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

Wonderfully Scenic Riverside Bars In and Around Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

Go down by the river for drinks and dining.

Water Lane Boathouse

You can’t beat the simple pleasure of enjoying a pint on the waterfront and here’s where you can do it around Leeds…

Picture the scene: you’re sat on a bench, under the sun, looking out over the dappling water with a pint in hand. That’s what we call living the dream, and when the weather comes good, there are loads of places where you can do it in and around Leeds. Whether you’re looking for lively city centre bars, proper real ales in the suburbs or picturesque countryside settings, there’s a riverside watering hole for everyone.

The Owl

The Owl

Now settled in their new home at Mustard Wharf, The Owl’s lock-side spot looking across the Leeds-Liverpool Canal to Granary Wharf is ideal for a canal-front quaffing. Their waterside terrace is a dream on sun-tinged days, but their tables are also covered so inclement spells are catered for. But what to drink? A hand-picked wine list is full of amazing sips, while Northern Monk man the beer taps. It’s perhaps better known for its sumptuous fine dining fare to die for, but they also have a delightful bar snacks menu to pair with your potions.

The Owl, Lockside, Mustard Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4EY.

The Canary

The Canary

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

A joint venture between Allied London and WePop, The Canary is a unique waterside bar and restaurant that looks out over Leeds Dock. You can’t miss the pair of imposing shipping containers, one black, one yellow, that have been stacked right by the flowing water, complete with massive windows, industrial decor and fairy-lit terrace for sun days. You’ll find local beers, spirits and signature cocktails at the bar, and if you’re looking for food, they’ll transport you to warmer shores with a Mediterranean-inspired menu of salads and wraps.

The Canary, The Dockside, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1EG.

Piglove By the River

Piglove By the River

Credit: Citu

One of the best kept secrets in Leeds, Piglove By the River is a craft beer tap nestled on the banks of the River Aire in the heart of CITU’s Climate Innovation District, but open to all and sundry. The brewery was set up by a pair of Yorkshire beer-loving Venezuelans who have created a hop-filled escape – they serve their latest and greatest brews, from their Minka extra pale ale to the Omnia session, at a charming riverside hut that’s surrounded by parasol-covered tables and benches, perfect for summer supping.

Piglove By the River, Climate Innovation District, 29 Secret Garden, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS9 8FB. Open throughout the summer, with plans to extend throughout the year.

Casa

Casa, Brighouse

This riverside bar is a little out of Leeds, but one glimpse at the setting will show you it’s worth every one of the 16 miles to get there. Casa overlooks Cromwell Lake and you’re unlikely to come across views like it anywhere else in West Yorkshire. You can grab cask ales, keg beers, ciders, spirits or wines, and head out onto their peaceful terrace to enjoy the breathtaking vista. This place doubles as a restaurant too, so why not couple your visit with a bite to eat? There’s burgers and pizza at lunch, global-inspired mains for later.

Casa, 281 Elland Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, HD6 2RG.

SALT Leeds

Salt, Granary Wharf

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

SALT Beer Factory’s home on the ground floor of Candle House doubles as the sweetest riverside spot on Granary Wharf. You can sit back and watch the water trickle by as you work your way through a stellar list of brews. They have 14 keg taps, half of which are dedicated to their brews and the other half to guest breweries like Magic Rock and Thornbridge. Not a beer lover? No trouble. They have classic cocktails on tap! And if you need a bite, the wonderful Falafel Guys dish up Middle Eastern grub in the kitchen.

SALT Leeds, Candle House, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GJ.

Aire Bar

Aire Bar

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A longtime staple of Leeds’ bustling nightlife scene around Call Lane, Aire Bar is still going strong in its spot above the River Aire. Walk down the steps inside and you’ll enter their iconic arched rooms, which are home to a well-stocked bar. They have plenty of local breweries on tap, pouring out treats from Ilkley, Ossett, Saltaire and the like, as well as wine and cocktails. The Yorkshire Burgaire Company sling out juicy patties for fun too. Whatever you go for, you can enjoy the bar’s overhanging terrace with incredible riverside views over Leeds.

Aire Bar, 32 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EW.

Water Lane Boathouse

Water Lane Boathouse

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Oliver Dixon Photography

Water Lane Boathouse sits right on the banks of the Leeds Liverpool Canal with cracking views over the water. It comes from the team behind Headrow House and Belgrave and it’s cool-as-heck, with original brickwork and a minimalist, Scandi-inspired decor. Take a pew in their extensive outdoor area, where you can sit and enjoy one of their many craft beers and artisan gins overlooking the water. Should the hunger pangs strike, you’re well looked after with their kitchen doing a fine trade in delicious pizzas, sarnies and burgers to keep you going.

Water Lane Boathouse, Water Lane, Canal Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.

Kirkstall Bridge Inn

Kirkstall Bridge Inn

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Oliver Dixon Photography

As a Kirkstall Brewery pub, you know you’re in for a treat when it comes to the beers on offer at The Bridge Inn. From keg favourites like Virtuous to cask classics like Three Swords and Dissolution IPA, they’re at the top of their game. But it’s not just the beer you should look forward to in this traditional boozer – it’s got an amazing outdoor space with benches that sit along the banks of the River Aire. On a sunny day, there are few better spots to savour the weather. You can even bag a feed here with their menu of pub grub staples.

Kirkstall Bridge Inn, 12 Bridge Road, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3BW.

The Fleece

The Fleece, Otley

Sat right on the banks of the River Wharfe in Otley, The Fleece is blessed with incredible waterside views just minutes from the centre of Otley. The beer garden is split across two levels, with a covered patio area at the top and a grassy area below, both perfect for soaking up this tranquil setting. Beer fans are in luck, with local ales from the likes of Timothy Taylor’s and Ossett on the pumps, or you can dabble in a G&T from their artisan gin offering. You can sit yours alongside a menu of burgers and grills.

The Fleece, Westgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3DT.

Mother Shipton’s Inn

Mother Shipton's Inn, Knaresborough

Credit: Ian Grattan licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Mother Shipton’s Inn is almost as old and as storied as the cave with which it shares its name. It’s nestled beside Knaresborough’s Low Bridge with a pretty waterfront beer garden found amongst ancient trees lining the River Nidd – it’s a rewarding setting worth leaving Leeds to check out. The pub itself is a proper old world gem, where you can be sure of a quality pint of Yorkshire-brewed cask ale and a friendly welcome. They’ll make sure you don’t leave hungry too, with pies, burgers and steaks giving you an unenviable decision to make.

Mother Shipton’s Inn, Low Bridge, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8HZ.

Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Oliver Dixon Photography.