena, a golf course, and fishing. The Lakeside cafe overlooks Waterloo Lake, and the Mansion has re-opened with a 'Garden Room Restaurant' and rooms for events, business meetings and weddings (The Mansion is licensed for Civil ceremonies).
Getting to Roundhay Park, Leeds.
Details of bus routes and timetables to Roundhay Park
Buses to and from Leeds City Centre 2 & 12
Roundhay Park is situated approximately 3 miles North of Leeds City Centre off the A58 Wetherby Road at Oakwood. Alternatively, Roundhay Park is accessible from the A6120 Leeds Ring Road.
Roundhay Park and Tropical World are accessible to wheelchair users. For details of free motability powered scooters and wheelchair provision at the park please click here.
Free map of Roundhay Park? - If you would like a high resolution version map to print out FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL USE?** - please click here to download a pdf version of the Park Map.
(You will need the Adobe Acrobat software to view and print this map - the FREE Acrobat reader software is available from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat.html