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 plenty of pint-worthy pubs and we’ve put together a great route from the top of Town Street to the bottom. Let’s 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 across the road to Granville’s for 15 taps of local draught ale and a over 60 different types of gin, before you head down to The Malt Brewhouse, a bar and microbrewery that specialises in craft beer and cocktail, with shuffleboard tables and live music to boot.
Next up is a proper local favourite – Town Street Tavern. 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 Hemingway’s, a noteworthy addition to the suburb. It’s a Cuban-inspired bar where the cocktails are as good as the local beers, and if you’re hungry, the cantina street food menu is very tempting.
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. All that booze left you hungry? China China is just around the corner or you can get a curry from Moghul.
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 cool 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 final three stops are all further down Bondgate. First you’ve got The Old Cock, an old-fashioned pub with a proper Yorkshire welcome, then there’s the cottage-like vibe of The Rose & Crown. Stop there for one before you finish up in The Junction Inn, where you can expect quality beer and a landlord who comes around with free snacks throughout the night. If you’re getting peckish, Pizza Base and Gay Lane Fisheries will crown off your night nicely.
Head out to the market town of Pudsey for a pub crawl that promises the best local beers. Start at The Bankhouse Inn where you can sup a wide selection of ales and get a right good feed to line your stomach – the beer garden offers incredible views of the local countryside. Next, walk down Bankhouse Lane to 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 Smalewale Road to the third stop, The Fox and Grapes, a traditional country-style pub with three ales on hand-pulls alongside plenty of craft beers and lagers. Head up Greenside next and along Chapeltown to find 7 Steps, 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. And when you’re done, treat yourself with the award-winning fish and chips at The Bearded Sailor.
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 8-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 – obviously, they do stew and oysters if you’re peckish. Last 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 – you might make some new furry friends while you’re there. 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 two stops, but before you get to them, we have to tell you about Don’t Tell the Duke – it’s the place to go for amazing steaks, well worth splitting up your crawl for. Just around the corner is 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 The Crown Inn just down the road (it’s a Sam Smith’s pub and a sure-fire bet for a decent value pint), and you can finish up opposite at The Brunswick – expect decent ales and live music on weekends. If you need a bite to eat 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. Then you’ve got a bit of a 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, but don’t worry if beer isn’t your tipple – take a look at the wine and spirits they’ve got on the bar too.
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 live 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 up, 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 from Sam Smith’s, where locally brewed pints come at a very cheap price.
Take the short walk across Stainbeck Lane to your next stop, Kith & Kin, a spacious venue with international beers and an extensive cocktail list, followed by The Pit, where craft brews and live sport rule the roost. 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 two bars as you head back to Harrogate Road.
It’s a short walk from here 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, and pop into The Three Hulats, the local Wetherspoon’s, for a cheap pint, before crossing to the other side for a quick one in craft beer-loving haven Alley Cats. If you need a bite to eat before home-time, you can grab a curry from Aagrah or fish and chips from Nash’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 a drink – start at Oscar’s Bar, 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. If you can peel yourself away, your next stop is Asquith’s, which was named after the former Prime Minister born in the town – it’s a small but lively little watering hole, just down the road.
From here, head down Queen Street for The Picture House, a modern pub with a massive beer garden that’s got a buzzing atmosphere and loads of great beers. Just a few doors down you’ll find Different Gravy, a modern take on the classic pub with an impressive selection of gins and ales. 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 2019 by Corvin Pamp