So, you’ve arrived in the great city of Leeds. Your first few weeks as a student are bound to be hectic; with so much going on, you might feel so overwhelmed with choice that you might just be tempted to curl up on the sofa and spend your days making your way through the seemingly never ending list of takeaways in the Leeds area. But you have three whole years to do that! Instead, here’s a quick guide to just a few of the great places that can easily be reached from Leeds.
How to get there: train – £5-£9, bus – up to £8
York is probably one of the easiest places to get to from Leeds, as the train can take as little as 20 minutes. If you want to get out of the hectic city, but aren’t quite ready to tackle the ludicrously fresh air in the Dales, then think of York as a stepping stone between the two. With the minster, the city walls and the museum gardens, the city is bursting with history and beauty. If your student loan has just come in, join the queue outside of Betty’s tea room and hope that you get a spot. Don’t get your hopes up though, I’m yet to make it in there.
How to get there: train – £5-7
The posher cousin of York, a trip to Harrogate might leave a student feeling slightly out of place, especially now that you’re probably dressed head to toe in the clothes you found at the various vintage clothes sales during fresher’s week. This beautiful town, however, can make even the edgiest of students feel a little bit classier. If you didn’t manage to make it inside Betty’s in York then don’t fear, there’s another one here, just with a slightly shorter queue.
How to get there: train – £4-£6, bus – £4-£5 (X84)
Taking a day trip up to Ilkley is almost a rite of passage for any Leeds student. On the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales, Ilkley is essentially the gateway to some of the county’s most stunning views. If you’ve got your walking shoes on, then you can do a round trip of Ilkley Moor in about two hours; slightly longer if you want to grab a cup of tea from White Wells Café near the peak of the moor. The view from the top of the moors is amazing, and hopefully it will give you a sense of pride that you chose to study in such a beautiful county!
How to get there: train – £5-£7
Possibly one of my favourite spots in Yorkshire, Knaresborough is a relatively small town close to Harrogate. The town itself is situated up on a hill, and looks down to a stunning river and viaduct. With winter on its way, taking a paddle boat out on to the river might seem out of the question, but there’s plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby, so you can watch other people freeze to death out there instead.
(Photo credits: http://handluggageonly.co.uk, http://www.insideyork.co.uk, http://www.yorkshire.com, https://www.bettys.co.uk, http://www.sykescottages.co.uk/blog, https://www.whiteandcompany.co.uk)