Kirkstall Abbey Trail Running Festival 2019

This established trail running festival is now in its 3rd year and getting bigger and better every time. The event starts and finishes in the grounds of the magnificent Kirkstall Abbey. Kirkstall Abbey is set on the banks of the river Aire and is one of the most complete examples of a medieval cistercian Abbey in Great Britain. 12 monks from Fountains Abbey, (also in Yorkshire), set up their community in Kirkstall in 1152 and remained until the dissolution in 1539. If anyone saw the live BBC 3 event 2011, Frankenstein’s wedding, that was filmed at the Abbey. The Kaiser Chiefs have also played 2 concerts to an audience of 10,000 within the Abbey grounds. Another interesting fact is the ongoing rumour that Kirkstall Abbey has a secret tunnel, leading from the Abbey to elsewhere. It’s existence is hotly contested, however, but many local folk hope it does exist. It is believed that the tunnel ends near the Abbey Inn, which is part of the run route. Remember it’s never been found, so be careful not to disappear down the secret rabbit hole. There are 2 famous hauntings at Kirkstall Abbey. The former Abbot of the Abbey walks the area that has now been converted into a museum, which by the way is a great museum. However it is rumoured that it is more usual to hear the Abbot than to see him. The Abbey grounds are also home to a white female entity, named Mary, who witnessed her lover committing murder and turned him in. This really is a glorious running area only 2 miles from the centre of Leeds. ‘Be careful, tha dun’t ger lost, nub di will cum luckin for thee’.

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