Day Trips from Leeds by Train

22nd October 2021

When it comes to exploring West Yorkshire, there is so much to discover. With award winning museums and galleries, world-class architecture, heritage and stunning landscapes just a short train ride away, why not make the most of it? Here are some of the sensational sights of Leeds and its surrounding areas, all accessible by rail travel!  

Canal Walk to Kirkstall Abbey

At 13-miles long, The Leeds Canal Walk is not for the faint-hearted, but it is an immensely rewarding adventure through West Yorkshire. It starts at Leeds Station and leads you through local landmarks such as Bramley Hall Park, Calverley Woods and the industrial mills of Shipley. However, if you’re looking to only venture a shorter distance, it’s the perfect walking route to the historic hotspot that is Kirkstall Abbey. As one of the most complete examples of a Medieval Cistercian Abbey in Britain, Kirkstall Abbey boasts historic architecture amongst a haven of wildlife and greenery. There is also the Abbey House Museum across the road, which provides a great experience for all the family. Alternatively, if the three-mile trek isn’t for you, there are plenty of trains to Kirkstall Forge station just down the road. Rail journey time from Leeds Train Station: 6 Minutes to Kirkstall Forge.  

Street Art Trail

With stunning works such as Cornucopia and the Mabgate Mural popping up decades ago, Leeds has always had a rich history of street art. Striking pieces provide a decorative backdrop for much of the city, creating a web of distinctive pieces that tell the story of Leeds and its communities. With an ever-growing collection of street art calling Leeds home, you never know where unusual and distinctive designs will pop up next. A unique opportunity to enjoy a walk with culture incorporated, the street art trail is well worth a wander!  

The Owl Trail

Dotted across Leeds City Centre in 25 different locations there are some truly unique owls ready to be discovered. Venturing on a voyage across history, the online map and guide allows each owl to inform you of why it is there and gives you a brief snapshot of what it has seen in its lifetime. Featuring Owls in locations such as Millennium Square, The War Memorial, Leeds Town Hall and St Anne’s Cathedral, the trail will take you on a terrific tour of all the local sights!


In the heart of the Yorkshire countryside, Ilkley is a town that provides the best of both worlds. There are plenty of wonderful countryside walks to spend your day taking you on the famous Ilkley Moor including the breath-taking Cow and Calf Rocks hike which allows for fabulous views across the Wharfe valley. If a leisurely afternoon is more your speed, you can amble along the river Wharfe or why not explore the wealth of shops, cafes and restaurants along the idyllic tree lined streets. Rail journey time from Leeds Train Station: 27 Minutes to Ilkley  


Built in 1851 by Titus Salt, Saltaire is a Victorian Model village which was originally designed to house workers of the local textile mill. In the present day, it offers fantastic architecture, shopping experience and culture. Salts Mill is a must visit spot and includes independent shops, cafes, a diner and the 1853 Gallery featuring one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s artwork. It is also surrounded by stunning countryside and moors and is a terrific place to explore the great outdoors. It was built next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal, allowing you to explore the area by foot or on bike as the tow paths form parts of the National Cycle Network. Rail journey time from Leeds Train Station: 14 Minutes to Saltaire  

The Piece Hall

The Grade I listed Piece Hall is the only remaining Georgian Cloth Hall in the world. Built in 1779 for the trading of ‘pieces’ of cloth (a 30-yard length of woven woollen fabric produced on a handloom), the Piece Hall is now a treasure trove of boutique and unique shops, independent cafes, bars and restaurants. Its magnificent courtyard hosts a huge array of events, from contemporary music concerts, to impressive site-specific performances, circus spectacle, street theatre and major televised events including  the BBC’s Antiques Road Show. Just a 20 minute walk away is Shibden Hall, which was once home to Anne Lister, the focus of the award winning BBC series Gentleman Jack. The house was one of the key filming locations for the show and is surrounded by 32 hectares of beautiful park and woodland to explore. Rail journey time from Leeds City Station: 31 Minutes to Halifax  


Famed for being the home of the Brontë sisters, Haworth attracts visitors from far and wide. Rich in history and buzzing with activity, there is something for everyone in this remarkable village. From the historic cobbled Main Street at its heart with plenty of shops, crafts and tea rooms to peruse, to the extraordinary sweeping moors and picturesque surroundings perfect for both budding photographers and keen hikers. Rail journey time from Leeds Train Station:  26 Minutes to Keighley and then just 15 minutes on the Bronte Bus to Haworth  

The Hepworth

The Hepworth is an award-winning art gallery set within Wakefield’s historic waterfront overlooking the River Calder. Named after Wakefield-born Barbara Hepworth, one of the 20th century’s most important artists, the gallery and its garden host major exhibitions of the best international, modern and contemporary art and has dedicated spaces exploring Hepworth’s art and working process. It is also home to Wakefield’s art collection – an impressive compendium of modern British art, including works by Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron, L.S. Lowry and Henry Moore. Rail journey time from Leeds Train Station: 16 Minutes to Wakefield Westgate  

Bradford Media Museum

Bradford is well worth a visit and one of the many highlights is the Media Museum. Visitors can explore the science of media technology and the impact on our modern culture. Aiming to inspire future scientists and innovators, its galleries and exhibitions display world famous collections of photography, film, and television. With 5 floors of interactive exhibits featuring all things media along with 3 cinemas, including the ever-popular IMAX, its an ideal day out from Leeds. Rail journey time from Leeds Train Station: 20 Minutes to Bradford Interchange