With a student count of above 70,000, this Northern gem has the perfect mix of culture, creativity, and fun - and has a price tag that is friendly for all of us on a tight budget. Where an industrial past meets cool new music venues, and an escape to the county is a short bus journey away, where should you begin in Leeds?
Recently renovated,Leeds Art Gallery is a must-see for collections from important national and international artists, plus, it’s free! The art isn’t only housed in galleries; look out for street art trails and sculptures blending into the heart of the city. (Waterfront Art Trail, Academic and Civic , Leeds Welcome Art Trail, Leeds Owl Trail).
See the industries that shaped the city at Leeds Industrial Museum, once one of the world’s largest textile mills.
Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen is a vibrant three floored culture hub of art, music, comedy, film and food with a fantastic roof terrace to top it off.
Leeds holds a host of theatres including their own Opera house and Ballet company. The Grand Theatre and Opera House Leeds, and West Yorkshire Playhouse offer outstanding touring and home-grown theatre. The HUB is a pay-as-you-feel theatre that states it’s purpose as bringing ‘adventure outside of conventional theatre spaces’.
Meet and Eat
Happiness is found with food and friendship - and Leeds is packed with eateries to accommodate happy years of study.
Opposite Cafe - an iconic spot for students with a love offair-trade coffee and (famous) brownies.
Mrs Atha’s - Cosy and eclectic, with their delicious menu scrawled daily onto big blackboards.
Humpit - Indulge all of your hummus dreams.
Laynes Espresso - Great coffee and sweet treats.
Hepworth’s Deli and Kitchen - fresh, quality, artisan produce - check out their market stall at Briggate farmers’ market too! (Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month).
Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom - take a break from present stresses and step back in time with the a quintessentially British afternoon tea. Think costume and mismatch china crockery.
The Cat’s Pyjamas - ‘The best Indian street food this side of Delhi’;they also do home delivery!
Caravanserai - different, delicious, affordable.
For a burst of colour in Leeds’ food and crafts scene head to Briggate Market, and Kirkgate Market (look out for their Night Market). Having a wander around costs nothing, if you can keep your mitts from the offerings.
If you’re feeling like you want to escape the busy hustle and bustle of the city, there are plenty of peaceful places that are worth a visit, including:
Kirkstall Abbey - one of the most complete 12th century Cistercian Abbeys in Britain, if the monks mastered mindfulness there, then so can you. Impressive architecture surrounded by parkland and the River Aire.
Haworth - home to the Bronte sisters and steeped in atmosphere. Walk the moors that inspired Wuthering Heights, amble down the same streets as the Brontes and visit their family home. The town itself is quaint and bustling with independent gift shops, emporiums and cafes.
There are a bunch of parks in and around the city; Golden Acre in its 55 hectares offers, gardens, cherry orchard, and lake and can be accessed by bus; Roundhey Park boasts 700 acres of parkland, formal gardens, lakes, and sports pitches/courts.
Leeds has fantastic bus, bike, and train routes, so if you’re wanting to stay in the city or get out and about, you’re all set.