Bored of the usual city centre pub crawls? Head out to the Leeds suburbs and try a few boozers you’ve never been to before…
It’s easy to go back to the same old bars again and again, but why not try something new? Out in the suburbs, you’ll find a mix of proper local boozers, beer-centric bars and stomach-lining gastropubs, so you can have an almighty pub crawl in every corner of the city. Here’s seven boozy tours of the Leeds suburbs to get you started.
Town Street, Horsforth
Horsforth is home to many pint-worthy pubs and this crawl takes you from the top of Town Street to the bottom. Start at The Brownlee Arms – named after the famous triathlete brothers, you can get quality real ales and cocktails here, as well as a decent feed to line your stomach. From there, it’s a short walk to Granville’s for 15 taps of local draught ale and over 60 different types of gin, before you head down to The Malt Brewhouse, a bar and microbrewery that specialises in craft beer and cocktails, with shuffleboard tables and live music to boot.
Next up is the cocktail and craft beer-loving Lambert’s before you reach a proper local favourite – Town Street. It’s a cosy, rustic venue, with a bar that’s topped with eight keg beers and eight hand-pulled cask ales – take your pick of breweries like Okell’s, Leeds and Ilkley. Once you’re done, cross the road to visit Ernie’s, a noteworthy addition to the suburb. It’s a Cuban-inspired bar where the rum and cocktails are as good as the local beers.
You can carry on your mini global bar-hop with a sampling of German and Belgian brewing’s finest at The Little Monk. Still going? Your penultimate pit stop on this pub crawl of Horsforth is The Old Kings Arms – it’s a welcoming pub where traditional meets modern, and you’ve got loads to choose from, whether you’re on beer, spirits or wine. The last stop is The Black Bull, a classic boozer with an indie soundtrack and a vibrant atmosphere. Expect ales on the bar, live sport on the telly and a great beer garden for the warmer months.
Otley is one of the finest market towns in Yorkshire. It’s surrounded by incredible countryside worth exploring, but it’s also a great place for a pub crawl. We’re starting at The Horse & Farrier on Bridge Street, a pub full of rustic charm, where you can indulge in quality local ales. Next up is The Black Horse, a traditional Grade II-listed pub from the folks behind Brudenell Social Club and Kirkstall Brewery – again, you can expect great craft beer and proper pub grub.
Your third stop is a local favourite on Kirkgate. Whitaker’s is a historic watering hole that’s been open since 1841 – but don’t worry, the array of local beers on the bar are as fresh as anything. Head across the road to visit The Rookery, a music-loving metropolitan bar that serves local ales and craft beer, before you swing a left at the bottom of the street onto Bondgate to reach North Bar Social. That’s right, it’s another North Bar venue and a craft beer haven – expect oodles of choice, with meat and cheese boards to nibble as you go.
Your next two stops are a stone’s throw from each other. First you’ve got The Old Cock, an old-fashioned real ale pub with a proper Yorkshire welcome, then there’s The Junction Inn, where you can expect quality beer, cosy nooks, a dartboard, live music and a crackling fire. One last one before home? Head up to Boroughgate, to sup craft beers atThe Otley Tap House.
Head out to the market town of Pudsey for a pub crawl that promises the best local beers. Start on Bankhouse Lane at The Fleece, a charming old pub that’s been named CAMRA Community Pub of the Year twice, so expect an impressive line-up of local real ales. It’s a 10-minute walk along Smalewell Road to the second stop, The Fox and Grapes, a traditional country-style pub with three ales on hand-pulls alongside plenty of craft beers and lagers, but you can always make a little detour up to The Royal on Station Street for Theakston’s beers and a warm welcome.
Head up Greenside next and along Chapeltown to find two watering holes a short walk apart – The Commercial is a sport and music-loving pub with guest ales and cocktails, while 7 Steps is a gem of a bar with a rustic-meets-modern feel and loads of beers from breweries like Saltaire, Rudgate and Ossett.
To finish your crawl, take Church Lane to find The Crossed Shuttle, your friendly local Wetherspoon’s with a big beer garden and plenty of character, before settling down for a pint in The Manor Inn, a music-loving independent that specialises in local craft beers. For your final treat, the former Rudy’s, now known as Hideout, offers amazing craft beer and cocktails in an industrial chic joint.
Roundhay & Oakwood
This is one of the more scenic pub crawls you’ll find in Leeds. We’re starting on Street Lane, with a trip to The Deer Park. It’s a massive gastropub with something for everyone behind the bar. From here, you can take a leisurely eight-minute walk down to The Roundhay Fox, a country pub in the heart of Roundhay, with a charming rustic feel and quality real ales.
We’re heading down to Oakwood now – but to get there, why not take a detour through the park? Head east through the fields and past the lake, before you head back up towards Oakwood, stopping at The White House on the way. This is another popular pub, with plenty of beers from local breweries to choose from behind the bar. From here, head into the centre of Oakwood to Chophaus, a classy wine bar and steakhouse where you can enjoy hand-picked labels, champagne and cocktails.
Then it’s into The Stew and Oyster across the road. It’s the sister bar to Calls Landing and it’s just as good. There’s plenty of craft beer, as well as a decent selection of wine and spirits, with tasty eats if you’re peckish. Next up is Preston, just a few doors down. It’s one of the North Bar venues, so expect the finest beers from around the globe in an intimate bar that’s incredibly dog-friendly. The cool, cocktail and real ale-loving surroundings of Tobias will round off your jaunt. Need a post-crawl bite to eat? Grab a curry to-go from Bengal Brasserie.
The picturesque market town of Wetherby is the perfect setting for a pub crawl – and there are some great places to stop. Let’s start at the top of the town’s main thoroughfare, North Street, at The Royal Oak. This is a proper traditional drinking spot, all dark furnishings, brass tops and real ales. From here, you’re headed to a pub that dates back 400 years, The Swan & Talbot. It’s recently been refurbished, but it still has a cosy, rustic feel, with a winning combination of local beers and hearty pub grub.
You’ll swing a right onto Bank Street for your next three stops. First up, The Lazy Bird serves up classic cocktails and local craft beer to a soundtrack of banging tunes and even a menu of parmos, pizza and burgers. Next, The Mews, a charming little pub with a country feel and loads of real ales. At the bottom of the street is one of the most popular drinking dens in Wetherby – The New Inn is a proper local pub with a great atmosphere and even better beers.
Next up is a short walk back towards the centre to The Black Bull, a typical Yorkshire boozer with friendly locals, live sport and a log fire if you need warming up. From there, you’ve got traditional favourite The Red Lion, a beer lover’s paradise with keg and cask on offer. And if you need a takeaway after all that, there’s only place to go in this town and it’s the Wetherby Whaler for their famous fish and chips.
Headingley is the home of Leeds’ most famous pub crawl, but if the behemoth Otley Run feels a bit too hardcore, you can do our mini crawl. Begin the day at Woodie’s where you can treat yourself to one of their real ales or craft beers. From here, it’s only a short walk to your next stop at The Three Horseshoes – this is a Headingley favourite, with a welcoming, old-school feel and great booze behind the bar.
Next up is The New Inn. It’s only little, but there’s always a good atmosphere in here and the beers are worth checking out too. For a pace change, make a wee detour over to Bottle Chop where you’ll find natural wines and craft beer in equal measure. Then you’ve got a little walk down Headingley Lane to get to your next stop – Arcadia isn’t on the Otley Run, so it’s a welcome retreat from the fancy dress groups, especially if you love craft beer. They’ve got all sorts on, from breweries near and far, as well as wine and spirits aplenty.
To finish your jaunt in Headingley, we’ve got two of the suburb’s most famous watering holes. First up is The Original Oak – it’s got a massive beer garden with a big screen, so it’s the place to go when the sun’s out, but you can enjoy beer and sports all year round. The same is true of The Skyrack, on the other side of the road, although the beer garden is a lot smaller. They both serve food too, but if you fancy something quick and easy before you go home, I Am Doner is just across the road.
Woodlesford to Rothwell
We’re going suburb-hopping in South East Leeds with this pub crawl. Kick things off in Woodlesford at The Two Pointers, a local boozer oozing with character, from the beamed ceilings to the tiled fireplace – the beers and the atmosphere aren’t bad either. Next up, head down Aberford Road and go for a swift one in the clean-cut surroundings of The Midland Hotel before making your way towards Oulton for your next trio of pubs.
First up, you’ve got the classic feel of The Old Masons, a family-run pub with local beers that comes alive at the weekend with music and karaoke. Then you’ll go from the old to The New Mason Arms at the very bottom of Aberford Road – don’t let the name fool you, it’s full of old-world charm, with its low ceilings, decorative trinkets and wood-beamed walls. Your final stop in Oulton is The Three Horseshoes, a classic Yorkshire pub, with an interior dominated by farming paraphernalia.
To finish, take the scenic walk along Rothwell Lane and past Oulton Hall. You’ll find your last two pubs here – first head into the much-loved Black Bull, a cosy pub with beers from the likes of Ossett Brewery and Black Sheep. Then make your way through the centre of Rothwell to The Hare and Hounds, another friendly local pub with no airs or graces – you can usually enjoy live music with your local beer.
Chapel Allerton is one of Leeds’ most popular suburbs and it’s home to a host of great watering holes. Our pub crawl starts at Further North, a charming local from the people behind North Bar where you can sup an ever-changing selection of guest ales and craft beers from the UK and beyond. From there, head down Harrogate Road to The Regent, an old school Yorkshire pub that has an ever-changing line-up of local ales on tap.
Take the short walk across Stainbeck Lane to your next beer-friendly stop, Black Sheep Tap, a charming taproom from the much-loved Yorkshire brewery where you can also get cocktails and pub grub alongside great cask ales. Then it’s onto The Mustard Pot, a proper cosy pub with roaring fires for the winter and a huge beer garden in the summer – spend an hour enjoying their local ales and classic pub grub before you decide whether to get another pint in your last three bars as you head back to Harrogate Road.
It’s a short walk from here over to The Woods, a day-to-night watering hole where you can enjoy craft beer and cocktails, pizza and sarnies, in a stylish setting. Then cross the road to The Nag’s Head, on Town Street. This is your classic spit and sawdust pub, with a friendly welcome and plenty of local ales on tap. To finish off, head back down Harrogate Road for a quick one in craft beer haven Alley Cats. If you need a bite to eat before home-time, grab a curry from Aagrah or fish and chips from Captain Thornton’s.
We’re actually cheating with our starting point – you’ll kick things off in nearby Gildersome at The Old Griffin Head, a friendly local pub with low ceilings, real ales and live sports. From here, it’s just a short walk to The Gildersome Arms, a no-nonsense pub, which also doubles as a carvery – with Cask Marque ales on the bar, it’s a great choice for a quick one, before you take the 15-minute walk along Asquith Avenue into Morley.
Now you’ve had your warm up and a bit of a walk, you deserve another drink – start at Oscar’s, a cool, clean and on-trend bar where you’ll find a frankly startling array of rare craft beers from around the world. They’ve also got plenty of spirits, cocktails and hand-picked wines. Across the road, you’ll find The Prospect, a charming, rustic watering hole where gin and craft beer rule the roost. You don’t have far to go next – The Royal has plenty of beer and live sports on the go, while the next door down is The Station Hop, a modern craft beer paradise.
From here, head down Queen Street for The Picture House, a Wetherspoon’s with a massive beer garden that’s got a buzzing atmosphere and loads of great beers. Finish off with a trip to Sam Smith’s pub The Fountain or a few craft beers in Tipsy Cow before grabbing a Chinese from Happy’s or pizza from Trojan.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Corvin Pamp