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Exploring Must-Visit Leeds Neighbourhoods Like a Local

There are many must-see neighbourhoods in Leeds for the casual visitor. Leeds neighbourhoods are varied and eclectic, some offering arts and culture, with others as a hub for shopping and commerce.

Leeds’ villages and towns are generally well connected by a network of train stations and bus services that run on a regular basis. Let’s look as some of the best areas to visit.

Linking Leeds' Neighbourhoods

Headingley: A Student Hub with Character

Dating to the days of Danelaw, Headingley is but one of the Leeds neighbourhoods listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Little is known of its early medieval history, but an ancient tree “The Shire Oak” once stood at what is now the Original Oak pub.

According to the 2021 UK census, nearly 67% of the Headingley population are listed as students. With the A660 linking the area to two of the city’s three universities, the neighbourhood is ideally situated for those in higher education.

The area is notable for being home to authors, playwrites and artists – including J.R.R Tolkein and Arthur Ransome. Headingley is also known for its cricket ground, which hosted the 3rd test of the 2023 Ashes tournament – as well as Headingley Central, previously an Arndale Centre.

Leeds' Outskirts

Chapel Allerton: Bohemian Vibes and Artistic Charm

Chapel Allerton (once interchangeably named Chapeltown) similarly has limited history prior to the Norman conquest. What is known suggests that the area suffered dramatically during the Harrying of the North, and that the land value fell drastically. Now notable for its diversity and Chapel Allerton Hospital, the area bosts many independent stores, from restaurants and bars to coffee shops and pizzerias. The Chapel Allerton Arts festival is held annually, showcasing the eclectic mix of creative expression and live music.

Horsforth: Tranquil Retreat with a Near-Countryside Feel

A little further away on the outskirts of Leeds is Horsforth. Like much of the surrounding area, Horsforth once came under the remit of Kirkstall Abbey and remained agricultural until its expansion during the industrial revolution. Quarries and tanneries formed but two of the town’s main businesses. With an average house price of around £320,000 and highly rated schools, the demand to live away from busy city life is evident.

Leeds Neighbourhoods Nearer the City Centre

The Calls: Riverside Living and Industrial Chic Near The City Centre

The name “The Calls” is still the subject of debate; with some believing that it derives from latin, others from old english “caul”, for “weir”.

The district was once majorly involved in the Leeds industrial complex with its proximity to the River Aire; warehouses and mills lined the river bank. Following the decline of the canals for transportation, the area fell into disuse but has been revived into residential properties and a bustling dining scene. There are many new restaurants and bars in abundance – the nearby Brewery Wharf is home to a fine dining restaurant, HOME, whilst the once popular 42 The Calls Hotel is supposedly undergoing a 5* refurbishment.

Calls landing in leeds, off the calls, a leeds neighbourhood

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