What to do in Leeds
Leeds is the third largest city in the UK, after London and Birmingham of course, and with fantastic road, rail and air connections, it’s clear why it continues to expand and develop.
The University of Leeds is part of the acclaimed Russell Group and it is a place of study for almost 40,000 students who are all vying for high qualifications and great places to live within easy walking distance. By the way, if you have a house for sale, do not hesitate to contact our estate agents in Leeds.
Leeds Beckett University isn’t far behind, numerically either and visitors to Leeds are often surprised how compact the city centre is, relative to others like Manchester and Liverpool. There’s two other universities too: Leeds Arts University and Leeds Trinity, along with Leeds City College, the College of Music and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Leeds may lack the expanse of its neighbours over the Pennines, but Rooftop Living can wholeheartedly recommend metropolitan life, whether you’re a student or young professional, making the city your temporary or permanent home.
If you don’t know Leeds, it’s a fairly easy city centre to get accustomed to. The universities and their student suburbs sit to the north. Woodhouse, Hyde Park, Headingley, Burley and Kirkstall form primary compass points for student life. We’ll look at those in our other area guides.
Leeds has some idiosyncrasies too, that you may need to become familiar with. People refer to areas by postcode – perhaps as a nod to London? LS6 means you’re in Hyde Park or Headingley. LS20 is Guiseley. There’s only 29 postcodes to memorise if you’re stuck for something to do one night – but if you’re in the city centre, we doubt that very much.
The city centre is thronged with pubs, bars and restaurants. Want to know how many? 563 at the time of this going live. You might prefer learning the postcodes instead?
Leeds’ oldest pub is Whitelocks, dating back to 1715. You have more modern experiences (and higher priced alternatives) like the Michelin starred Man Behind the Curtain or Home Leeds on Kirkgate. You can also try the famous or infamous pub crawl – the Otley Run.
There’s over 40 eateries in the modern mall, Trinity, off Albion Street, awash with natural light from its glazed canopy.
Shopping is excellent too in Leeds – from Harvey Nicholls to quirky independent boutiques, it’s a treasure trove of discovery, from the Victoria Quarter to Victoria Gate, Queens Arcade and the White Rose Shopping Centre.
The beauty though for students and young professionals in city centre living is the closeness of the university campuses and major financial centres. Leeds, you know, is second to London, for its finance prowess. The cost of living here though is around 20% lower – a pint of beer will leave you plenty of change from a fiver.
It’s a modern and green city too, with the river Aire (spouting from Malham Cove in the nearby Dales) splicing the centre. If water appeals, Roundhay, a short hop from the centre, is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos and Headingley cricket ground are renowned sporting venues. There’s Leeds Armouries in the centre too, which is a major tourist attraction and, if you fancy a short trip to somewhere new, both Harrogate and York are a close train ride or drive away.
If you have any more questions about living in the city centre of Leeds, contact our expert team at Rooftop Living today.