9th December 2020
Living in Gledhow provides an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of Leeds City Centre. This picturesque suburb sits between Roundhay and Oakwood, only 20 minutes walk from the beautiful Roundhay Park. The charming woodland setting includes a beck and ornamental lake. There is also a bathhouse dating back to 1671, known locally as the Gipton Spa.
Local residents treasure this homely area. So much so that The Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods was set up in March 1996. The aim was to protect and enhance the natural beauty of the woods, increase public awareness, support other local groups, and liaise with all appropriate organisations to achieve objectives. Membership is open to all, and in 2016 the organisation became a registered charity led by a board of elected trustees. Members also organise regular events, including Birdsong Walks and Bushcraft for Kids, Discovering Fungi, etc.
At the top of Gledhow is ‘Little Switzerland’. You only have to drive along Gledhow Lane to understand how the combination of high stone walls, mature trees and steep gradient gave rise to this folk name.
The origin of Gledhow’s name is uncertain. Although, one theory suggests the name derives from the Saxon words signifying ‘Hill of The Flying Coals’. However, a more likely theory is that ‘Gledhow’ derives from two words meaning ‘Hill of the Kite’. This refers to the Red Kite birds which were likely to have been resident in the area at the time, now being reintroduced via a breeding programme at Harewood House.
Gledhow Valley Road cuts through the valley allowing access to Roundhay Road at one end and Harrogate Road at the other. Commuters working in Leeds City Centre or Harrogate will find Gledhow well located for travelling to work.
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