Whether it’s a spot of sunshine on your lunch break or a lazy Sunday afternoon, these little sun traps will come in very handy indeed.
There are plenty of beer gardens in Leeds, but what if you just want to sit in the park and read a book? Well, the good news is, there are plenty of places to do that too. So if the sun is shining and you can’t bear to stay in, seek out one of these secret spots. Not only can you enjoy the summer weather, but you can keep your money where it belongs – in your pocket.
Penny Pocket Park
Just across the road from Leeds Minster, Penny Pocket Park is a little slice of serenity in a busy city. It was once part of the old graveyard and has an interesting history. When the construction of New Station began in 1866, it became clear that the route to Selby would need to pass through the graveyard, and it was agreed that the railway would be built on a solid embankment, with the gravestones on the slope. You can still see them to this day, in amongst the greenery.
Penny Pocket Park, Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ.
You’ll find Bond Court tucked between Park Row and East Parade. Unlike the others, it’s not a park, it’s a well-designed square hidden away from the traffic and noise. There are two secrets to be discovered here. The first is Bottega Milanese, it’s the perfect place to grab a coffee before you pull up a pew. The second is the boules court – you can have a go for yourself (they have everything you need at Bottega) or simply find a seat and watch the action unfold.
Bond Court, Wine Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2JZ.
Merrion Street Gardens
Nestled between St John’s Church and Parkside Tavern, Merrion Street Gardens are right in the heart of the action – but they offer a very different experience to the bars and restaurants nearby. Originally opened as a Garden of Rest in 1933, the site was given a major makeover in 2006 – the result is a lovely landscaped space that looks out at St John’s Church. Whether you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre or enjoy the sunshine with friends, this is the perfect place to do it.
Merrion Street Gardens, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
If you work at Wellington Place, you’ll obviously know about it, but if you don’t, you might never discover this sunny haven in the business district. Built around the historic Lifting Tower, a remnant of the old Central Station, Tower Square seamlessly blends old and new. They have plenty of picnic tables, benches and deck chairs for you to use – and if you’re looking for somewhere to work in the sun, you won’t find anywhere better. The entire square is kitted out with high speed wifi and it’s absolutely free to use.
Tower Square, Wellington Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AJ.
This one’s a little further out than the others, but it’s worth the walk. Queen Square is a marvellously leafy location on Clay Pit Lane. Being so close to the university, it’s a popular spot with students, but during the summer months it’s surprisingly quiet, so you can bring a picnic or just pop by to read a book while you catch some rays. It’s also south facing, so you can get sunshine all day long.
Queen Square, Clay Pit Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8AJ.