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Temple Newsam House set in parkland on the south eastern edge of Leeds
Temple Newsam House set in parkland on the south eastern edge of Leeds

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Route No. 693 - Thursday 12 October 2017
Home Farm car park, Colton Road entrance,
North Plantation, Temple Newsam Road,
golf course path, Bell Wood, 'M1',
Little Temple, Menagerie Pond circuit - 7km
Temple Newsam, Leeds, West Yorkshire . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 289 Leeds


The Home Farm car [park in the parkland around Temple Newsam House at the start of our walk
The Home Farm car [park in the parkland around Temple Newsam House at the start of our walk

Setting off from Home Farm car parkalong the access road
Setting off from Home Farm car park along the access road

Last Saturday was my usual monthly walk with a group of friends, led this month by our friend Peter and it was his inspired idea to come to Temple Newsam. Saturday's walk was about 10km, right at the top end of my range. Today I'm planning to do a shortened version of Peter's walk. From the Home Farm car park Jim & I walked back along the access road to the gate house at the Colton Road entrance to the parkland.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to the Home Farm car park (map ref. SE 360 323) in the grounds of Temple Newsam House on the south east edge of Leeds. On the face of it, it's an unlikely place for a country walk but in fact the parkland here is big enough for any walk that I can manage nowadays.

Heading for the Colton Road gateway along the access road
Heading for the Colton Road gateway along the access road

We crossed the grass behind the West Lodge to the path through the North Plantation
We crossed the grass behind the West Lodge to the path through the North Plantation

Start of the Woodland Walk in the North Plantation
Start of the Woodland Walk in the North Plantation

Following the Woodland Walk through the North Plantation
Following the Woodland Walk through the North Plantation

Following the Woodland Walk through the North Plantation
Following the Woodland Walk through the North Plantation

We followed the Woodland Walk through pretty mixed woodland with the housing estate screened by the trees on our right. We followed the Woodland Walk out of the western end of the North Plantation to Temple Newsam Road.

At the Colton Road entrance to the parkland we crossed the grass between the West Lodge and the Elm Walk car park to the path through the North Plantation. After a few metres we came to a finger post sign showing a path to our left leading towards the House and a path to our right called The Woodland Walk.

Turning onto the Woodland Walk in the North Plantation
Turning onto the Woodland Walk in the North Plantation

Following the Woodland Walk through the North Plantation
Following the Woodland Walk through the North Plantation

Leaving the North Plantation at Temple Newsam Road
Leaving the North Plantation at Temple Newsam Road

Crossing Temple Newsam Road to the footpath on the far side
Crossing Temple Newsam Road to the footpath on the far side

Following Temple Newsam Road southwards
Following Temple Newsam Road southwards

After about 300m along the road, where the road was bending to our left, (map ref. SE 350 324) we turned sharp right almost doubling back, to follow a track heading westwards across the golf course.

At the Temple Newsam Road we turned left and walked along the road, there's a footpath on the right hand side (west) of the road.

We doubled back here onto the track across the golf course
We doubled back here onto the track across the golf course

Following the track across the golf course from Temple Newsam Road
Following the track across the golf course from Temple Newsam Road

Following the track across the golf course
Following the track across the golf course

Following the track across the golf course
Following the track across the golf course

We turned left at the information board with a view past a wind turbine over an industrial part of Leeds. It was near enough to be interesting but far enough away not to be unpleasant, a reminder of how this lovely parkland is tucked away in the corner of such a large industrial city.

About 200m from the road the track forked. The fork straight ahead went to the golf club house and we took the fork to our left. After another 200m we came to a junction in the track where there was an information board by the track.

We kept left at this fork in the track
We kept left at this fork in the track

We turned left at the information board at this junction
We turned left at the information board at this junction

The view of Leeds on our right showing that this parkland oasis is tucked into a corner of the industrial city
The view of Leeds on our right showing that this parkland oasis is tucked into a corner of the industrial city

The path down the western side of the golf course
The path down the western side of the golf course

We turned left here just before the path reached the A63
We turned left here just before the path reached the A63

Following the path through Bell Wood
Following the path through Bell Wood

We continued along the woodland path for about 1km to a stile on to a surfaced track next to the slip road onto the M1 from the A63.

We continued along the path around the western side of the golf course heading towards the A63. About 120m before we reached the A63 we turned left to follow the path through Bell Wood going parallel to the A63.

The path down the western side of the golf course
The path down the western side of the golf course

Following the path through Bell Wood
Following the path through Bell Wood

Following the path through Bell Wood
Following the path through Bell Wood

Stile on to a surfaced track next to the slip road onto the M1 from the A63
Stile on to a surfaced track next to the slip road onto the M1 from the A63

Start of the path up the hill next to the M1
Start of the path up the hill next to the M1

Our path through the trees & bushes next to the M1
Our path through the trees & bushes next to the M1

Following the path next to the M1
Following the path next to the M1

Here we came through a stile from the footpath onto a crossroads on the surfaced tracks. The track to our left climbs uphill leading to the Temple Newsam House; the track to our right leads under the M1 to a minor road on the far side of the motorway; our route was along the track straight ahead.

Our path continued parallel to the surfaced track climbing up the hillside with the M1 below us to our right. It was a pleasant rural path through the trees and bushes but the roar of the motorway traffic was quite intrusive. We continued along the path parallel to the M1 for about 550m to map ref. SE 357 313.

The M1 just east of the junction with A63
The M1 just east of the junction with A63

Our path through the trees & bushes next to the M1
Our path through the trees & bushes next to the M1


Stile from the footpath onto a crossroads of surfaced tracks

We continued straight on at this crossroads
We continued straight on at this crossroads

After about 50m the track bent round to our left
After about 50m the track bent round to our left

An oak apple on a young oak tree by the track
An oak apple on a young oak tree by the track

Continuing along the track through the parkland at SE362317
Continuing along the track through the parkland at SE362317

After about 600m we came to a junction in the tracks at map ref. SE 363 319. Here the main track turned left, heading towards Temple Newsam House, but we kept straight on leaving the main track and following a track uphill through woodland.

We followed the track straight ahead and after about 50m the track bent round to our left following a little valley into the parkland. We continued along this pleasant track, now screened from the traffic noise on the motorway.

The track followed a little valley into the parkland
The track followed a little valley into the parkland

Continuing along the track through the parkland at SE360316
Continuing along the track through the parkland at SE360316

A glimps of Temple Newsam House from the track at SE362319
A glimpse of Temple Newsam House from the track at SE362319

We turned right at this junction in the tracks at map ref. SE 363 319
We turned right at this junction in the tracks at the bend

From the junction we set off up the wooded track
From the junction we set off up the wooded track


Steel kissing gate next to a wooden field gate at the bend . . .

Climbing up to the Little Temple through the woods
Climbing up to the Little Temple through the woods

We ignored these gates and instead we turned left off the track to pass through a wooden squeeze stile opposite them and follow a footpath climbing up the wooded hillside to the Little Temple.

After about 250m along the wooded track, it bent round to our left and on the outside of the bend there was a path through a steel kissing gate next to a wooden field gate at map ref. SE 365 320.

Following the track through the woods up the hill
Following the track through the woods up the hill

we turned left through the sqeeze stile opposite
. . . we turned left through the squeeze stile opposite

Climbing up to the Little Temple through the woods
Climbing up to the Little Temple through the woods

The Little Temple, dilapidated, and surrounded by security fencing to deter vandals & graphiti writers
The Little Temple, dilapidated, and surrounded by security fencing to deter vandals & graffiti writers

Woodland path down from the Little Temple
Woodland path down from the Little Temple

Path by the Menagerie Ponds
Path by the Menagerie Ponds

We turned left here down the path next to the ponds
We turned left here down the path next to the ponds

From the Little Temple we followed the path down through the woodland to the side of the Menagerie Ponds. The trees and shrubbery here are quite thick and there are only brief glimpses of the ponds.

The Little Temple was a bit of a disappointment when we got there. It is very dilapidated, adorned with much graffiti and surrounded by a high unattractive security fence. Indeed the only concession to the look of the place is that the security fence is green.

Woodland path down from the Little Temple
Woodland path down from the Little Temple

A glimps of the largest Menagerie Pond
A glimpse of the largest Menagerie Pond

Following the path by the pond
Following the path by the pond

Preparations for the dinosaur exhibition were well under way
Preparations for the dinosaur exhibition were well under way

Path around the Menagerie Ponds
Path around the Menagerie Ponds

We walked around the end of the ponds to a small car park and followed a path from this little car park along the side of a fence back up to the Home Farm car park and the end of our walk.

On the far side of the ponds part of the parkland has been fenced off for an exhibition of animatronic dinosaurs (October 13th to October 29th 2017). The equipment was being tested and there was the eerie roar of a dinosaur as we approached the northern end of the Menagerie Ponds.

Path from the end of the ponds up to the Home Farm car park
Path from the end of the ponds up to the Home Farm car park

Path from the end of the ponds up to the Home Farm car park
Path from the end of the ponds up to the Home Farm car park

Returning to the Home Farm car park at the end of our walk
Returning to the Home Farm car park at the end of our walk

The whole walk had been about 7km mostly following the Temple Newsam 'Trailways' that are way-marked with the badge shown at the head of this page. There is a good leaflet with a map of the Trailways through the parkland available at the Home Farm cafe. The whole walk took us almost three hours and at the end of the walk we walked from the car park to the Home Farm cafe for a coffee and a snack for our lunch before driving home. Thanks, Peter, for a very interesting & enjoyable change of venue for our walk!

Temple Newsam House seen from the side entrance to the Home Farm cafe
Temple Newsam House seen from the side entrance to the Home Farm cafe

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