There’s so much to do in Leeds, you may have missed a thing or two, so we’ve rounded up some amazing things worth trying out.
You’re never short of things to do in Leeds, the city is jam-packed with amazing things to do. But, what about the ones that have slipped under your radar? From finding your own food in the wild to taking a leap of faith, we’ve rounded up 18 of the best things you’d never think to do in Leeds – start working your way through the list.
1. Escape the room
A new phenomenon that’s taking over Leeds, if you haven’t tried an escape game yet, now’s the time to do it. There are three to choose from, with Tick Tock Unlock, Locked In Games and The Great Escape Game. Whichever you choose, you’ll be locked in a room with only an hour to escape – can you solve the puzzles and clues to get out before your time is up?
Find our more about the city’s escape games.
2. Join the Crowd of Favours’ Cinema Club
How about catching a film at the pub? Crowd of Favours’ Cinema Club is well worth leaving the house for on a Tuesday night. Not only is it free, but you’ll even get complimentary popcorn if you get down early enough. Previous events have seen the likes of Die Hard, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Pan’s Labyrinth on the big screen, so you’re guaranteed the classics.
Crowd of Favours, Harper Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EA.
3. Go on an Emmerdale Bus Tour
Did you know that you can visit the set where the show is made, here in Leeds on the Harewood Estate. Every weekend, when the cast have downed scripts for a break in filming, you can jump on a bus from Leeds city centre, out to the heart of countryside, to see Bob’s Cafe, The Woolpack and the famous stone cottages that have been part of our lives since 1972.
The Emmerdale Bus Tour picks up at Leeds Train Station, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4DY.
4. Catch a Pay-as-you-feel show at The HUB
It may not be as famous as some of the city’s bigger theatres, but The HUB is well worth a visit. It’s home to Slung Low Theatre Company who put on a range of innovative productions, as well as welcoming touring shows from across the UK. Even better, the majority of their events are pay-as-you-feel, so you go whatever your budget.
The HUB, 67-71 Bath Road, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9UA.
5. Try bouldering on Otley Chevin
Ever tried bouldering? You can brush up your skills at The Climbing Lab, but the countryside is where it’s really at, so a trip to Otley Chevin Forest Park is definitely in order. You’ll find a host of boulder problems at Caley Crags, with the likes of Sugar Loaf, High Noon, Roof of the World and Martin’s Muff all offering interesting climbs. There are also plenty of easier routes, like Pedestal Wall and Zig Zag, if you’re just starting out.
Caley Crags, Otley Chevin Forest Park, the best entry point is on the A660, look out for the boulders on the road side, a few miles before you get to Otley. You can also catch the X84 bus.
6. Have a go at axe-throwing in a country estate
It sounds like something you’d do in Braveheart, but axe throwing is something you can try here in the modern day too. Live For Today offer you the chance to go back to the Middle Ages in the surroundings of Hazlewood Castle, by aiming your axe at the wooden target. It’s not as easy as it looks, but you’ll soon get the hang of it with the help of your instructor.
Live for Today hold Axe Throwing Sessions at Hazlewood Castle, Paradise Lane, Hazlewood, West Yorkshire, LS24 9NJ.
7. Take a ride along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal
You’ve probably seen the Leeds-Liverpool canal a million times, but have you ever take a boat ride on it? The Kirkstall Flyboat offers exactly that, on a traditional canal boat no less. And if you want to make the experience extra special, they even offer Afternoon Tea Cruises, that come with a stand of sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and clotted cream.
The Flyboat sets off from Granary Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.
8. Take a leap of faith
The West Leeds Activity Centre is home to all kinds of intriguing activities, from bushcraft to assault courses, but how about taking a leap of faith? Here’s how it works – a single person stands on top of a 20 foot wooden pole, jumps off and hits a huge ball suspended in the air. Want to make it more challenging? Do it blindfolded.
West Leeds Activity Centre, Lenhurst Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2RE.
9. Check out the city’s burgeoning indie wrestling scene
The UK independent wrestling scene couldn’t be hotter than it is now. So much so, in fact, that WWE have got their very own UK Championship – but that wouldn’t have happened without the incredible work that the smaller promotions do. In Leeds, we have BWE taking over Denison Hall in Armley, TIDAL putting on huge shows at O2 Academy and RISE Underground selling out Brudenell Social Club. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go – it might surprise you.
10. Take on one of Leeds’ mammoth food challenges
From Mojo‘s Mad Dog Wings to MEATLiquor’s Triple Chilli, Leeds’ food challenges truly separate the men from the boys. They’re all worth trying at least once, as you battle against your waistline to see whether you can beat the mammoth eating task put in front of you. If you’re victorious, chances are you’ll end up in the venue’s hall of fame, with a free meal and with a few prizes to take home too.
Find out all about Leeds’ mammoth food challenges.
11. Join Bramley Baths’ Mermaid Club
No, we haven’t lost our minds – you can become a real life mermaid in Leeds. The Yorkshire Life Aquatic are a swimming group based at Bramley Baths, who offer mermaid exercise classes using aqua dance, movement and synchronised swimming techniques every Sunday evening. It’s one of the more laid back ways to keep fit, and you’ll certainly have fun doing it.
Bramley Baths, Broad Lane, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3DF.
12. Go foraging with Edible Leeds
Ever tried foraging? Edible Leeds run regular walks, giving you a chance to pick your dinner. They’re put together by Craig Worrall, an expert in the field, and he’ll be teaching you about the fresh ingredients you can find in the wild, from plants to fungi, as well as the things you should steer clear of. You’ll finish your walk with a cooking session, as Craig offers up some interesting ideas for your own recipes.
Edible Leeds run foraging walks throughout the year.
13. Visit the Jungle Garden
Nick Wilson has spent the past twenty years transforming his Roundhay backyard into The Jungle Garden. It’s a multi-level garden with a slew of jungle-style plants, boardwalks and bark paths that really make it special – and even though it’s his back garden, you can pay it a visit thanks to the National Gardens Scheme.
The Jungle Garden, 76 Gledhow Wood Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1NX.
14. Feed the penguins at Harewood House
Take a trip out to Harewood House from March through to November where you’ll be able to help their zookeepers feed their rookery of Humboldt penguins. You’ll throw buckets of whitebait and sprats to the penguins, while your fellow visitors watch. It’s £31.50 for adults and £23.50 for kids, but it’s an experience like no other.
Harewood House, Sandy Gate, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9LG.
15. Scoff a Yorkshire pudding wrap
You’ve never had Yorkshire pudding like this before. The Sunday roast staple has been given a new lease of life thanks to The Yorkshire Wrap Company in Leeds Kirkgate Market. They offer up pulled pork, slow roasted beef or a full English, all wrapped up in a delicious Yorkshire pud. Go on, treat yourself.
Yorkshire Wrap Company, Cafe B, Kirkgate Market Food Hall, 34 George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
16. Have a go at beekeeping
Believe it or not, you can have a go at beekeeping at Temple Newsam. The Leeds Beekeepers Association have an apiary in the estate’s grounds and welcome budding beekeepers to learn about what they do. Whether it’s a one off taster or longer beginner’s courses, they’ll make you feel at home with their buzzing friends.
Leeds Beekeepers Association, Temple Newsam, Templenewsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE.
17. Learn to Fly
Leeds Bradford Airport is home to PTT Aviation – a flying school, where you can have lessons in a helicopter or aeroplane. You’ll have the choice of a Cessna 152, Piper PA28 or Robinson R44, as you take off into the air and start learning the ropes. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s definitely something to boast about.
South Side Aviation Centre, Leeds Bradford International Airport, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7UG.
18. Take a ride on the world’s oldest railway
The world’s oldest running railway is right here in Leeds. Middleton Railway opened back in 1758, helping to move coal from pit to pit, before taking on commercial steam locomotives. Today, it’s run by volunteers, so you can still take a ride on the mile long track – they even have a museum for you to explore.
Middleton Railway, Moor Road, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 2JQ.