Visiting Roundhay Park Leeds And The Lakeside Cafe

Since I was young I have been going to Roundhay Park. It was close to my Grandparents house so we often visited them and headed to the park. Roundhay Park Leeds is well known for having had outdoor concerts, sports events and a great place to go for a walk.

However, that isn’t all there is to do at Roundhay Park Leeds, there is also the Roundhay park cafe and mansion. Here are some of the things you can do at Roundhay Park in Leeds…

Where Is Roundhay Park Leeds?

Roundhay Park is located in Leeds, West Yorkshire. It is known to be one of the biggest parks in Europe and has over 700 acres of woodland, parks and lakes.

These are all owned and run by Leeds City Council. The park has been open to the public since 1871 and has gone through a number of changes over the years, but always stays a family favourite.


There are multiple car parks and entrances to access the park. All car parks are free to park. No overnight parking or camping is permitted.

Parking by the Lakeside cafe Roundhay Park is free of charge at the park, there are around 35 spaces and around 5 disabled. This is located down Park Avenue. Very often if the car park is full people will park on the side of the road and there are no double yellow lines.

The second is located on the south end of the park by Wetherby Road.

Another is located on the west side by the old tram station by Princess Avenue.

Parking is also available behind the Roundhay Fox pub off Mansion Lane.

The last is located at the end of Mansion Lane by the Mansion House Hotel.


Buses 2 and 12 run from Leeds City Centre to Roundhay Park Leeds daily. These can be found at the bus station in Leeds.

Nearest Bus Stop: Princes Avenue, Bus number 12.


As you can see from the map below that many of the trains stations are quite far away from Roundhay Park Leeds. The main way to get to Roundhay park is by car or bus.

Depending on where you are travelling from it would work out easier to get the train to Leeds city centre and transfer to bus number 2 or 12 to Roundhay.

What Is There To Do In Roundhay Park?

Roundhay Park has endless opportunities of things to do, no matter what time of the year it is. The park is diverse and is open all year round for outdoor fun such as picnics in Summer, conker picking in Autumn and sledging in Winter.

Here are a few of the things we enjoy doing the most at Roundhay Park.

Walk around the Lakes

There are 2 lakes at Roundhay Park Leeds, one much smaller than the other. The larger is called Waterloo Lake and is home to water sports, the Lakeside Cafe and the ducks and swans.

The distance around the lake is roughly 1.5 miles. Great for bike riders, runners and trainers or just for a nice walk out. The smaller lake is located further away near the mansion in the park.

I will say that horses, bicycles and motorbikes are not permitted unless there is a specific and special route through or to the park in which is clearly marked for these modes of transport.

If you want to double check if you can use any of these before heading to the park, check out Leeds City Council website and the bylaws for more information.

Visit The Bandstands

There are a couple of bandstands located in Roundhay Park Leeds. These are still used for special events as they would have been traditional. When they aren’t being used they are a great place to have a sit down under shelter. The bandstands offer up great views over the park too.

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Go To Barran’s Fountain

In 1871 the estate was acquired by the mayor of Leeds Sir John Barren. The ornate drinking fountain which is still standing was a personal gift to the park. The style and era the fountain was designed in was the compliment the mansion.

The structure is surrounded by trees and is slightly tucked away from the main open areas. It was quite a romantic spot and reminds me of the scene from Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice as Keira Knightly runs out of the rain under a similar structure.

Feed The Ducks

One of the popular things to do, especially for the children is feeding the ducks and swans. They are found here most of the year and love some attention.

The Roundhay park cafe has an honesty box and you can purchase duck food for 50p a bag. This way you can feed the ducks exactly what they need. This is one of the kids favourite things to do here and is always fun to see them.

Have A Picnic

With over 700 acres of fields, green spaces and woodland there is more than enough place for a picnic. Earlier this year we went for a picnic and took a blanket and camped out for the day. We found a great spot on the hill near the park.

There are laws in place against fires, BBQ’s or any other activity that will result in an open fire. This is as the grounds are surrounded by woodland and is a natural habitat for many animals.

Head To The Visitors Centre

The visitor’s centre is located in the mansion. The main rooms and areas are cut off from public viewing but they have areas for events, exhibitions and the visitor’s centre. The mansion is beautiful to view from the outside and is worth going to look at if only just the exterior.

If you are looking to keep up to date with events and exhibitions, head to Leeds City Council website for further details.

Tropical World

Tropical world is a well known indoor zoo that houses a rainforest, mangroves, desert and the nocturnal world. It is a great place to explore nature from different parts of the world here at home.

I have been going to Tropical world since I was little. My favourite part of visiting would always be the butterfly house as you would walk through and they would be able to fly around your head.

It is a paid attraction within Roundhay Park Leeds and costs ?6.20 for adults and ?3.10 for children. Children under 5 are free and there are concessions for Leeds card holders and breeze card holders.

Play Football

With Roundhay park having so much open space there is no reason you can’t make the most of it and have a game of football. There are fields upon fields that can hold more than one football game so don’t be put off by other people playing.

The better places to play are further up away from the lake, the last thing you want to do is see your ball rolling down the hill to the lake.

Go Fishing

Fishing is only permitted on the larger lake – Waterloo Lake. The area nearest the cafe, known as the boating area is off limits to fishing.

The top lake is not permitted as it is a protected wildlife habitat. If you want to go fishing, check out Leeds City Council website for more information.

Go To The Playground

Just by the main car park and the Roundhay Park Cafe, there is a playground. The playground has swings, slides benches and more. Plenty of space for adults to sit while children play. Sometimes there is an ice cream van located by the park and a blow up a bouncy castle or blow up slide.

Visit The Gardens

At Roundhay park Leeds there is something for everyone. As I was younger my Grandad enjoyed coming to the gardens to get ideas for his own. He would take notes of the plants they used and would go on to bring them into his gardens.

They also have select areas and gardens made up especially for the blind. The gardens are called Coronation gardens and Canal gardens, located by Tropical World.

These gardens have scented plants so you can enjoy much more than just the outdoors. The gardens are a great place to have a walk, sit on a bench and enjoy the flowers. Especially enjoyable in the summertime when it can be full of lovely smells and beautiful colours.

Play A Game Of Golf

There is a golf course at Roundhay Park Leeds and anyone can go and play. It is a nine hole course in mature woodland parkland. There is everything from a pro shop to the on-site restaurant, bar and club hire ready and waiting.

There are concessions for juniors, OAPs, and priority LeedsCard holders. Opening hours change depending on the time of year. This is best checking with the golf course itself before visiting.

Take A Ride On The Train

Of course, there is a train, a very cute one too. The train is a small train that takes you around the park from the bottom near the car park up to the mansion. It is a paid train and costs ?1.50 one way or ?2.00 return.

Can You Fly Drones?

While we have used a drone at the park and on our latest visit there was a couple flying their drone, I cannot find any up to date information on whether this is permitted or not. If you are wanting to fly a drone I would advise to use it in an open area and away from other people.

Is There A Skate Park?

Yes, there is a skate park located within the grounds. It is open at the same times as the park. It has?a back and forth runs with quarter pipes and flat banks either side of funboxes.

Can You Take Dogs To Roundhay Park Leeds?

Yes, of course. It is a paradise for dogs here. We have been plenty of times to walk the dogs around the lake, play in the fields and woodland areas. I would advise having your dogs on leads in the busy areas of the park and around the car parks.

Lakeside Cafe Roundhay Park

One of the best places to get a good view over the lake is at the Roundhay Park Cafe. Located on the Lakeside edge built over the water edge to give customers a great view over Waterloo Lake.

The Roundhay park cafe itself has just undergone a lovely redecoration to bring it up to modern standards. It now offers up a range of seating from soft chairs to more formal dining – inside and out.

Roundhay park cafe is a great place to go and have a nice cup of tea or stop for lunch. The Lakeside Cafe Roundhay Park offers up a variety of meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner and light snacks and best of all fresh cakes. The cafe is well laid out with plenty of space to move around and plenty of seats.


Just before entering the cafe inside the entrance hall there is a small space dedicated to bikes, prams and scooters to park. This is a great addition to save families having to go back to the car to put them away before lunch.

Within the same area, there is an honesty box with a sign dedicated to duck food. You can buy the duck food for 50p a bag to help give the ducks and swans the best food possible. There are also toilets located down the side hall.


Now into the cafe and what they offer in terms of food. At the Roundhay Park cafe, they clearly know that there is nothing better than having a nice walk and stopping for food afterwards and so they have plenty on offer to suit every taste.

While we visited they had a standard daily menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, they offer up fresh pastries, cooked breakfast and hot sandwiches such as bacon, sausage etc. They also offer up gluten-free?options such as maple and banana granola.

Lunch is much more extensive at the Lakeside cafe Roundhay park, there are a variety of meals on offer in both hot and food counter.

We visited on a Sunday and so in addition to the usual daily menu, they had a Sunday dinner for £12-£14. The daily menu consists of salads, sandwiches in a number of fillings, paninis and wraps, quiche and obviously cakes to finish.

We stopped for lunch on a Sunday and got 3 adult sandwiches, 2 children’s lunch boxes, 2 bottles of Coke Cola and 1 pot of tea. This all came to £37.

The adult’s sandwiches came on a white plate with a small garnish salad, the bread was fresh and was delicious. I chose to have cheese, Cora had he prawn Marie rose and Laura had the tuna.

The best part was the children’s box as it came with a little bit of everything. The box came with a sandwich, drink and choice of 2 snacks. The options were available to view in the glass cabinets, we chose tuna sandwiches, orange juice, quavers and a banana for Frankie and Petit Filous yoghurt for Matilda.

It all came displayed in a lovely colourful lunch box so you could fold it up and carry home with you.

The Venue

The Lakeside Cafe Roundhay Park doesn’t just offer up delicious food and stunning views. The cafe actually can be the venue for your wedding reception in the evening. The food can be formal dining, buffet or even BBQ in the summer.

You can also hire the venue for birthdays, celebrations or conference needs. It makes a great place for a party as there is on sight parking at the park and beautiful views.

That’s everything you can do at Roundhay Park Leeds. We hope we’ve answered all your questions (and more!) when it comes to visiting Roundhay Park, of course, if you have any questions we’ve not managed to answer then be sure to leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

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