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

Your Lockdown Bucket List – Everything You Need to Do Before We’re Let Out

· Ali Turner · Culture

Let's turn the lockdown into a challenge.

Culture? Check. Beer education? Check. All-out parties and scrumptious food? Check and double-check…

Well, it’s official, we’ve got at least three more weeks of lockdown ahead of us. Three more weeks of staying in, missing out and craving things we can’t have – but don’t be so down in the dumps, because you’ve also got three more weeks to tick off everything on our lockdown bucket list. From unmissable ballets on-demand to live-streamed beer tastings, you might start to like staying in.

Start ticking ’em off…

1984. Northern Ballet adapted George Orwell’s iconic dystopian novel for the stage in 2015, but don’t worry if you missed it, because for a limited time, you can stream this unmissable ballet to your living room. It follows Winston’s illicit affair with Julia as they rebel against big brother – and trust us when we say you’ve never seen the story told like this before.

Sunday Roast. It’s the ultimate comfort food, an all time classic that never gets old, and you can do it without the washing up throughout the lockdown because Man v Roast is still delivering. Still-pink roast beef, fluffy Yorkshire puddings, roasted spuds, two veg and lashings of gravy – it’s a quintessential British favourite, delivered to your door. Ger in ma belly!

Leeds Digital Festival. It may be lockdown, but that won’t stop Leeds Digital Festival. They’ve gone virtual with over 50 events spread across 12 days. You can get to grips with Microsoft Teams, learn how to overcome imposter syndrome and even take part in a virtual quiz, all from the comfort of your home. The festival runs from Monday 20th April to Friday 1st May 2020.

Slap and Pickle, The Whole Nine Yards

Credit: Paul Conboy

The Whole Nine Yards. Total, unadulterated indulgence – that’s what The Whole Nine Yards is. Two dry-aged beef patties, piled high with American cheese, smoked bacon, onion rings, pickles, lettuce, jalapeños and chillies. The whole thing is doused in sriracha mayo and hot sauce, sandwiched between two buns and delivered to your door by Slap & Pickle.

The Ring Cycle. This is an absolute beast of an opera, but don’t let that put you off because Wagner’s most famous masterpiece is also an epic adventure, filled with magic, mystery and emotion. Opera North have cut it down to 15 hours and split it into manageable portions, so you can tick it off your bucket list without leaving your house.

The Corona Arms. Missing the pub? Want to get that old camaraderie back without leaving the house? Then you need to go to The Corona Arms, where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you stayed indoors. It’s a Zoom-based get-together with thousands of regulars and a weekly quiz. Places are limited, to get access, DM them through their Instagram page.

Northern Monk, Leeds Indie Food

Credit: Tom Joy

Beer Tasting. You’ve got to love Northern Monk. Even in the heart of the lockdown, they’re bringing our attention back to the beer with weekly tastings. They’re still delivering, so you can order your beers in advance, then join their master brewers to delve into making and tasting of their chosen beer. It takes place at 7pm every Saturday and ends with a Q&A.

Dracula. Northern Ballet has proved that it can tell any story through dance, but Dracula is particularly well-suited to adaptation. Bram Stoker’s haunting tale of an ancient vampire at large in 19th Century England is full of seduction, temptation and obsession. Dracula will be released on BBC iPlayer in the coming weeks as part of BBC’s Culture in Quarantine Season.

Wolong Grove Panda Yard. If there’s one thing you need to do on lockdown, one thing that’s guaranteed to cheer you up on the gloomiest of days, it’s this live stream. Pandas are one of the greatest, most entertaining creatures on earth and you can watch them roll, wrangle and play live at Wolong Grove Panda Yard. Not into pandas? Try polar bears or grizzlies.

The Turn of the Screw. Haunting, atmospheric and all kinds of good, this eerie as heck opera takes Henry James’ famous ghost story to new heights. Benjamin Britten’s score is guaranteed to get under your skin, as you watch our unsuspecting governess tackle evil spirits and personal demons. This is your chance to dip your toe in the water and try opera from home.

Buy the NHS a pint. The coronavirus pandemic has put an immense strain on the NHS – from doctors and nurses to technicians and cleaners, they’re all working tirelessly to save lives. And you can show your appreciation by buying them a pint. Put in an order of your favourite North Brewing Co. beers and give an extra £5 to buy an NHS worker a beer when all this is over.

BBQ Baby! Okay, so you can’t invite your friends, but you can still light up the barbie in your back yard. Even better, you can support the independents while you do it by ordering in an almighty butcher’s box. Cook up sausages and burgers, alongside steaks, chicken and pork. This is a summer institution that even the lockdown can’t take away from us.


Credit: Lucy Forrester

Chicken shawarma. Foodies rejoice! MorMor is open for business and delivering your favourite Middle Eastern wraps. Their succulent chicken shawarma comes smothered in hummus, fattoush salad, pickles, crispy shallots, pomegranate seeds, sumac and sesame for an absolute explosion of flavour in the midst of our ever-so-bland lockdown.

Bongo’s Bingo. Wickedly good, utterly bonkers and totally unmissable, Bongo’s Bingo has become a Leeds favourite. No longer a game for old biddies, they’ve brought it bang-up-to-date with drinks, dance-offs and spot prizes – even better, they’ve taken their wild antics online! Get your dabbers at the ready at 8pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Sunday Dinner Beer. You read that right. Northern Monk has teamed up with Aunt Bessie’s to create a one-off roast dinner-inspired beer. A 5.7% brown ale brewed with actual Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puds and roasties, it’s a meal in a glass. Follow it up with their new Jam Roly Poly, which brings all the joy of jam and custard to 5% pale. You can get ‘em in on their website.

Night of the Living Dead. Leeds Playhouse and imitating the dog have joined forces to bring the online premiere of their shot-for-shot stage recreation of Night of the Living Dead to your living room. Seven performers armed with cameras, a box of props and rail of costumes have recreated Romero’s classic horror movie and it’s unmissable viewing.

Hyde Park Picks. Everyone’s favourite picture house has closed, but they’ve not gone quietly – in fact, Hyde Park Picture House will be offering daily recommendations to help you feed your love of indie films. Available online, often for free, they’ve been handpicked by their expert team to keep you entertained all through the lockdown, so get watching.

Project Intimacy. Feeling lonely? Isolated? Forgotten? Then you’ll love this. Immersive theatre company Riptide has created a new project designed to bring people together through the coronavirus crisis. Project Intimacy is a two-week long pervasive experience that will pair you with a stranger – you’ll be guided through the experience together, so you’re never on your own.