Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

21 Things You Can Do in Leeds Within Minutes of Getting off the Train

· Ali Turner · Culture

There’s a world of adventure in Leeds just seconds from the station.

The Maven Restaurant

Fancy a trip to the capital? You can get the train from Leeds to London in just over 2 hours – and it’s only £29 each way when you book up to one week ahead*. T&Cs apply. Book your tickets now.

It won’t take long for the fun to start when you arrive in Leeds, because there are a host of first-class attractions within minutes of the train station…

You can start your adventures within minutes of arriving in Leeds – the question is, what do you want to do first? Do you fancy coffee, craft beer or street food? Would you rather wander around an art gallery, shop ’til you drop or jump on the water taxi to an internationally renowned museum? Whichever you choose, you can be at your destination in less than 10 minutes.

2 Minutes

From freshly brewed coffee to all-you-can-eat steak, these Leeds hotspots are just a stone’s throw away…

Sup a belting brew at Laynes

Leeds Food & Drink Awards

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ollievision

Laynes is the city’s most famous coffee shop and it’s mere metres from the station entrance. Their piping hot cups of heaven are made with a constantly-changing mix of beans from the finest roasters across Europe. But if you don’t want coffee, you can sample a cup of Canton’s loose leaf tea. It’s not just drinks, though – their homemade food will go down a treat too, with dishes like buckwheat pancakes with berries, clotted cream, white chocolate and ginger biscuit crumble.

Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.

Get a true taste of Kerala at Tharavadu

Tharavadu Thali

Tharavadu is barely a minute’s walk from the train station and it’s one of just 10 eateries in Leeds with a prestigious Michelin Recommendation, specialising in Keralan food from India’s south coast. Don’t expect the usual Indian dishes, this is your chance to try something new as they pair sweet and savoury flavours like coconut and spice. Chicken tikka might be out, but with delectable dishes like Spicy Kochi Curry and Marari Prawn Masala, who needs it?

Tharavadu, 7-8 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ. 

Quench your thirst at The Brewery Tap

Brewery Taps

If you want your night out to start right off the train, head to The Brewery Tap, where you’ll find the full collection of Leeds Brewery beers. Leodis Lager and Leeds Pale are made in enormous copper tanks on the first floor, which means your pint is waiting above you, ready to be poured. There’s a full range of craft beer and local ale too, as well as a menu of classic pub grub in case you need to line your stomach before you hit the town.

The Brewery Tap, 18-24 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.

Mix charcuterie and craft beer at Friends of Ham

Friends of Ham Meat and Cheese Board

Credit: Ollievision

Friends of Ham is a Leeds institution. They rose to fame with a dizzying selection of beer, wine, ham and cheese – it’s a winning combination and one they still offer today. Their beer selection is ever-changing, so you can try something new every time you visit, with unusual treats like Hellkite Gin Beer and The Devil’s Bilge Water, a spiced chipotle BBQ porter that comes in at 6.3%. Couple it with a cheese board, a meat platter or their oozy raclette.

Friends of Ham, 4 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.

Fill your belly with stellar street food at Bundobust

Bundobust, Leeds

Credit: Giles Smith

Indian street food reaches mouthwatering new heights at Bundobust. It’s a stone-cold favourite among locals, and all without a shred of meat on the menu. That’s right, it’s 100% veggie, and when it tastes this good, no-one cares. Take your pick from their menu of small plates. They’ve got everything from Biriyani Bhaji Balls to creamy Tarka Dhal & Rice. But the star of the show is their Vada Pav, a deep fried ball of potatoey goodness, tucked inside a soft brioche bun. Pair it with a pint of their craft beer and you’re on to a winner.

Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.

Grab a pie and a pint at The Hop

The Hop

Take the short walk to Granary Wharf from the Southern Entrance, and you’ll find The Hop tucked away under the arches. This stylish watering hole is the perfect place to kick back after a long journey, with a wide range of real ales from owners Ossett Brewery and their handpicked favourites. Throw in one of their award-winning pies for a proper Yorkshire welcome and don’t miss their live music every Friday and Saturday.

The Hop, Granary Wharf, Dark Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.

Pile your plate high at Fazenda

Fazenda Leeds

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Jess Rowbottom

If all you can eat sounds like music to your ears, then Fazenda is a symphony of Brazilian goodness. You’ll find a coloured card on your table – flip it to green, and they’ll bring you a parade of 15 never-ending meats. We’re talking filet mignon, beef tenderloin, chicken hearts, chorizo and pork belly, to name but a few. If that’s got your tastebuds going, be sure to save room for the packed salad bar.

Fazenda, Waterman’s Place, Unit 4-7 Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GL.

5 Minutes

Whether you fancy a game of crazy golf, a drink with a view or a ride on the water taxi, you can get to these attractions in just five minutes…

Challenge your mates to a game at Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Contakt Photography

If you’re feeling competitive, take a short wander to Roxy Ball Room, where you can while away a few hours playing pool, table tennis and beer pong. They have two 18-foot shuffleboards tables too, but their piéce de resistance is the 9-hole crazy golf course on the second floor. You’ll find a tempting mix of craft beer and cocktails behind the bar, with a menu of pizzas, burgers and loaded fries if you get peckish.

Roxy Ball Room, Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.

Sip cocktails with a view at Sky Lounge

Sky Lounge Beer Garden

Panoramic views over the city and a cracking cocktail, that’s what awaits at SkyLounge. Up on the 13th floor of DoubleTree by Hilton, this airy bar offers jaw-dropping scenery through the floor-to-ceiling windows and out on the wraparound balcony. Enjoy the view with classic cocktails like their Espresso Martini or signature creations like the Sky Tai, a heady mix of Havana 3 and Especial, Blue Curacao, lime juice and almond syrup.

Sky Lounge, 2 Wharf Approach, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.

Sup a local brew at Craft Asylum #1

Salt Beer Factory

Credit: Georgia Sykes of Ossett Brewery

Craft Asylum #1 is the brainchild of Yorkshire’s newest micro-brewery, Salt Beer Factory. They have 14 keg taps, seven of which are dedicated to their own craft brews, including their Jute Session IPA and the Mockado Latte Porter. The remaining seven will showcase an ever-changing selection of guest breweries like Magic Rock, Thornbridge and Abyss, so you’ll have plenty of choice for your first pint in the city.

Craft Asylum #1, Candle House, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GJ.

Shop ’til you drop at Trinity Leeds

Trinity Leeds Student Night

Need a spot of retail therapy? You can find over 120 shops, bars and restaurants in Trinity Leeds, hell, there’s even a comfy sofa. This glass emporium is bursting with places to visit, from Adidas and Victoria’s Secret to Topshop and The Lego Store. Right at the top, you’ll find a treasure trove of street food stalls serving up tasty treats from around the world at Trinity Kitchen.

Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AT.

Try the special brews from North Brewing Co.

North Brew Co. Tap Room

Credit: John Slemensek

Take the shortcut down the stairs to Bishopgate Street and wander down to Sovereign Square where you’ll find the latest addition from North Brewing Co. Their new tap room is a relaxed all-day hangout, where you can start the day with a cup of Dark Woods Coffee and a breakfast bao from in-house street food specialists Little Bao Boy, or kick off your night out with 24 rotating taps of North’s own beers and those of their favourite breweries.

North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Square, Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.

Travel by boat to the Royal Armouries

Water Taxi Leeds

It wouldn’t be a trip to Leeds without visiting the iconic Royal Armouries museum. It’s home to the National Collection of Arms and Armour, which means you’ll find over 8,500 objects stretching from ancient samurai swords to WWI cannons and even real-life elephant armour. And because it’s right on the waterfront, you can reach it easily from the station by jumping on one of the free water taxis.

Leeds Water Taxi, Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.

Relax by the river at Water Lane Boathouse

Water Lane Boathouse

Water Lane Boathouse is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the Southern Entrance. This laid-back canal-side venue combines exposed brickwork and Scandi design, but the real highlight is their outdoor space, where you can sit by the water and watch the world go by. With oodles of craft beer and a gin list as long as your arm, you won’t be left wanting, and their handcrafted pizzas from Small Victories are to die for.

Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.

10 minutes

It might be a tad further, but these city attractions are worth the walk…

Start your night out on Call Lane

Call Lane Social

If you’ve come into the city for a night out, you’ll surely want to check out Call Lane. It’s the city’s most famous nightspot, with a host of independent and well-known bars for you to choose from. Hunt out The Maven, a secret cocktail bar with an unmarked doorway, delve into Wire, an underground club with DJs spanning every genre, visit Jake’s to try out their homemade liquors from their on-site distillery, or party in Oporto where the Jägermeister runs freely.

Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.

Visit an architectural gem in Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Town Hall

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ali Turner

Want to tick off one of the city’s most impressive landmarks within minutes of arriving in Leeds? Then make your way up Park Row to The Headrow, where you’ll find Leeds Town Hall. Built by Cuthbert Brodrick in 1858, it was once home to the municipal and judicial systems, but it’s now used as an incredibly impressive events venue, with everything from classical concerts to beer festivals and vintage fairs. It’s as impressive by night as it is by day, so it really doesn’t matter what time you arrive in Leeds.

Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AD.

Wrap your mouth around a tasty treat at The Falafel Guys

The Falafel Guys

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ali Turner

Street food is huge in Leeds, so make a beeline to Briggate to try one of the city’s finest vendors. These guys are so good, they’re number one on TripAdvisor. They specialise in homemade falafel, hummus and tahini, bundling it up in an Arabic wrap with salad that’s so damned tasty you’ll want to come back for more – but not straight away, because these bad boys are big and surprisingly cheap. Don’t fancy falafel? You can get halloumi, shawarma chicken or a combination of the two.

The Falafel Guys, 47 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HF.

Gaze up at the biggest stained glass roof in the UK

Victoria Quarter stained glass roof

There are two brilliant reasons to go to the Victoria Quarter. First off, it’s one of the city’s finest shopping arcades, built in 1900 by Frank Matcham, the man responsible for the London Palladium and Coliseum. Inside, it’s got loads of character details like gilded mosaics, bold marble pillars and the biggest stained glass roof in Britain, made by architectural artist Brian Clarke. But it’s not just something to look at, you’ll also find a host of designer boutiques here, making it the perfect place to start your shopping trip.

Victoria Quarter, 4 Cross Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AZ.

Discover an independent paradise at Leeds Corn Exchange

Leeds Corn Exchange

Credit: Tom Joy

There’s something for everyone at the Grade II-listed Corn Exchange. Designed by legendary architect Cuthbert Brodrick, this shopping mecca has been a home for independent outlets since the Victorian era. You’ll find everything from food to fashion, decor and jewellery under the stunning domed roof. What’s more, it’s barely a 10-minute walk from the station, so there’s no excuse not to check it out.

Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

Browse art at Leeds Art Gallery & The Henry Moore Institute

Art in Leeds

With a short walk to The Headrow, you’ll find two of the city’s best attractions side-by-side, Leeds Art Gallery and The Henry Moore Institute. The Gallery houses a vast array of 20th-century art from across Britain, with Victorian landscapes, English impressionism and rare watercolours. Meanwhile, The Henry Moore Institute specialises in sculpture, with an ever-changing calendar of world-class exhibitions.

Leeds Art Gallery & The Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AH.

Explore over 150 stalls at Kirkgate Market

Kirkgate Market

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ali Turner

It’ll take you less than ten minutes to walk from the train station to Kirkgate Market, and once there, you’re in for a treat. It’s the largest covered market in Europe, and you’ll find hundreds of stalls inside, with a mix of traditional butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers, alongside haberdasheries, sweet shops and spice stalls. It’s not all traditional though, they’ve got a fresh food and events space, where you’ll find street food traders, live entertainment and pop-up markets.

Kirkgate Market, Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.

*17,000 seats available 1 week before travel (correct at 09/11/18)