It’s a bit of a cliché that you don’t take advantage of things to see and do on your doorstep but it’s so true. You wouldn’t have thought that in this suburban spot between the cities of Leeds and Wakefield would be surrounded by some stunning parks and countryside. We have become used to running around the local canal network and paths through the St Aidan’s wetlands. We also have the stunning grounds at Temple Newsam which is only a 4 mile run from where we live and is the venue for the toughest local parkrun! But, could we have missed something?
Only a few miles away from us in the opposite direction is Middlton Park; up to now, I hadn’t paid it much attention. Today after going to parkrun at Pontefract (Temple Newsam was closed to make way for Race for Life), encouraged by Helen, we went to Middleton Park for another run. Wow! I hadn’t appreciated what was there; we ran through some amazing ancient woodland where you would think you were miles away from civilisation. The woods were scattered with little information boards telling of the archiology, for this place has some early coal mining activity. The nearby Middleton Railway, despite being only a mile long, is the oldest working railway in the world and has its origins in the coal mining industry. A quite hilly route round the park is about three miles.
Since using public footpaths, this in only about 2.5 miles from where we live, this is certainly somewhere to explore!
“Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” Psalm 96:12 NIVUK