Features | The alternative Otley Run
Sick of hangovers and expensive drinks? Try LS’s version of the infamous Otley Run…
The well trodden Otley Run route is famous for its pubs and bars and is always more than ready to welcome hoards of Smurfs and onesie clad revellers, but what about all those places you’ve passed by in your hurry for the next pint? As we hasten towards the second half of the semester and bank balances begin to dwindle, the epic pub crawl begins to lose its appeal. Why not stick to the beaten track but explore many of the other delights the Otley Road has to offer and spend a fraction of the price?
If you’ve ventured to the big city and bright lights of Leeds from the depths of the countryside and are feeling a little like a hobbit away from the Shire, then a trip to the Hollies in Far Headingley should sort you out. The main route through the wood is popular with joggers and dog walkers but stray down towards the stream, over the bridge and wander around the fields for some well deserved peace and quiet.
Cottage Road Cinema
Often overshadowed by the Hyde Park Picture House this sweet little cinema has been tucked just around the corner from the start of the Otley run route for over 100 years. Usually showing a range of films, including a classic every six weeks, for a student friendly £4.50 you can afford to indulge in the reasonably priced snacks available too. Just make sure you book in advance for popular releases, queues have been known to stretch down the Otley road in the past.
If you’re after coffee in Headingley you’re spoilt for choice, but for somewhere a little more peaceful venture into the Bowery for a high quality but inexpensive caffeine fix. While you’re there you can browse their shop for arty nick- naks and appreciate the work of local artists displayed on the walls. If you have the spare time and cash, or are trying to find birthday present inspiration, why not enrol on one of their evening or day classes where you can try your hand at a huge range of creative and artistic courses.
Although unable to compete with the range of academic books available on campus, it’s worth becoming a member of the local library in Headingley. It’s well stocked with the basic books students might need, so if all the copies of Great Expectations are on loan from the Eddy B it’s well worth a visit. If you live locally it’s the perfect study space away from the distractions of housemates and you won’t get tempted to chat to course mates instead of getting on with your essay.
The Oxfam books and music in Headingley stand apart from the average charity shop. With a huge selection of high quality donations and a fast turn around you can easily spend hours browsing the shelves every week, and because it’s all for charity any money you spend is guilt-free!
Whether this little patisserie is the star of Headingley high street isn’t up for debate. With reliably fresh baked goods and a sweetly decorated café it’s a cut above competing establishments. With a wide range of flavours from red velvet, to blueberry cheesecake it’s the perfect place to go for a celebratory cupcake or afternoon tea and at £3 for a drink and cake you can afford to treat yourself.
Once you’ve trekked along the barren middle stretch of the Otley road it’s only right you reward yourself with a trip to LS6. A student favourite, make sure you don your edgiest outfit before you pay a visit in order to blend into the funky décor. Slightly pricey and usually jam packed, the food is worth it once it arrives. Have a peek in the drawers of the tables to find messages from previous guests scribbled on napkins and leave your own note for future visitors.
This vintage shop offers more than checked shirts, Doc Martens and Levis. They have a beautiful range of clothing dating from the 20s to the 90s. They sell furniture and cute little nic nacs that students passing by simply cannot resist. Everyone needs a vintage sofa in their lives. However, if you’re on a tight student budget (like most of us), this shop might push your budget slightly, in which case, head to the cheaper but clothes exclusive Blue Rinse by the Corn Exchange.
With an extensive menu of North African cuisine, alongside burgers and full english breakfasts for the less adventurous diners, you’re guaranteed to find something you fancy at Oranaise. The staff are friendly and the decoration and atmosphere make it a great place to go for a special occasion. Although slightly pricey, the stars of the menu are their tagines and ordering a side of hummus should be compulsory.
Surely the number one place for a curry in Leeds, Akmal’s on Woodhouse Moor has a bring your own booze policy, a student discount and is always ready to welcome big groups of students or society bookings. You can get the full works for less than £10 and the portions are generous. Although in the depths of winter its location seems slightly ominous, once inside the staff are welcoming and the atmosphere is cosy.
Right opposite uni, this little bakery has a diverse selection of sandwiches, paninis and salads. It’s particularly ideal for vegans and vegetarians (they’re very big on the falafel) but also offers a lot of meat options, all with home baked Italian bread. It’s the perfect place if you want to grab food on the move, but expect hordes of other panini-hungry students and don’t expect service with a smile.
The Smoothie Company
Hidden between the Parkinson building and Student Medical Practice The Smoothie Company is the best place for a smoothie around Uni and good value for money. Reward yourself mid-study session in the Brotherton or pop in after visiting the doctors for a healthy pick me up.