Leeds’ answer to London’s Hampstead Heath is historic Roundhay Park, where pathways cut through 700 acres of undulating parkland, formal gardens and woods. One of its most popular features is the large Waterloo Lake with a timber-framed boathouse tucked into its western corner, which was used as a backdrop in the 2019 film Official Secrets starring Keira Knightley. In the film, the area around the lake plays the park in Washington DC where Ed Vulliamy meets his ex-CIA contact.
With its mature trees and midcentury timber-framed boathouse – now a lovely lakeside cafe – you can see why these environs looked the part for leafy Washington. From the boathouse, you can watch the Leeds Rowing Club give lessons or go boating, and the lake is even open for fishing. Beyond the lake, there are also children’s adventure trails, a skate park, the Tropical World wildlife attraction and a Greek-revival early 19th century hilltop mansion.