“The Ridge,” as it’s affectionately known, is a long narrow strip of largely native woodland, running between Grove Lane in Headingley and Ridge Road in Woodhouse. It offers its visitors a sense of peace and contact with nature, in certain contrast with Headingley’s busy centre with which it connects via the lovely Wood Lane. Lying on the steep eastern hillside of Headingley Hill, there are some enticing views along and across the Meanwood valley and a plethora of public routes connecting them, including the Meanwood Valley Trail and The Dales Way Long Distance Footpath.
It has two main paths which run for its 2.5km length, and any number of steeper smaller link paths traversing the slopes; the fairly level middle one offers easy walking for those with mobility difficulties or pushing children in buggies. Frequented by joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and those merely after a peaceful stroll, it is much prized locally - and also offers a fume-free short cut to the Universities and city centre.
Originally largely open moorland, it was laid out as a public park in 1870 as part of the Victorian public health drive, and has since become near continuous woodland, with a few open maintained glades. Traces of its history can be discovered in a published heritage trail and a series of information panels. A bacchanalian festival has been run at the bandstand for the last three years.
WRAG (Woodhouse Ridge Action Group), an enthusiastic band of volunteers, has been championing the Ridge since 1995, their contact details are:
Woodhouse Ridge Action Group