Hannah offers insight into the best spots to explore in Leeds when you move to the city.
My first ever day in Leeds was when I moved into halls two years ago. I knew that it was in ‘The North’, and that it was relatively close to Manchester, but other than that I had no idea about the new city that I had decided to spend the next three years in. I soon figured out that the best part of being a Fresher is going everywhere and doing everything, until you figure out what works for you! Here is a list of my top ten places in Leeds, to give you a snippet of what’s to come…
Leeds has lots of shopping opportunities, perfect for blowing a good portion of your maintenance loan. Trinity shopping centre has all the high street brands but if you are more high market or just love window shopping, check out the Grand Arcade.
The Otley Run
You must experience an Otley Run at least once a year. Leeds’ renowned pub crawl of 16 pubs from Headingley to the centre of town is a real test of stamina and the stretch of your bank account. Students and locals alike are dressed up in their best fancy dress and will stumble through Leeds trying to down a pint at every stop. I can’t say that anyone ever really ‘finishes’, but it is a great bonding exercise!
Hyde Park & Woodhouse Moor
Come rain or shine (mainly rain), students adorned in big puffa jackets and backpacks take the daily ten-minute walk up to campus through the park. The morning stroll is better than any coffee-fuelled jolt of energy and you can expect to observe a real variety of things: tight-rope walkers, dogs, quidditch and tag-rugby players to name a few. With snow comes sledges and snowball fights, while in the summer you will not see a spot of green, as every square foot will be covered in students and tinnies
There is something for everyone, whether it be a jazz night at LS6 or something more dynamic at Beaver Works. You’ll learn what you like quickly and will be able to fill your nights with an eclectic mix of Motown, electric and cheesy tunes.
If you join a sport society, you’ll probably find yourself attending Mischief at Warehouse religiously every Wednesday. It involves fancy dress, too many VKs and dancing your heart out amongst Leeds’ finest sports players.
Uni’s track record may not be as great as Beckett’s, but the rugby game which concludes Varsity is gripping for everyone. Dressed in fetching green, beers in hand, trying to understand the rules and screaming in the rain are some of the main features which will help you gain serious Uni pride.
The Yorkshire moors are only a 25-minute train journey away. If you want a great day trip to get back to nature and take a few cheeky Instas amongst the rocks, you might fancy this.
The best brunch spot in close vicinity to Hyde Park has to be LS6, providing hungover students with full English breakfasts or great pancakes. Bakery 164 is recognised by all as the perfect lunch location. Their delicious handmade sandwiches with experimental fillings create massive queues but are definitely worth the wait.
Cliché, but a necessary part of your time at Leeds. Students are all in the same boat and through halls, societies, seminars and nights out, all types of friends will cross your path.
Of which there are a lot. Around Hyde park, students head to Hyde Park Pub or Royal Park Pub, which both offer student nights and incredibly loud music. Old Bar is cosy and comfortable, while the Terrace can get a bit busier, especially when there’s the possibility of sunshine!