My favourite spots to visit in Leeds

South Leeds industrial history

Thwaite Watermills (LS10 1RP)

The mills claim to be “one of the best last remaining examples of a water-powered mill in Britain.” The tour around is well marked and interesting.

Worth spending two hours to looks around. Also, it has a nice picnic area.


The Middleton Railway and stream train (LS10 2JQ)

The Worlds Oldest Continuously Working Railway (1758 - Present).

The museum is open to the public for free which exhibits stream and diesel trains. The main attraction is riding old diesel trains on Saturdays and a steam train on Sundays usually between 11 am to 3:30 pm. Check Middleton railway website for more information and train running times.

The train ride finishes in Middleton Park.

Middleton park

Middleton Park, the green jewel of South Leeds, is a mixture of traditional parkland and ancient woodland. My favourite bit is informational signs about coal mining history in the park which ties up nicely with railway history.

The Golden Gate (LS10 2QB)

“One of the most beautiful pubs in the country” - Pete Brown at his book “The Pub: A Cultural Institution”

Beautiful pub with friendly locals. They serve food on Sundays from 12:30 pm to 5 pm

Temple Works (LS11 9TH)

A former flax mill and a great example of Leeds industrial glory. One cannot enter a building however it’s worth a walk just for the photo from outside.

A story goes that to isolate building roof it used to grow grass on the top of it. However, grass needs to be trimmed. This was the times before lawn trimming tools became mainstream therefore alternatives needed. Thus sheep were used to trim grass however they cannot walk the stairs that are why engineers invented a lift.

Royal Armouries Museum and free water taxi (LS10 1LT)

Royal Armouries is the United Kindom’s national collection of arms and armour. Huge museum spreading into three floors which would take half a day if wanting to see it all. Various events happen every day. The entrance is free.

More information why this place is special is at Atlasobscura

The free water taxi runs between Royal Armouries Museum (LS10 1LT) and Leeds train station between around 9 am to 6 pm every 20 minutes or so.

Sky Lounge at Hilton (LS1 4BR)

One of the best views you can get in Sky Lounge located at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. It’s a business, therefore, you might be asked to buy something however if you tell that you’ve just come for views, they might let you inside without purchasing anything. But if you fancy something at this height, here is a menu

North Leeds

Kirkstall Abbey (LS5 3EH)

Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery which was founded in c. 1152. Nowadays it’s a public park.

Hyde Park Picture House (LS6 1JD)

Independent cinema est. 1914. Book your seat at this website in advance because it’s usually full.

Lawnswood Cemetery (LS16 6AH)

Victorian graveyard is a macabre collection of beautiful tombs and memorials. More is at Atlasobscura

Saltaire (BD18 3LA)

UNESCO World Heritage site. The building itself is massive mostly hosting shops but one floor contains history. It’s worth watching a documentary about Saltaire on the screen while you there which is about 40 minutes and runs repeatedly thus times are unpredictable.


Walking along the River Aire is an enjoyable time spent in a calm and quiet. Many marvellous bridges on the way too.

Around Leeds for a day trip

Yorkshire three peaks hike

One hour and ten minutes away by train from Leeds lie a little town called Horton-in-Ribblesdale. There you start a hike which is 38.6 km long circuit having about 1585 m of ascent in total. It takes 9 - 14 hours to finish.

One can take the earliest train from Leeds at 6:20 am and be there at 7:33 am. The last train back to Leeds is at 7:54 pm. It leaves more than 12 hours for the hike which enough for most hikers.

Note Please check train departure times yourself before departure.

For more information search for Yorkshire Three Peaks or visit this website


18 minutes away from Leeds.


1 hour 38 minutes away from Leeds.


Only 22 minutes away from Leeds.

According to some sources, York is the second most visited city in England after London. And there’s a good reason why as it has long lasting history including influences from the Roman empire and Vikings.

There are free city walking tours where tips are not expected. They do two departures a day at 10.15 am and 1.15 pm from outside York City Art Gallery. Double check departure times at Voluntary Guides to the City of York webpage

If you’re lucky enough to visit during York races it’s definitely a good experience

Whitby and Scarborough

Lovely towns on the coast to catch waves. 84 miles drive from Leeds