20th April 2016
Alwoodley is a delightful residential area of north Leeds with some very select areas, home to some of the most expensive housing in the city. This well kept residential suburb, built mostly after World War II, offers lots of green spaces, woodland and golf courses. It’s located 5 miles (8.0 km) north of the city centre and is one of the city’s most prosperous areas.
There is a local community group (Alwoodley Community Association and Social Club) which has a large community centre on The Avenue. On either side of Alwoodley is Adel, to the west, and Shadwell, to the east. There are a number of commuter villages to the north such as East Keswick and Wike.
Alwoodley is home to a sizeable proportion of the Leeds Jewish community. The area contains one of Leeds’ Synagogues, and the well-known Brodestky Jewish primary school, though the synagogue is a hundred metres or so outside of the parish boundary!
A large area of the parish is countryside, mainly farmland. Nearby is Eccup Reservoir. It was constructed in the 1840’s and 1850’s and is the largest area of water in West Yorkshire. The reservoir was the sole source of fresh water for Leeds in the mid 1800’s but sibling reservoirs in the Washburn Valley including Lindley Wood, Swinsty, Fewston and Thruscross were constructed from the late 1800’s until as late as 1968. Sandmoor Golf Club is just to the south of Eccup and Harewood House is to the north. The reservoir is now home to a growing population of red kites. These were introduced into the area as part of a national programme in 1999 and now number over 100. The reservoir was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1987.
Much of the open spaces in the Parish have protection via a variety of designations. Adel Woods with its beck, moorland, bog and acres of woodland interwoven with miles of paths now benefits from the TLC of Friends of Adel Wood. It is a special place with rare bog orchids, the only place in the Council’s area to host smooth lizards and several crags.
The New Inn at Eccup is a lovely forty-five minutes walk across beautiful countryside – good beer – good food – a real fire in winter and a walk welcome to walkers (hikers and doggy walkers as well!)
In 2008, Alwoodley Parish Council was created, after a campaign by local residents. The Parish Council represents the interests of the people of Alwoodley. Supported by the Parish Council the Friends of Adel Woods was formed shortly afterwards to conserve and enhance this woodland.
In Alwoodley there are a number of different areas of housing which are popular with middle and high class families such as Alwoodley Park, the Primley Parks, the Sandmoors, the Turnberrys, the Sunningdales, the Birkdales and the Wentworths as well as the Buckstones. The residential areas on and around Alwoodley Lane and Wigton Lane are among the most exclusive in Leeds, and indeed the entire region. Wigton Lane is just outside the parish boundary
The majority of homeowners are professionals or self employed people who live with their families in semi-detached and detached housing. There are a number of apartment blocks, which are popular with the retired section of the population. Recently a number of large properties have been sold and replaced by luxury flats. This is especially true in the Alwoodley Gates area, and increasingly along Harrogate Road, leading towards Alwoodley Gates.
The area is popular with families having school-age children with a number of popular schools as well as Leeds Grammar School which occupies a prominent location on the northern fringe of the area.
There are two international class golf courses within the parish, namely Moortown and Sandmoor Golf Clubs. Moortown Golf Club was also the home of the 1929 Ryder Cup. A cricket club, squash club and two rugby clubs are also situated in the area – Alwoodley Cricket Club, Leodensian R U F C, Moortown R U F C, and Moortown Squash Club. The Alwoodley Community Association also has tennis facilities. Gym facilities are available at the David Lloyd Centre just off the Ring Road.
Shopping in Alwoodley is provided at the Sainsbury Shopping Centre on the Ring Road as well as the shops and amenities on Harrogate Road opposite Moortown Golf Club.