North West Leeds is a large and diverse part of the city of Leeds, extending from Burley (near the city centre) out as far as Guiseley and the city's airport. It is especially popular with students in areas such as Burley and Hyde Park where the accommodation is cheap and close to the university. Further out is a series of towns and villages such as Otley, Ilkley, Horsforth and Guiseley. The main centre of North West Leeds is Headingley - the large, thriving student district famous for its cricket stadium. Principal areas covered by this guide include:
- Headingley – World famous for its Cricket and Rugby stadium, it is also especially popular with students of all three Leeds Universities. Headingley has a host of restaurants, bars and shops and is well worth visiting to see the famous stadium, eat a lovely meal then go relax in one of the beer gardens or bars nearby. Far Headingley, a mile or so further out of town is villagey Far Headingley, home to Cottage Road Cinema and a small range of shops and pubs. At the other end is Hyde Park Corner which has a funky, bohemian vibe and several retro/vintage shops, boutiques and cafés.
- Adel – Attractive, leafy suburb with a rural feel and many beautiful houses.
- Holt Park, Tinshill and Ireland Wood – Pleasant private estates just off the Otley Road.
- Burley – Terraced inner-city area with large South Asian and increasing student population.
- Hyde Park – Like Burley, a predominantly terraced area that is popular with students. Location of Woodhouse Moor.
- Kirkstall – Riverside area, home to Kirkstall Abbey.
- Hawksworth – Council estate located on a hill between Kirkstall and Horsforth.
- Ilkley – Large town next to the border of North and West Yorkshire. Known for Ilkley Moor.
- West Park – Suburb bounded by Otley Road and the Ring Road.
- Horsforth – Extensive area with a busy centre, a new university, and a number of new bars along Town Street and New Road side.
- Meanwood – Suburb to the east of the district. Has a park and extensive woodland which extends beyond the Ring Road to Adel and eventually Golden Acre Park, which is the source of the Meanwood beck (small river) which flows all the way to the Aire in Leeds Centre.
- Rawdon – Pleasant village just off the A65 road.
- Otley – Thriving town on the banks of the River Wharfe.
- Cookridge – Outer Leeds area that is known for it's hospital and tower.
- Yeadon – Pretty market town now subsumed by Leeds. Home to the Airport.
- Guiseley – Pleasant town near the airport. The parents of the Brontë sisters were married here.
- Menston – Attractive village-cum-suburb on the edge of Leeds by the beautiful Ilkley Moor.
North West Leeds covers the postcodes LS4, LS5, LS6, LS16, LS18, LS19, LS20, LS21 and LS19.
For Headingley jump on a train or bus from Leeds, there is a 1, 6, 28, 95 or 97 bus every few minutes and Headingley has its own train station. The bus journey takes less than 10 minutes either way, though in rush hour buses can take up to 40 minutes. The station is a short walk from Headingley centre but the train journey is very short (under 10 min).
The best access points by car from the City Centre are either up Woodhouse Lane or Kirkstall Road. Some people use the less busy Burley Road which is at the end of The Headrow.
The district has three railway stations, all along the Harrogate line leading up to Harrogate, Knaresbrough and York: 1 Burley Park, 2 Headingley station and 3 Horsforth station (which is actually in Cookridge).
A high number of bus routes serve the area as well. The main services are:
- 1 - Goes past the University, through Adel and to Holt Park.
- 18/18A - Travels along the Burley Road corridor before going up into Headingley and then to Tinshill and Ireland Wood.
- 28 - Goes past the University to Adel.
- 33/33A - This service goes up Kirkstall Road and serves many of the outlying towns and villafes, namely Horsforth, Rawdon, Yeadon, Guiseley, Menston and Otley.
- 49 & 50/50A - Goes along Burley Road and although the 49 turns South headed for Bramley, the 50/A goes up through Hawksworth into Horsforth.
- 51/51A - Although the terminus is at the Moor Allerton Centre in the North East district the route goes through Meanwood.
- 56 - Goes past the university, through Hyde Park, Burley and Headingley before reaching its terminus at Moor Grange.
- 71 - Like the 51/A, this route is North East boun but goes through Meanwood.
- 95 & 96 - Both go up Otley Road before splitting off for Bodington Hall (95) and Holt Park via Cookridge (96).
- 757 - Takes people from the City Centre to the airport and then onto Otley.
Here are some recommended places for sightseeing in North West Leeds:
- 1 Headingley Carnegie Stadium, St Michael's Lane, ☏ . World famous, is a must for Cricket and Rugby (both codes - League and Union) fans. Quite unique in serving both sports - a 'siamese' stadium. The annual Test match is a highlight of Leeds' sporting calendar.
- Far Headingley conservation area. The old cottages and shops are very pretty (especially Cottage Road), as are the leafy streets and Victorian terraces and villas to the north further up the Otley Road.
- Victorian 'folly', Queenswood (behind Leeds Metropolitan University). Built to celebrate the visit of Queen Victoria to Leeds in 1858.
- 2 The Bear Pit, Cardigan Road. This is the last vestige of Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens, an unsuccessful Victorian business. Built in 1840, bears were displayed in a circular pit with the public viewing them from the castellated turrets.
- 3 Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey Rd. A ruined Cisterian monastery built in 1152. Picturesque riverside park
- Yeadon Common. A popular site for plane-spotters.
- 4 Otley Chevin, Otley , North Leeds. Overlooking the town of Otley, this ridge is popular with hikers.
- 5 Horsforth Village Museum, 5 The Green, Horsforth, LS18 5JB. End March to the end Dec: Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 2PM-5PM. Museum built in 1983 to celebrate Horsforth which has been described as the "largest village in England". free.
- Hall Park, Horsforth. Some distance from central Leeds, has lovely Japanese gardens and is accessible by bus.
- 6 Golden Acre Park. Gardens and café set around huge lake.
- Guiseley (say "guy-zly") is a suburb of Leeds near the airport. The father of the Brontë sisters, Patrick, was married to Maria Branwell in St Oswald's Church here in 1812. The church dates back to Norman times but was largely rebuilt in 1909. Near the church is a Saxon drinking well. Guiseley has given the world four famous names: the Brontës, the ancestors of the poet Longfellow, Harry Ramsden's fish & chips empire, and Sooty the glove puppet.
- 7 The Hollies Arboretum, Weetwood Ln. Large botanical garden set in lush woodlands with a wonderful selection of plants.
- 8 Meanwood Valley Trail. 7 miles (11 km) waymarked footpath.
- 9 Woodhouse Moor, Central/North Leeds. The closest big park to central Leeds, between Leeds University and Hyde Park Corner. In summer months it is packed to bursting with students and other young people sunbathing and playing sports. There are large fields, small formal gardens and a skate park.
North West Leeds is excellent as access to the Yorkshire dales. Travelling up Otley Road will take you into the countryside and towards the Wharfedale town of Otley. Otley and Ilkley are pleasant places to visit on a Sunday afternoon. Horsforth is a vibrant area with loads of good restaurants, bars and pubs.
Further towards Leeds City Centre there is a lot of activity too. The Kirkstall Abbey Light Railway is a bit of fun taking you from Kirkstall Abbey to the nearby retail park. One of Headingley's claim to fame is the stadium where you can watch Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Tykes and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Headingley is also host to a lot of upmarket eateries and bars.
Kirkstall Retail Park (in Burley) has several eateries, a Virgin Active Gym, a Hollywood Bowl and a Warner Village Cinema to name a few.
Go for a nice meal or go for a few drinks (see below) in one of Headingley's many pubs and bars.
Take a walk up to the beautiful Victorian Headingley campus of Leeds Metropolitan University or onto Weetwood via the Meanwood Valley Trail into the extensive gardens of the 'Hollies' arboretrum (about 15 min walk from the centre of Headingley).
A short Otley Run (or Headingley Mile) pub crawl (more below) is certainly a good way to acquaint yourself with the various watering holes on and around the Otley Road.
- 1 Vue Cinema, Kirkstall.
- 2 Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Rd., ☏ . Another excellent independent cinema in the midst of the hot-bed of student habitation in the town. The cinema shows a mix of modern mainstream and art-cinema films as well as a formidable selection of classics. Lucky cinephiles may even experience the latter in conjunction with an introductory speech prepared for local film students. It retains many of its original features including gas lighting.
- 3 Cottage Road Cinema, Cottage Rd, Headingley, ☏ . Atmospheric old cinema near the centre of Headingley.
- Watch Cricket at 4 Headingley, 49 St Michael's Lane LS6 3BR. Yorkshire CCC play in Division One of the County Championship. Headingley is often also a Test Match venue.
- Rugby League (Leeds Rhinos), Headingley. Best supported Rugby club in the UK (League or Union). World Champions 2005, 2007 & 2012, Superleague Champions 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2011.
- Rugby Union (Leeds Tykes). September–May. In the Guinness Premiership (the top tier of English Rugby Union) as of 2017 - Powergen Cup Winner 2004.
Several shopping centres and retail parks are in the district. These are in Kirkstall, Burley, Holt Park, Headingley and Ilkley. Hyde Park corner is also known for it's vast array of shops.
Headingley has plenty of small shops, including the gift shop at the stadium, and a range of boutiques and charity shops. Oxfam usually have a good selection of books and records.Hangeroom is the best fashion boutique in the area and caters for all ages. The shops are cool, the clothes are great and the staff are fantastic.
- There is now a monthly farmer's market in the Rose Garden on North Lane. This takes place on the second Saturday of each month.
- The Hyde Park end is home of Best Kept Secret  fancy dress shop located in what used to be a petrol station.
There are several restaurants, take aways and fast food outlets along Headingley Lane. There are also a few on New Road Side in Horsforth and on Horsforth Town Street. Hyde Park Corner hosts a few smaller businesses. Obviously as Otley and Ilkley are large towns there are a large number of eateries in their area.
- 1 The Clock Café (LS6), 16 Headingley Lane, Hyde Park, ☏ . Anything on the menu is delicious and the service and beers (no weak fizzy lager here!) are outstanding, ranging from traditional English to renowned Czech produce. The setup is basic with benches and tables but the atmosphere is pitched just right for small groups and couples - recommended. If there were popularity contests for bar staff, this place would win.
- 2 L'Oranaise, 1 The Crescent, Hyde Park, ☏ . This Algerian restaurant offers authentic atmosphere and eating. The food is among the best tasted in Leeds. Teas and coffees can be taken upstairs among the low tables and scatter cushions.
- 3 Viva Cuba, 342 Kirkstall Rd, Queen Square, City Centre and Kirkstall Road, West Leeds, ☏ . Excellent, acclaimed Cuban Tapas restaurant.
- 4 Maxi's, 6 Bingley St, The Light Plaza, city centre, ☏ . Renowned Chinese restaurant.
- 5 Salvos, 111-115 Otley Rd, Headingley, ☏ . Italian restaurant and salumeria/café. Fantastic simple food, great atmosphere, always busy.
- Brett's. Another famous traditional fish and chip restaurant and shop.
- Enjay's Creperie. High quality crepes, drinks and food.
- Sala Thai. Longstanding Thai restaurant in a grand villa.
- 6 Sukhothai Headingley, 4 St. Annes Rd, Headingley, LS6 3NX, ☏ . Sister to similarly-named Thai restaurant in nearby Chapel Allerton.
- Jino's Thai Cafe. Relaxed bring-your-own drink Thai restaurant and takeaway.
- Thai Sabai. Yet another (!) pleasant Thai restaurant.
- Citrus. A local favourite with inexpensive prices and a vibrant atmosphere.
- Caliente Café. A great little Mexican restaurant.
- Dare Café. A stylish, urbane and inexpensive café-restaurant-bar with a range of decent food.
- Lilliputs, 27 North Lane. Fresh sandwiches made to order, Illy coffee, great selection of cakes and cookies, stylish surroundings and great value for money.
Headingley is famous not just city-wide but internationally for student drinking though local residents still manage to find the odd oasis to enjoy a pint or two. There are a wide variety of drinking establishments (of varying quality) to keep even the most seasoned of drinkers happy. Unfortunately, with the sheer popularity of recreational drinking in Headingley, it does mean the village and its community does suffer at times.
- Headingley is home to the famous Otley Run pub crawl (also known as The Headingly Mile). For those undertaking the Otley Run (student or otherwise), it is almost compulsory to adopt some kind of theme to mark the occasion so it is usually very easy to spot those taking on the challenge. In recent years it has become the fashion to adopt fancy dress, though themed headgear, a marked out stag/hen or a three-legged crawl may also be the order of the day. Some Otley Runs may be relaxed affairs, though Pub Golf, pint in each pub or drink a particular beer dry rules may be used to gain momentum. Some groups may even be in competition to complete the Run in the shortest time possible. The true length and scope of an Otley Run is hotly debated, though runs often begin at Woodies in Far Headingley and may continue all the way to the Dry Dock or Met Bar in the City Centre.
Some of these are along the Otley Run, which is a popular bar crawl in Headingley:
- The New Inn, 68 Otley Rd, Headingley, LS6 4BA.
- 1 The Black Bull, The Green, Horsforth, LS18 4RH.
- The Box, 8 Otley Road, Headingley, LS6 2AD.
- The Merry Monk, 106 Kirkstall Hill, Kirkstall.
- Kirstall Bridge Inn,, Bridge Road, Kirkstall.
- Brudenell Social Club, Queens Road, Hyde Park.
- The Original Oak, 2 Otley Road, Headingley, LS6 2DG. With its former bowling green beer garden (brilliant but overcrowded in summer) is a Headingley institution with a lively (but more traditional) atmosphere. You may have to queue to get in at weekends but The Oak is always good fun, drawing a younger crowd upstairs and a more mature crowd at the downstairs bar.
- Other major Headingley pubs include The Skyrack, Headingley Taps, and at Far Headingley The Three Horseshoes, (AKA The Shoes) Woodies and The New Inn.
- Arcadia in the Arndale Centre boats an impressive range of delectable drinks and ever-changing real ales. The bar attracts a more mature and sometimes cerebral crowd looking to enjoy conversation or a quiet pint away from the revelry on offer elsewhere in Headingley. To preserve the peaceful atmosphere large groups in fancy dress are not made welcome.
- Dare Café has a small atmospheric basement bar.
- At Hyde Park Corner (a couple of miles from the middle of Headingley towards central Leeds), The Hyde Park is a big, fun pub.
- The Box is one of Headingley's biggest bars, full of young people on the weekend (and most of the week to be honest), has a multitude of screens to watch televised sport though the sport theme is often lost on a lot of the clientele. The Arc and Trio (both on North Lane) are similar bars with the latter having a floor devoted to food. There are great cocktail bars upstairs at both.
- 2 Strawberryfields, 159 Woodhouse Lane (near train station), ☏ . Not your usual brewery owned pub. This family-run and -owned continental style bar is very popular with students, pre drinkers to Halo, Otley runners. Located on the main road between the Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds University.
There are several hotels and other accommodation in the district too:
- 1 Glengarth Hotel, 162 Woodsley Road (Take Free City Bus to Dental School, right on Hyde Terrace, left on Woodsley.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Nice location among University of Leeds buildings, free secure wi-fi, friendly staff, includes full breakfast, private rooms. £50.
- 2 Ibis Leeds Centre, Marlborough Street, City Centre, ☏ . Pay WiFi. From about £49.
- 3 Roomzzz Leeds City West, 2 Burley Road, Leeds, LS3 1JU, ☏ . Leeds City West is an award winning Aparthotel that occupies a prime location only 15 minutes' walk away from the vital centre of Leeds and close to Leeds universities. There's a choice of superb studio apartments, individually designed to provide you with the space you need to relax, in complete comfort. LCD TV, free Wi-fi, and free Grab & Go Breakfast.
- The Butlers Hotel, Cardigan Road, Headingley. from £32.
- Abbey Guest House. Vesper Road, Hawksworth
- Ascot Grange Hotel, Otley Road, West Park.
- The Cliff Lawn Hotel, Cliff Road, Hyde Park.
- Clayton Cottage Pet Hotel, Woodside, Horsforth.
- Premier Travel Inn, Victoria Avenue, Yeadon.
- The Crescent Hotel, Leeds Road, Guiseley.
- Manor House Hotel, Walkergate, Otley.
- Craiglands Hotel, Cow Pasture Road, Ilkley.
- 4 Headingley Lodge Hotel, Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground, St Michael's Ln, ☏ . Belonging to Headingley stadium, reasonably priced and has views across the cricket pitch
- 5 Haley's Hotel, Shire Oak Road, ☏ .
- 6 Roomzzz Headingley, 361 Burley Road, ☏ . Roomzzz Headingley is an aparthotel that occupies a prime location only 5 minutes' walk away from Headingley Stadium and close to Leeds universities. There's a choice of superb apartments individually designed to provide you with the space you need to relax, in complete comfort. Minimum of three nights stay, includes LCD TV, free Wi-fi and free secure parking.
There are also B&Bs of varying quality along Cardigan Road (by the Cricket Ground).
- Back on the bus, in the taxi or on the train to Leeds city centre.
- It is a nice walk on a sunny day back into Leeds. Just follow the main road and road signs. You will walk through Hyde Park. Whilst it's wise to be cautious, as in any large city, this area's reputation for muggings is massively overstated so don't allow it to overshadow your enjoyment of a very pretty green space so close to the city centre.
- Other districts of Leeds: