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21 Ways to Make Your Summer in Leeds Rock

· Ali Turner · Culture

It's time to take your summer to the next level.

Roundhay Park

Summer is officially here and you need to make the most of every minute, so start working your way through our bucket list.

The sun has got his hat on. Hip, hip, hip, hooray. The sun has got his hat on, and he’s coming out to play. But he isn’t the only one, so make the most of those glorious summer days by working your way through this list. There’s something for everyone, with family days and outdoor activities alongside street food markets, ice cream and the city’s newest roof terrace. Don’t dilly dally, you never know when the rain will return.

Ilkley Lido

1. East 59th & Issho. The two newest rooftop bars to open in Leeds, you need to check them both out on the next sunny summer’s day. The first is a New York style loft, while the second is a Japanese restaurant with a Kori Bar that promises whisky, sake and cocktails.

2. Eat North. If you haven’t been to the new weekly street food market at North Brewing Co. yet, now’s the time to do it. Sit outside in the sun, with your pooch, and treat yourself to the epic combination that is good food and good beer.

3. Ilkley Lido. It’s not summer if you haven’t slathered on the sun lotion and gone for a swim in the sunshine. Hell, why not picnic and play tennis while you’re there?

The Tiny Tea Room

4. The Tiny Tea Room. Unbeknownst to, well, just about everyone, this riverside tea room offers up a range of delicious morsels, with a right good cuppa. It’s an outdoor affair, so summer is the best time to go.

5. Harewood House. It’s the ultimate family day out. Explore the house before heading out for a long walk around the grounds, stopping at the adventure playground and watching the penguin feeding while you’re there.

6. Wino & Park Square. Now this is a match made in heaven. Nip into Wino and ask them to pack you a bottle to go. Not only will they give you plastic glasses, but they’ll also include a takeaway cooler, so you can enjoy a boozy picnic in Park Square.

Humboldt penguins at Harewood House

Credit: Ali Turner

7. Summer pub crawls. Why settle for one beer garden when you can tick off five of them, all in one go? We’ve got three for you to try – see if you can do them all by the end of the summer.

8. Roundhay Park. At 700 acres, you’ve some got exploring to do. Tick off Canal Gardens first, then wander around the lakes (both of them), visit the castle folly and circle the gorge. Got kids? Add adventure playgrounds, tennis and Tropical World into the mix.

9. City Beach. Leeds may be inland, but you can still enjoy the seaside, thanks to this pop-up beach. It’s back at Millennium Square from Saturday 12th to Saturday 26th August 2017.

Otley Chevin

Credit: Ali Turner

10. Summer pub walks. There’s simply no better way to spend a sunny day in Leeds than by taking a long, leisurely stroll through the countryside, stopping at a pub or two along the way. Check out our pub walks.

11. Otley Chevin. Whether you’re bouldering, rambling or just taking in the sights at the Surprise View, Otley Chevin is an absolute must.

12. Leeds West Indian Carnival. An incredible celebration of West Indian culture, the carnival will mark its 50th year with a day of music, costumes and street food. Don’t miss it.

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Credit: Guy Farrar

13. Stockeld Park. If you’ve got kids to entertain, this is the place to go. There are oodles of activities to try out in the sunshine, from go karting to roller skating, buccaneer boating and adventure playgrounds.

14. Summer BBQs. This one’s a no brainer. Head out to the garden and light the barbie – but first, make sure you’ve stocked up on BBQ worthy beers, recommended by Tall Boys Beer Market and Little Leeds Beer House.

15. Strawberry picking. Quintessentially British (and a mighty fine day out) why not visit a local farm and pick your own fruit?

Temple Newsam

Credit: Temple Newsam

16. Outdoor concerts, cinema & theatre. This summer, we’re taking your favourite indoor events outside – don’t miss the Back to Basic club night with a live orchestra, Jane Austen’s classic performed in the park and two chances to see Back to the Future on the big screen.

17. Temple Newsam & Home Farm. Another one for the little ones in your life, Temple Newsam is a cracking summer day out. It’s free to explore the grounds, and there’s a lot to see, with plenty of picnic opportunities, but the cherry on the top is the farm. See pigs, goats, sheep and ducks (a family ticket is £10.20).

18. Otley Run. The students have gone home for the summer, which means the Otley Run is all yours. Take on the epic 16-pub crawl from Headingley into the city centre.

Headrow House

Credit: Tom Joy

19. Northern Bloc. These guys are famous, and with good reason. Their creative ice cream flavours are the perfect way to cool off on a sunny day, so get yourself down to Rola Wala for a scoop or two.

20. Beer gardens. Come on, it has to be done – tick off our list of the best beer gardens in the city centre and the suburbs.

21. Get active. The last thing you want to do is stay in on a sunny day, so get out there and embrace your adventurous side. From BMX’ing to water sports and cycling, there are loads of outdoor activities for you to try.

For more ideas, check out our summer section.