As the nights are drawing in earlier and the temperatures are falling, the idea of leisurely wandering outdoors for hours on end seems less and less appealing.
So what do you do if you still want to spend time outdoors but can’t face a full evening in the cold?
Let the sky transform from grey and drizzle to shades of violet and crimson and watch the shepherd’s warning appear as the sun goes down. Sunsets rarely last more than an hour, making it an ideal opportunity to get out before nightfall.
Watching the sunset is not only the perfect way to get some exercise outdoors, but there are also plenty of positive psychological effects to watching the sun go down. According to reports, it helps us to enhance long-lasting satisfaction and relieves stress.
We’ve found five spots to get you out and about in Leeds, all hidden in plain sight.
Recently awarded the title of ‘one of the most beautiful parks in the UK’, Roundhay Park is the perfect place to watch the sun go down. Find a spot at either of the main lakes that bring the park to life: at the upper, smaller lake, nestle amongst the wildlife in a secluded spot or opt for an open-air view by the larger Waterloo lake. For a more subtle sunset spot, check out the host of gardens, including those inspired by Monet and Alhambra.
In summer, the thought of swimming in the docks seemed rather appealing but now that the temperature is dropping faster than the leaves from the trees, watching the sunset on dry land seems much more appealing. Whether you choose to find a spot in the Water Lane Boathouse down by the train station, or wander further down the Leeds to Liverpool trail, there’s something about witnessing the canal turn shades of violet as the water reflects the emerging moonlight that’s quite special.
Recently, Ilkley Moor made our headlines for a ‘Zip the Cow’ challenge but most days the mountainous terrain is better known as a tranquil spot to be at one with nature. The peak of the moors lay over 400 metres above sea level and formed the inspiration for the Yorkshire county anthem ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘, making this historic spot a firm local favourite. During twilight hours a cascade of ambers, yellows and crimsons can be viewed from the large boulders, or the Cow and Calf pub nearby if you don’t fancy the incline.
The name says it all about this spot. Just thirty minutes from the city centre, Otley Chevin’s Surprise View is the place to go for a quick outdoor walk with stunning views included. The trail spans across 2.7 miles and on a clear day, you can see as far as the White Horse near Sutton Bank or Simon’s Seat from the top edges. Walk through woodland and climb the crags with ease whilst taking in the surprisingly beautiful views that change upon each visit. Just take care during the colder months when leaves can become slippery.
If you need a change of scenery and feel as though you’ve seen every view in Leeds you can think of, head over to Knaresborough. Opt to arrive by train and you’ll get to see the sunset in its full glory too. From the highest point in the town, watch from your air conditioned window as the day comes to a close and the sun settles down beneath you. The viaduct is used to take Harrogate line over the River Nidd but it is not until you get off at a nearby station you realise the full height of the track.
Feature Image- Mark Dobson