The Ultimate Guide to Living and Working in Leeds
Here is everything you need to know about Leeds, use the list below to jump between the relevant sections!
House price’s in Leeds
Is Leeds a nice place to live?
Is Leeds safe?
What are the schools like in Leeds?
Universities in Leeds
Eating and drinking in Leeds
Shopping in Leeds
Hotels in Leeds
Top 10 things to do in Leeds
Leeds is the largest city in the county of West Yorkshire and helps make up the UK’s fourth most populous area as of 2013. According to the census in 2011 it is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Built-up Area. Leeds is 169 miles north-west of London and is situated on the valley of the River Aire.
The population of Leeds is 780,000.
In Leeds the average price of a property is £229,876 as of December 2020, this shows a rise of 2.24% over the last 3 months and a rise of 7.40% in the last year.
- A flat in Leeds costs £171,519 on average.
- A detached house would cost you £376,600 on average.
- A semi-detached house on average would cost you £215,104.
- A terrace house would cost on average £160,419.
Renting in Leeds
The average rent in Leeds is £979 pcm.
There is a below average employment rate in Leeds, with only 69% of inhabitants in work. However in terms of full time work they do pretty well, with 46% of workers doing 35-45 hours per week.
Generally income isn’t too bad in Leeds; it’s on the higher end of average with the gross weekly income being on average £498.90 per person, which for the North of England is pretty high.
Leeds has a pretty low living cost compared to other areas of the country, a weekly shop comes to £50 on average, but car insurance is pretty high, £509.60. There is 99% mobile coverage in Leeds and there are good broadband speeds.
History and Landmarks
The Royal Armouries Museum
You’ll find the museum in the city’s dock area and its home to Britain’s national collection of arms and armour. You can view more than 8,500 objects that are on display within the 6 beautiful galleries. The items on display cover 3000 years of armour and weaponry from across the world. The Tournament Gallery is a must see, it showcases the brutality and showmanship of medieval jousting tournaments. If you are a film buff then you need to check out the collection of weapons and swords that were used in the movie, Lord of the Rings. The biggest draw is possibly the live demonstrations and re-enactments, which are great fun for all the family.
This magnificent Georgian country house was completed in 1771, taking 30 years to build and is just 8 miles north of Leeds. The stunning interior of this house is well worth a visit, you’ll find paintings by Angelika Kauffmann and furniture maker Thomas Chippendale. If you fancy a walk, the grounds are beautiful; it includes a 32-acre lake and a stunning bird garden. You can even stay there, at one of the estates self-catering cottages, all of which are within walking distance of the main house.
Harrogate: Britain’s Floral Resort
This pretty spa town is famous for the medicinal springs that were discovered in the 16th century. However today, it’s known for its parks and flowers and is primarily a holiday resort. It has earned the title of Britain’s Floral Resort and one of its most popular attractions is RHS Garden Harlow Carr. As well as the gardens you’ll find a museum of gardening, a model village and guided tours of the 68-acre estate. There is also a good selection of elegant boutiques and antique shops, so there is more than just gardening to enjoy.
Compare the Market conducted a study on which city was the safest place to live, Leeds came out in 6th place. They took into account crimes, flooding, thunder, attendance at A&E as well as ambulance response times. It found that in Leeds, 22 crimes are committed per 100,000 people, which is pretty low. However, burglary and robbery stats were counted separately, and they are higher than the national average. If you were to call an ambulance in Leeds for a life threatening emergency, the average response time is 4 minutes and 46 seconds and there are also 0.75 doctors per person in the city.
The nearest airport to Leeds is Leeds Bradford (LBA) Airport which is 6.8 miles away. Other nearby airports includes Manchester (MAN) (42.5 miles), Liverpool (LPL) (62.7 miles), Newcastle (NCL) (86.5 miles) and Birmingham (BHX) (93.7 miles).
Leeds Closest Hospital
The main hospital in Leeds is Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). The LGI is a large teaching hospital and is located in the centre of Leeds, it is part of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
As you would expect in a largely populated city, there are many schools in the Leeds area. They are all rated by Ofsted, to find out more about the schools in Leeds visit; https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/schools-by-type?step=phase®ion=383&geographic=la&phase=secondary
Leeds University was established in 1904 and is one of the largest higher education institutions within the UK. The university is ranked in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings. In 2017 the University of Leeds was The Sunday Times University of the year and are currently ranked 15th in its Good University Guide.
This Greek bistro is a dream for those who love Greek food. The food here is fabulous and authentic; you can get meat, cheese and fish platters. If you don’t want to share then you can have one of their tasty main dishes that feature halloumi, succulent meats and moussaka. The prices are reasonable and the staff are super friendly, so it’s a must go when in Leeds.
You’ll find the Ox club inside Headrow House, the Ox Club has been open since 2015 and is considered one of the best restaurants in the city. Ox Club are grilling experts and the menu is based around what they can cook on the Grillwork grill that’s in the kitchen, which you can see for yourself from the tables. The menu here is bold and unique, they actually serve up BBQ Chinese Pigeon! You can also find fixed price menus that come to less than £20.
The Swine That Dines
This is a fine dining destination in Leeds, they specialise in making exciting and waste free food, this means they use every part of the animal or plant, meaning…no waste. This is the place to go for laid back dining and you can enjoy their supper club on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The menu changes monthly, but what doesn’t change is the high-quality meat and superb cooking skills. They also have a great vegetarian menu, so veggies don’t stay away. You can bring your own booze for your meal, so you are able to keep costs down.
Fazenda is one of the best all you can eat restaurants in Leeds. You can fill up on as much quality meats, side and salad as you want. This Brazilian feast is not your average buffet, you will find unlimited barbecued meats that are carved right in front of you from a sizzling spit. There is a choice of 6 cuts of steak on offer including; ribeye, sirloin and rump, as well as; honeyed pork collar and traditional Brazilian chicken hearts.
Pubs and Bars in Leeds
When you go to The Maven, you’ll think you’ve entered a speak-easy, there are no signs to mark the Maven and it’s hidden behind a stair-case. However, all this is forgotten when you get a look at the cocktails. They are works of art, garnished with petals, greenery and some even served in tea cups. You can enjoy these spectacular drinks in a stylish interior, styled with cosy creams and blues. However, The Maven wants to stay a hidden gem, so choose who you take wisely.
The Tiki Hideaway is a love letter to all things Hawaiian, you’ll find a hut bar decorated with puffer fish lights and bamboo. The waiters carry on the theme by wearing Hawaiian shirts and serving kooky cocktails for customers. There are lots of tiki inspired cocktails to choose from, that come in interesting glasses and tankards, order a ‘Zombie’ cocktail and it will be set alight in front of you! It is also available for private hire, for those looking for a fun and different place to celebrate.
Cuckoo is the quirkiest bar in Leeds, you’ll first see its name lit up in neon lights, then you’ll spot the zebra, crocodile and rhino heads mounted on the walls. They aren’t just all looks, they have a good selection of craft beers, with Brooklyn and Beavertown on offer. You can even order a ‘giraffe tower’ which is a tall device that will pour your beer at the table. They also have a great cocktail list and you can also get a selection of pizza if you get hungry.
The biggest shopping destination in Leeds is Trinity Leeds, it’s got over 120 shops, cafes, bars and a cinema. With its iconic glass roof, it’s a must go for anyone visiting Leeds. It covers 3 floors and is open 7 days a week for you to enjoy the shops and maybe some dinner. Shops include; M&S, Next, Urban Outfitters, Hollister and Mango, as well as many other high-street favourites. Some of the 20 eateries include; Yo! Sushi, Wagamama, Cote Brasserie and Botanist. A unique feature of Trinity is their Trinity Kitchen concept, they host 5 of the best street food traders in the UK, the vans and trucks change every month, meaning there is always something new to try. The street food vans are accompanied by 7 permanent food and drink outlets; 360 Champagne & Cocktails, Chicago Rib Shack, Chip + Fish, Notes Café, Pho, Pizzaluxe and Tortilla.
Leeds is famous for its beautiful arcades that rival those found in Milan or Budapest. The arcades have their own atmosphere and identity. Victoria Gate is the newest arcade and its design is based on the Victorian arcades that connect all the retail areas of the city. You will also find; Queens Arcade, Thornton’s Arcade, Grand Arcade and the magnificent Victoria Quarter, which are all worth a visit.
If you are in to designer brands, then Victoria Leeds is the place to go, this glamorous shopping district houses the historic beauty of the Victoria Quarter and the modern appeal of Victoria Gate. You’ll find brands such as; Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Harvey Nichols as well as over 75 other designer brands. There is also the largest John Lewis outside of London just a stone’s throw away in Victoria Gate, as well as other luxury and designer brands.
Park Plaza Leeds
This is a 4-star hotel that is just metres from Leeds shopping district, the hotel also has a fitness centre and Pan-Asian restaurant. The rooms at Park Plaza are spacious and air-conditioned with free Wi-Fi and modern bathrooms. It’s just a 5-minute walk from Leeds cathedral, so it’s a great place to stay for sightseers.
Jurys Inn Leeds
The Jurys Inn is located on the bank of the River Aire and is a 25 minutes’ drive from Leeds Bradford International Airport. The rooms are very spacious and all rooms include a flat screen TV. There is a workspace for you to use, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. Breakfast is available daily and is pre-packed and delivered to your room, whereas you can go to the restaurant for lunch and dinner. If you are flying in, then you’ll appreciate the 24-hour reception and their dry cleaning and laundry facilities.
Radisson Blu Hotel
This hotel is located in the centre of Leeds and is actually set within The Light shopping and leisure complex. The rooms are modern and fresh, with TVs and free Wi-Fi throughout. Leeds railway station is a 5-minute walk away, making this a great hotel for those looking to travel around the surrounding area. Within the shopping complex, there is a fitness centre with a swimming pool that residents can use at an additional cost. You will also find secure, discounted parking for all guests.
- The Corn Exchange
- The Arcades
- Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen
- Brewtown tours
- Leeds Grand Theatre
- Hyde Park Picture House
- Roundhay Park
- The Henry Moore Institute
- Kirkstall Abbey
- Call Lane
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