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

Explore the City’s Alleyways on This Hidden Pub Crawl

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

Go off the beaten path to find six of Leeds’ best pubs.


Leeds’ best pubs aren’t always in plain sight, in fact, you can turn the city’s hidden pubs into a fantastic little crawl…

The maze of alleyways between Briggate, Lands Lane and Trinity Street harbours a thirst-quenching secret – and you can uncover it on our hidden pub crawl. It will take you to six historic pubs and bars that sit off the beaten track, but you’ll do more drinking than walking, because they’re surprisingly close together.


Let’s start with one of the most famous hidden pubs in Leeds. Whitelock’s is one of the oldest in the city, and it’s retained much of its original charm. Think mahogany furniture, traditional carpets and beer slogan mirrors in a venue that’s always buzzing. And then there’s the beer – it’s a real ale haven, with a constantly changing selection on the pumps from breweries across Yorkshire and beyond. And if you want to line your stomach, you’re onto a winner with their menu of hearty British classics.

Whitelock’s, Turk’s Head Yard, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.

The Turk’s Head

The Turk's Head, Leeds

Credit: Justin Slee

The next stop is just next door – The Turk’s Head is the sister bar to Whitelock’s, and it couldn’t be more different. It’s a modern space dressed up in apothecary-chic. If you want to mix things up, they have a petite cocktail menu and a range of handpicked spirits, but this is very much a craft beer bar. You can choose from a massive selection of craft brews from some of the world’s top breweries, including Cloudwater, Beavertown and Omnipollo.

The Turk’s Head, 4 Turk’s Head Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AH.

The Pack Horse

The Packhorse

© Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Daria Wszolek

Head along Briggate and up the next alleyway to visit The Pack Horse. Like Whitelock’s, it’s hailed as one of the oldest pubs in Leeds, but it actually goes back a little further than its neighbour, with the first records dating back to 1615. It’s all about real ale here, so pull up a pew in the deceptively big venue and sit back to enjoy beers from the likes of Timothy Taylor’s, Sharp’s and Ossett Brewery. They also have a decent cocktail list, and if you get peckish, they’ve teamed up with Pieminister to serve the perfect companion for your pint – pie, mash and gravy.

The Pack Horse, Pack Horse Yard, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AT.

The Angel Inn

The Angel

© Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Joseph Sheerin

Next up, The Angel Inn is something of a one-off, a Samuel Smith’s pub with cheap pints, a laid-back vibe and a vibrant clientele that sets it apart from the rest. Head inside to treat yourself to Alpine Lager, Double Four or Best Bitter – you’ll even get change from a fiver for two pints. You can sit inside this bustling, throwback of a pub, or take a pew in their big beer garden, where you’ll find many of the regulars whatever the weather.

The Angel Inn, Angel Inn Yard, Off Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LN.

The Ship

The Ship

Once you’ve had your fill of The Angel, head up to The Ship – a small, but welcoming venue that’s a great addition to any pub crawl. As the name suggests, you can expect to see a lot of ship-related paraphernalia on the walls and an old school pub decor, with wooden bars, brass finishings and old leather benches. Down a couple of local ales from the likes of Kirkstall, Leeds and Black Sheep for a few quid and tuck into a menu of pub classics if you haven’t eaten yet.

The Ship Inn, 71 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LH.

The White Swan

The White Swan

Last up is another longtime favourite. The White Swan, is a rustic pub with a bit of a country feel in the heart of the city centre. You’ll find loads of Leeds Brewery’s finest here, from Leeds Pale to Yorkshire Gold. Prefer wine or cocktails? They’ve got you covered. If you’ve saved your food for last, you’ll find a great menu on offer here, with pub classics like fish and chips or pie and mash to soak up a good day’s work in Leeds’ hidden pubs.

The White Swan, 5 Swan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LG.

Cover image copyright Ollievision.