Anglers Country Park, WF4, 2 miles

What a gorgeous sunny day to try the Room on the Broom trail! It’s a 2 mile circular walk around the lake, with a £2 activity pack available to help you along your way!

http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/sport-and-leisure/parks-and-countryside/room-on-the-broom#rotb

Distance: 2 miles (9000 children steps!)

Facilities: Toilets, Visitor centre, Play area, Picnic areas, Drinks van, Bike hire. *Cafe set to open Spring 2919!

Access: Nice wide paths suitable for buggies and bikes

Parking: Charges do now apply- check website for current prices. http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/sport-and-leisure/parks-and-countryside/parks/anglers-country-park

We started the trail explaining to our excited three year old the characters to look out for- today she was going round on her bike as we walked behind her. It wasn’t long before we started to spot the wooden carvings- there are metal shapes dotted too for rubbings if you fancy it (there’s a sheet in the activity pack to use- unfortunately we didn’t spot it until we got home :-().

What would a lakeside walk be if not for an opportunity to feed the ducks? Bags of bird seed are available from the Discovery centre for 50p a bag.

There are lots of benches along the way to stop for snacks and to admire the view.

Back at the centre there’s a great playground for children- not a huge amount for toddlers, but a swing and a couple of slides are enough to keep our daughter happy!

The trail was a great chance to keep Jess engaged in being outdoors, she loved spotting characters and thoroughly enjoyed herself! Best of all she completely wore herself out and had a mammoth nap once back at home!!

Roundhay Park, LS8, Park walk

Distance: The route below is 4.2k- but you can do more or less!

Parking: free, and there are a few different ones, I tend to park at the Southern one off Wetherby Road.

Buggy friendly: Yes, although muddy and steep in places so be prepared! Stick to the tarmac park paths if you want to keep it easy.

Facilities: Play areas, duck feeding, cafes

https://www.roundhaypark.org.uk/roundhay-park-tour-leeds/roundhay-park-walks.html

Roundhay Park really has a soft spot in my heart. I lived here when Jess was born, so this was my go to spot when I was pregnant, particularly when I went over my due date- all I did was walk to try and get things moving! And then one of my first trips out was to the park. A gentle stroll was such a challenge, the Roundhay Fox was our first drink in public with a baby, eeeeek! Happy memories 😍

Anyway, my favourite route starts at the Southern car park and takes an anti-clockwise route round the park. It’s a steep, bumpy start to join the lakeside path and keep heading north right to the top of the lake. At this point rather than continuing round the lake, keep going straight ahead into the woods. You’ll see a little bridge to your left, cross this and head uphill. When the path forks, stay left, and you’ll pass the back of the ruin. It then takes you to the Upper Lake. I walk round the top before heading past the front of the Mansion. Take a path down to Lakeside cafe and a fantastic under 8s play area. The cafe has toilets in the entrance, and you can also buy duck food if you haven’t bought and yourself. Once you’re ready to head back, rejoin the Lake path to take you back!

Another great path- although really tricky in places with a buggy- is the gorge walk, check out the map on the link. It’s really quiet, you pass very few people, and it’s easy to forget you’re in a park!

If you haven’t been before it’s definitely worth a visit!

Bishop Wood, LS25, Woodland Walk

Directions: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/10644/bishop-wood/

Distance: Various depending on your routes, but I’d go expecting up to 5k

Parking: Free car park on road between Biggin and Thorpe Willoughby

Facilities: None

Buggy access: Main paths are suitable for buggies but it is a little muddy in places and there’s the odd fallen tree to navigate!

We stopped here for a few hours before meeting friends at one of our favourite pubs (https://www.theqott.com). It was a really lovely woodland, with good paths that our toddler enjoyed practising her balance bike skills on. Perfect if you’ve got an hour or two to kill, or are looking for somewhere new for a dog walk. But, beware there are no facilities, and so I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way for a day trip. I definitely think we’ll return, but no doubt under similar circumstances as today- a place to get fresh air en route to somewhere else nearby!

Pontefract Racecourse, WF8, A park walk

Distance: 2 miles around the full circuit, smaller routes also there http://www.friendsofpontefractpark.btck.co.uk/Walkingandrunningroutes

Parking: Plenty- head to the car park at the main entrance

Buggy friendly: Yes, around the full circuit

Toddler friendly: Yes- we took ours round on a bike

Facilities: Play area, pond. No cafe but perfect for picnics and an emergency McDs near the entrance.

Someone suggested we gave this a go- given its proximity to the M62 I wasn’t overly hopeful, but so pleased that we did! Have a look at the website first to get an idea of where you’ll want to walk http://www.friendsofpontefractpark.btck.co.uk/Walkingandrunningroutes

It’s a proper park area- complete with football pitches, playground, duck pond- even an area for flying model planes! There were loads of people when we went round, enjoying the winter sunshine. The 2 mile path that follows the racecourse is gritted, and there is a tarmac path around the duck pond. Other routes are grassy, so may get boggy at times. We’re looking forward to returning in the summer for a picnic day here!!