With exams finally out of the way and the end of January in sight, now is the perfect time to get a much needed change of scenery before Laidlaw pulls you back into its clutches. As much as you may or may not be enjoying your self-pity party, you’ll feel much more prepared to face semester two once you’ve burst your Leeds bubble with a little day trip to one of these destinations:
A classic to start the list, Ilkley is a much loved destination by many Leeds students. Nestled at the foot of the Yorkshire moors, Ilkley moor is just a 15 minute walk away from the station and boasts beautiful views on a clear day. The best views are arguably from the Cow and Calf rocks, which are part of the most popular walking routes and overlook a pub of the same name. Make sure you’re appropriately dressed as the moors are very exposed but don’t let this put you off. A coating of snow makes the moors look even more stunning and the fact that you’ve had to work for your well-earned pint in the Cow and Calf will make it taste even better.
Ilkley town centre has plenty to offer those who are not sold on the idea of a soul-cleansing country ramble. Its residents tend not to be too short of disposable income, meaning that the numerous charity shops are stocked with quality clothes. And of course, no visit to Ilkley is complete without afternoon tea at Betty’s Tearooms.
Bring your railcard and an anytime return from Leeds will only cost you £5.60 and take barely half an hour. Alternatively, hop on the X84 bus which also goes through Otley- our second destination on the list.
A slightly closer destination than Ilkley, Otley is a market town that is accessible by a 45 minute bus ride (take the X84). The Otley Chevin is on the route for most walks here and again, offers great views. The town itself hosts regular farmers markets with upcoming ones on 26th February and 26th March.
For those who feel they have exhausted the usual walking destinations (admittedly a somewhat unlikely scenario) and especially those with access to a car, Marsden is a relatively small town which lies just past Huddersfield and is a favourite spot for walkers. The open moors offer a mixture of well-kept and boggier paths, as well as your chance to finally realize your Kate Bush dreams- you can practically hear the song Wuthering Heights reverberating above the hills. Make sure you either have a very good sense of direction or have some kind of navigational device with you (even Google Maps will do just to get your bearings in relation to the town) as it can get foggy pretty quickly.