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A Student’s Guide to Leeds

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Being accepted and moving to University is definitely an exciting time. New “start”, new long life friends, new experiences. But there may be that nervous feeling if you’re moving to a new, unfamiliar area. Here is the low down of recommended places to visit in Leeds.


This may not be the best photo but hey, let’s get down to business. Every student’s mind is most likely where to go for a few cheeky drinks and possibly dance the night away. The above photo was taken on Call Lane featuring a few bars, but there are plenty more bars along the strip where students and young professionals like to go for some amazing cocktails. I highly recommend trying each bar as they have individual vibes. There are a few clubs here. The gay village is close by too.

There are bigger clubs that are dotted around Leeds. Halo (£1 drinks on Mondays!), Pryzm (newly opened), The Space, O2 Academy, Chilli White, The Warehouse to name a few. Have a look online at voodooevents.co.uk to see what student events are held on what day of the week at which club. Skiddle.com is another website to look at other night events if you fancy something different.

You cannot leave Leeds without experiencing the Otley Run pub crawl. Whether this is organised by a society you’ve joined or to celebrate a birthday, whatever the occasion, be prepared to start early (where daylight is still visible) and in fancy dress. That’s all I’m saying.


Heavy night? Need to soak up last night’s antics? The Trinity Kitchen is one place to visit. It’s like a food court but with a twist. You will have the cafes, restaurants that are permanently there, but the twist is, each month, there are 5 street food vans/carts/sheds that will pop in and stay for a month waiting to serve you. Every month is different. It’s always nice to try something new.

There are restaurants in The Light, the Trinity Centre, pubs such a Wetherspoons, bars etc that will cure your hangover whatever your taste, Leeds has. Visit The Greedy Pig cafe (close to Lovell Park) if you want good quality and good value for your money with the home cooked feeling. It’s not far from the universities and town centre.


Student loan is a love hate relationship. If bars and clubs wasn’t the first thing on your mind, shopping definitely was. The best thing I like about Leeds is that there are small shopping centres/arcades close to one another. The Trinity Centre is the main shopping centre consisting of your high street stores. It’s nice to walk through when it’s dark outside, the roof lights up. If you cannot find the high street store in there, there’s plenty more outside, Albion Street, Briggate, Headrow and many more streets that come off one another. Go explore and see where it leads you.

If you are wanting something different and unique and not from the typical high street, Queens Arcade, Thornton’s Arcade and Leeds Corn Exchange would be your thing. Not only do they consist of great independent stores and boutiques to browse around, they are also aesthetically pleasing to look at. If you prefer the premium, higher end of the shopping spectrum, then the Victoria Quarter and Harvey Nichols is your heaven. Then possibly cry afterwards when the loan is used up just like that. Do visit the Victoria Quarter regardless since the interior is beautiful.


The Millennium Square is the place to chill, meet friends, watch the world pass by. Around the square, there is the Leeds City Museum and Nelson Mandela’s Garden. The square is a tranquil area, away from the main shopping area, until the German Market pays a visit or any other events that are held at the square.

Round the corner is the Leeds Art Gallery. There are some areas where you can relax and view the architecture around as well as visit the gallery itself, with the Town Hall next to it. Park Square is a gem all year round. Beautiful in the summer with the flowers blooming and beautiful when covered in snow.


Within the above categories, I have recommended places within the Leeds centre. But what about the places outside Leeds? I quite like the Leeds transport system as I usually hate buses. It’s easy to use to get in and out of the city as they all go through the town centre. Buses will stop outside the main attractions, making them easily accessible.

First thing on the list is Kirkstall Abbey. This needs to be on your to visit list, it’s free admission and only 10 minutes on the bus. It’s great to look and explore the Abbey ruins. If you enjoy drawing, come here. You can definitely have some me time, earphones in and draw to your hearts content. If you’re a fashion blogger, why not explore and maybe take a few cheeky outfit photos here like I’ve done above. Hehe. Shorts* and top* are from Oh My Love if you’re wondering. Opposite the road is the Abbey Museum if you’re wanting to learn more about the history.

Where can you go to properly relax for the whole day, have a picnic, kick a ball around, bask in the sun and maybe attempt to tan? Roundhay Park is your answer. It is one of the largest open parks in Europe with plenty of things to see if you want to go explore. With a large open green space, you are sure to find the best spot to suit you. It’s around 30 minutes on the bus.

How can I forget about Leeds festival? Need I say more?!

I find that Leeds is definitely the best university cities in the UK. It may be a small city as compared to others, but it’s perfectly formed, rich in culture and heritage wherever you walk. With it’s broad range of attractions and things to do, it will appeal to every taste.

I do hope you’ll enjoy your life in Leeds and find this guide helpful. I will add more to this once I think of more. My advice to everyone would be to just enjoy your university life by the minute and explore new things! Make the most out of it.

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37 responses to “A Student’s Guide to Leeds”

  1. I am so jealous!! Looks like a wonderful adventure. Gorgeous pictures & an amazing recommendations! <3 GIGLove

  2. Sin Yee says:

    This place is so nice. Envy!!! Many of my friends in highschool were travelling at the other side of world, but I am working…. Sigh… Hope to have my trip like theirs soonest.. =( giglove

  3. Jenna Potter says:

    This was the perfect guide from me since I'm coming from Canada to Leeds next year for study abroad 🙂

  4. Rin says:

    Oh heeey thanks for this! I've been accepted into the University of York so I think I'll be doing a fair bit of commuting to Leeds for a little nightlife or for a skincare haul or something I don't know haha ^^;
    OH MY GOD THE ABBEY RUINS are so breathtaking I just can't. I'd be so tempted to just sit there with a book or something and idle the day away haha ^^;; Thanks ever so much for this post! I'll be bookmarking this for future reference and following you as well because I love your blog~
    GIG Love!

    xoxo Rin
    Fuurin Diary

  5. Vivian Yuen says:

    You look so cute in all these photos~

    LIVE . IN . LOVE ✞


  6. Jo Smith says:

    awesome idea for a blog post, this will come in handy for soooo many students!

  7. Chel says:

    Falling in love with Leeds because of your post. Great tips! Perfect for students and tourists.

  8. Charli Bruce says:

    I adore Leeds, a lot of my friends live there! You should definitely try Red Hot Buffet which is up past the station, it does so many different foods and desserts from all around the world! xx

    Charli | Secrets Behind The Closet Door

  9. Leelo R says:

    I´ve never visited Leeds, but I will 😉

  10. RANE says:

    Your pictures are auh mazing .. Leeds is so beautiful. Soak up as much of the culture you can and above all .. be sure to learn

  11. Barefoot Mahala says:

    my brother used to live in Leeds – I have fond memories of Speed Queen nights and shopping in the Corn Exchange. My wedding dress came from Dark Angel, who I first came across in Corn Exchange, Are they still there?

  12. growhort says:

    I have never visited Leeds but after your review it is def somewhere I would like to visit, great photography and It's great that you are featured in the pictures. Good luck with your studies, If you enjoy your subject as much as you obviously enjoying blogging you will be a star pupil. Thanks Stephen

  13. Franc says:

    I guess leeds can give you a lot of variety from the bars and shops you can de-stress. They also have places where you can relax and explore.

  14. Kylie wenn says:

    Nice place, How I wish I could be there, too!

  15. Amanda Moss says:

    I'm at uni in Sheffield so I've got to take a trip to Leeds soon, really great post 🙂

    A Fashion Tale // UK Fashion Blog

  16. papaleng says:

    I am beginning to love Ledds. Such beautiful photos and the place is just awesome.

  17. lonerzone says:

    Wonderful place indeed. But on the other hand, I may not like spending my time around in this area as a student because I may not be able to finish my degree at the right time. With all those bars and shopping places, I wonder how could I get to control myself not going there every time. But great place for sure for all those who can afford. I'm feeling a bit of jealousy in here. 🙂

  18. Loudthinkin says:

    I think Leeds has much to offer to a student! The place, as you describe it, sounds happening and alive with activity! Just what students want! Student friendly!

  19. Tiffany Yong W.T. says:

    It was always my dream to be able to go overseas to study, to explore life and to be independent. Too bad, I never had the luxury of doing so!

  20. Fernando Lachica says:

    Leeds,a dream city for youngsters to explore and discover their true identity as individuals. Students can really experience the bountiful nature and environment.

  21. Suzanne says:

    What a unique and interesting place to live and study in! I love the Abbey, it is beautiful. I would enjoy wandering those grounds for sure..

  22. Vanessa says:

    I love Leeds, never been there but by your lovely photos and description, I reckon it is an awesome city with a lot of history and places to visit!

  23. Marri Bermudez says:

    Exploring new places such as this, is truly an experience to remember. Your last photo depicts a modern woman in a historic background.

  24. Maria Clara Novita Kusumahati says:

    really great places review that must to visit!
    thank you for sharing with us.. 😀
    good recommendation..

  25. Kumiko Mae says:

    Love your tips, and indeed, being accepted to a University is a great time. It's a great time to learn about the world and life, and yourself!

  26. Alpa Leonis says:

    This is an interesting read, Not been to Leeds before and now I know a lil about the place 🙂 Thanks for sharing……….. Love the Kirkstall Abbey

  27. Cindy Tong says:

    i love leeds… I have been there and damn i so so miss it!! how I wish I live and work int he UK…

  28. rebecca wong says:

    The Kirkstall Abbey looks nice! I love the photos and you make me want to make a trip to Leeds now~~~~ wish I could have live there…

  29. Chaicy Style A Pastiche says:

    All the best for a new start! Leeds is one amazing University or so I've heard from my cousins!!

    GIG Love
    xoxo Chaicy – Style.. A Pastiche!

  30. ♥Sarah♥ says:

    It sure is fun to visit Leeds!! I hope I could go there someday!! =D

  31. Payton Sartain says:

    Oh my gosh, I am a sucker for travel posts, so this one really caught my eye!

    love it!

    gig love!

  32. marilovesgr33n says:

    everything you wrote is so exciting and true…starting university is like a new piece of life and probably it's the most important. Don't forget to enjoy life because it happens once in a life 🙂

  33. Nella P says:

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this. And couldn't agree more since myself is a college student. Great post.


  34. Gillian Ong says:

    so many beautiful buildings there! love your writing as well..

    gig love


  35. Monica Calangian says:

    Thanks for sharing Now I want to go and see Leeds. I am a graduate student here in the Philippines and hopefully I will be able to join exchange programs in Europe, too 🙂

  36. Mia Foo says:

    that picture under must visit, was it taken at Kirkstall Abbey? omg, i really have to visit if i ever have the chance!


  37. Lucie Srbová says:

    This is sich a great article! Thanks for a great inspiration….it would be awesome to do something similar about aberdeen. 🙂

    GIG love

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