Living in Leeds: tips and advice

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Accommodation in Leeds

Learn more about living in Leeds

A definitive guide to find accommodation, as told by locals

Last updated: July 2020

How to rent a place in Leeds

Leeds is situated in the heart of West Yorkshire, and it continues to be one of the most thrilling and inspiring cities in all of the UK. Plus, it is the ideal location for anyone searching for a variety of social and business opportunities. However, due to the rise in demand for accommodations in Leeds, mostly due to its popularity and the extent of its available opportunities, looking for a place to stay can often be a long and arduous process. That’s why Housing Anywhere places a huge effort into ensuring that there is always a high number of rooms listed on the website, exemplifying a good price/quality ratio on a safe booking system. So, don’t waste your time spending weeks searching for housing on your own! Be sure to check out the rest of our website and learn all of the information that you need to know about Leeds, including our helpful tips on how to live, work and play in this magnificent city!

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Hey guys! I am Marco, and on this page, I’ll be sure to give you some great tips on what you must know when considering moving to Leeds. I was born and raised in Italy, where I studied Business Management at the LUISS University in Rome. I had my first experience living abroad when I was only 13, when I took part in an exchange program in Sweden. After that, I went on to explore Ireland, France, the United States, Singapore and Rotterdam. I am well acquainted with the uncertainties related to moving to another country. This is why I am excited to provide you with some incredible tips on the coolest neighborhoods to live in, the best places to visit and some basic facts that you need to know about Leeds. Start reading now, and be ready to explore Leeds!

Living in Leeds and its neighbourhoods

Things to see

Things to see

Attractions, art, sports and the theatre - all in one place

Leeds in one of the fastest-growing cities in Britain, and it is the epitome of growth and regeneration in the north. From the humble beginnings of a milltown, visitors and residents alike can now experience shiny skyscrapers, waterfront housing complexes and shopping malls that express a modern version of its Victorian architecture. If you want to spend a carefree afternoon, amble about the city center, which is very pedestrian friendly, and take in the gorgeous architecture and the fresh breeze off the waterfront, jump right in! If culture is on your to-do list, you are moving to the right place! Expect to explore a variety of museums, art galleries, theatres and historic homes. Spend a weekend visiting the world-renowned Royal Armouries, the Thackray Medical Museum, Harewood House, Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam. If you like to fill your calendar with special events, Leeds can keep you busy with open-air entertainment that can engage viewers of all ages, including events like Opera in the Park, Classical Fantasia and Party in the Park and Classical Fantasia. The lover of the performing arts can indulge in performances by Opera North, the Northern Ballet Theatre, Phoenix Dance and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, with the latter staging the most productions in the country, second only to London.

If the rain comes in and spoils your sunny afternoon, there are plenty of places in Leeds to spend an afternoon indoors. The Royal Armouries offers daily demonstrations, including jousting and sword fighting, all while showcasing 3,000 years of warfare, with an entire collection from the infamous Tower of London. The Henry Moore Institute, aptly named after the Leeds College of Art’s well-known alumni, is one of the city's better known cultural venues. It also offers a wonderful library and an ever-rotating string of displays to captivate the imagination. Located in an annex of the Leeds City Art Gallery, it boasts a vast array of works from British painters from the 19th- and 20th-century. Expect to see pieces from Turner, Constable, Lewis, Spencer, Hepworth and even Moore. There is even a lovely cafe in an intricately tiled Victorian area. Both the Leeds Arena and the Leeds Trinity shopping complex opened to the public in 2013, Since then, there have been a slew of other improvements and additions, such as a new entrance to the train station, a Hilton Hotel and Victoria Gate, another shopping space. With so many shopping opportunities, the area has been dubbed “'Knightsbridge of the North.”

Night Life

Night Life

Shake off the day in Leeds

Sometimes you just want to head out for a drink or have a phenomenal meal with a fine glass of wine. Whether you want a quiet, cozy pub or a glitzy club as your backdrop, keep in mind that Leeds has the fourth largest population of students (over 200,000) in the entire country. So, you’d better buckle up for all the excitement! Leeds plays host to a variety of bars, including nightclubs, pubs, live music venues and restaurants offering plenty of liquid libations. If you’re worried that Leeds may not offer music in your particular favorite niche, you’re in for a treat. You’ll find Back 2 Basics and Speedqueen, the original hosts of the club night in Leeds. You also shouldn’t miss the techno club at The Orbit. If you’re looking for a supper club, Leeds has several, along with popular venues like Club Mission and Mint Club, ranked by DJ Magazine, or The Warehouse and The Garage, which have both been featured in the Top 100 Clubs list. Leeds also has a well-established, incredibly vibrant gay nightlife scene. Call Lane has two of the hottest gay spots in town, The Bridge Inn and The New Penny.

Millennium Square and the Civic or Northern Quarter is also one of the newer entertainment districts in the area. The Square has a huge outdoor screen and hosts seasonal events. Millennium Square is a venue for large seasonal events like Christmas market, live concerts, parties and the Rhythms of the City Festival. Expect plenty of shopping, dining and shopping to also pique your interests.The area is also right next to the Mandela Gardens, opened in 2001 by Nelson Mandela. This quiet, serene spot is like an oasis from the hustle and bustle of city life, boasting features like art, fountains, green spaces and a rippling canal.

Yorkshire has always had a real connection with the history behind ale. You can also find that several bars in the railway station are mixing the modern beer with its more historical counterparts. So, be sure to try out The Hop, The Brewery Tap and The Cross Keys.


Getting there on time and on a budget

With regularly scheduled trains to locales all across the UK, Leeds City Station is one of the largest in the country and is located conveniently just off City Square.

However, keep in mind that the city center of Leeds is very pedestrian friendly, with many attractions within easy walking distance. Getting around the city of Leeds is very simple, but you can also typically find street maps at the railway station or at travel centers. Cabs are a bit pricier, but they are almost always readily available. However, be prepared to wait on the weekends, when cabs are a high commodity. When in doubt, look outside the railway station, on Assembly Street, Vicar Lane or by the Corn Exchange. There is also a large bus station in Leeds, with service from National Express, as well as regular local bus services. If you are really on a budget, check out the Leeds CityBus at 50p per ride throughout the entire city.


Expanding your mind is easy in Leeds!

Home to at least three leading universities and a host of other music, arts and vocational colleges, Leeds is a great place to be a student. Further education in Leeds is provided by Leeds City College (formed by a merger in 2009 and having over 60,000 students), Leeds College of Building, Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College and Elliott Hudson College. The city has four universities: the University of Leeds – which received its charter in 1904 having developed from the Yorkshire College which was founded in 1874 and the Leeds School of Medicine of 1831; Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Polytechnic) which became a university in 1992 but can trace its roots to the Mechanics' Institute of 1824; Leeds Trinity University which began in 1966 as two teacher training colleges which merged in 1980 to form Trinity and All Saints College and became a university in 2012; and the University of Law (formerly the College of Law) which became a university in 2012 and moved to its current Leeds centre campus from York in 2014. The University of Leeds has about 31,000 students, of which 21,500 are full-time or sandwich undergraduate degree students, Leeds Beckett University has 25,805 students of which 12,000 are full-time or sandwich undergraduate degree students and 2,100 full-time or sandwich HND students. Leeds Trinity University has just under 3,000 students. Other higher education establishments are: Leeds College of Art, Leeds College of Music and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The city was voted the Best UK University Destination by a survey in The Independent newspaper.


A vibrant getaway

If you want to be close to the city center, but long for a more suburban life, Horsforth offers a well-connected area, just perfect for young students and professionals. With the close proximity of the train station, getting into Leeds, York and even Harrogate is fairly simple. However, Horsforth offers much more than just convenience. It offers a vibrant feel, with an electric nightlife scene, shopping, bars, dining and much more. If you feel like relaxing in a nice green space, there are also plenty of parks.

Chapel Allerton

City proximity but small-town charm

Easily one of the most popular places to live in Leeds, this busy suburb has a bustling center with no shortage of entertainment. This lovely area is well-known for its independent cafes, bars and shops. If you’re hungry, stop in at Sukh’reothai, Aagrah, El Bareto and Boss Burgers. You also shouldn’t miss Further North, Kith & Kin and The Mustard Pot. Victoria Street, North Brook Street and The Pastures are all very popular parts of east Chapel Allerton. The allure of this area is that it is a five-minute walk into the city, but it is packed full of peace and quiet. If you’re on the lookout for housing, this wonderful destination has plenty of options for every price range.


Green tranquility

Roundhay Park is the most beguiling part of this neighborhood, welcoming in visitors and locals to relax in the crisp, open spaces and green offerings. Plus, Old Park Road offers immaculate housing, beautifully blending historic architecture with modern amenities. This is another locale with a pleasing spattering of independent establishments offering shopping, libations and tempting delicacies. Be sure to pop into Haley & Clifford! While some prefer Chapel Allerton and Horsforth, you may find Roundhay and its appealing green spaces to be the perfect fit for your accommodation needs.

Leeds Waterfront

Scenic views and attractions galore

If you love to be in the very center of the action, then the waterfront and its surrounding areas might be right up your alley. You can walk to work, cross the street to a great restaurant or hop on a train to go on a day trip. Plus, with its scenic views over the River Aire, it’s easy to see why many choose this area for their housing in Leeds. A lot of the buildings along the Leeds waterfront are immensely popular, such as Dye Works, the Engine House and Roberts Wharf, all sporting exposed beams and brick walls, along with other unique characteristics. Also keep Leeds Dock in mind!


True Leeds indulgence

If you’re wanting to really splurge with your housing on one of the most prosperous areas in all of Leeds, Alwoodley is the place. It offers unbelievably ornate houses, many leasing rooms and floors to tenants. However, do keep in mind that this area is not particularly a good fit for the budget conscious. Part of the attraction to Alwoodley is that you can find a historic Tudor home right next to modern architecture, offering the best of both worlds. You will also find two golf courses to hit on the weekend, or you can spend even more time outdoors at the mesmerizing Eccup Reservoir.


Best for the budget-friendly

Oakwood is located right between Roundhay and Harehills, and, depending on the exact location, it can have mixed reviews. However, there are several nice areas in Oakwood, some actually resembling the neighborhood of Roundhay, but at a budget price. This area is also in close proximity to Roundhay Park, so expect a slew of great eateries and bars, like North Bar’s Preston. If you are looking for a nice mixture of wonderful houses and appealing flats, then Oakwood might be the perfect location for you. And with a little extra money in your pocket, you can plan to explore even more of the UK in your spare time.