Leeds is one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities and has become a very popular place for people to relocate. It has a vibrant nightlife, excellent universities and a lot of great culture, so it’s a great place to live whether you have a family or plan to move on your own.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the best areas in Leeds as well as covering the cultural highlights of the city and its pros and cons.
Leeds cultural highlights
Leeds has a lot of great culture to offer both residents and visitors. Below are some of the main highlights of the city.
- Rodley Nature Reserve – Rodley nature reserve is a wildlife haven in the heart of the city and is a great place to explore, especially during the summer. There are also regular events that take place there, such as bird-watching.
- The Arcades – The Arcades are home to a huge number of shops, including many independent shops and boutiques. It also has many large designer retailers and some great places to eat and drink.
- Harewood House – Harewood House is a stunning looking building and one of Leeds’ cultural highlights for sure. Set on 100 acres of land, the house itself is home to a huge collection of extraordinary art. You can also enjoy the bird garden and farm while you’re there.
- Roundhay Park – Roundhay Park covers a huge area and is popular with dog walkers and nature lovers across Leeds. One of the biggest attractions of the park is Tropical World – a zoo that has a huge collection of exotic animals.
- The Corn Exchange – The Corn Exchange combines a retail complex with a food hub all set in a stunning Victorian building. The building itself is Grade 1 listed and when you visit, you’ll understand why.
- Belgrave Music Hall – Belgrave Music Hall is one of the best live music venues in Leeds, putting on gigs for all types of music throughout the year. In addition to the live music, there’s also a rooftop terrace and places to buy traditional craft beer.
- Leeds Grand Theatre – Leeds Grand Theatre is a superb looking building and is home to all types of productions, including ballet, opera and avant garde live shows.
Now let’s look at some of the best areas to live in Leeds.
Chapel Allerton is a beautiful part of the city and is home to a lot of great shops, cafes and restaurants. It also has some great book stores and boutiques and would be a perfect place to move if you have a family.
Being a desirable and affluent area, the property prices in Chapel Allerton are fairly higher and above the average for Leeds in general.
Headingley is a very desirable area to live in Leeds. It has a high student population but is also a good area for families and young professionals. It has many excellent shops, restaurants and cafes and the two train stations allow for easy access to the city centre.
Property prices in Headingley are slightly higher than the average for Leeds overall but still quite reasonable.
Meanwood is another excellent area in Leeds. Being close to the ring road, it’s very easy to get to the city centre and the range of great bars, shops and restaurants make it a great place to live. It’s also close to two excellent primary schools, so it’s perfect if you have kids.
The property prices in Meanwood are roughly the same as Headingley on average, with many houses and flats available to rent or buy.
Bramhope is one of the poshest areas in Leeds and for good reason. Although it has a relatively small population, there’s plenty to see and do there, with badminton courts, tennis courts and a bowling green all nearby.
The property prices in Bramhope are substantially higher than the average for the city.
Roundhay would be a great place to live in Leeds if you have a family. It has some beautiful natural spaces, including its excellent park. It’s also just a 5 minute drive away from the city centre, so it’s very convenient if you need to commute.
The average price of property in Roundhay is higher than average for Leeds but it’s still considerably lower than those in Bramhope, so it would make an excellent alternative.
Otley is a beautiful market town in Leeds that has a number of excellent bars and cafes. There are also different farmers markets and some excellent walks and natural spaces.
The property prices in Otley are considerably lower than both Roundhay and Bramhope, so it’s a very affordable place to live for both families and young professionals.
Horsforth would be a perfect place to move if you have a family. Not only does it have some great bars, restaurants and cafes but there’s also a playground, bowling green and some excellent sports clubs.
The property prices in Horsforth are higher than average for Leeds and mostly consist of houses.
What is Leeds like?
Before making the decision to move to Leeds, it’s a good idea to know what it’s actually like to live there. Below are some of the main things it has going for it.
- Great nightlife – If you’re looking for a city with a vibrant nightlife, then Leeds certainly fits the bill. It has a lot of great nightclubs and bars, particular in the Northern Quarter.
- Lots of culture – Leeds also has plenty to offer in terms of culture. In addition to multiple cinemas and theatres, there’s also Kirkstall Abbey and Roundhay Park – both must-visit attractions.
- Good universities – Leeds has three main universities – all of which are excellent and have affordable fees. This makes it a great place to move to if you have kids.
- Excellent public transport – The transportation system in Leeds is also excellent, with many bus and train services available. It’s also in a good location and not too far from other major cities, such as Manchester and Liverpool.
- Great food – Leeds is home to many fantastic restaurants as well as great pubs and cafes, so if food is important to you, it would make a great choice of place to live.
Of course, there are downsides to Leeds too. Below are a few of the main ones.
- The weather – Just like many other parts of the UK, Leeds can be very rainy and cold, particularly during the autumn and winter. It does enjoy nice summers most years though.
- Can be expensive – Leeds can also be an expensive city to live in, with property prices being quite high in the more upmarket areas. Of course, you can cut down on costs by moving to an area away from the city centre and living a more frugal lifestyle but if you want to live in the city centre or one of the other more affluent areas of the city, it can be quite costly.
If you’re considering moving to Leeds in the near future, then you should now have a better idea of whether or not it’s the right city for you. With its mix of great culture, excellent universities and vibrant nightlife, it’s a great place to live for both families and young professionals.
I’m Paul Smith, Founder and Director of HouseMoveHelper. I have a great love of business, marketing, the wilderness and love to travel. You can learn more about me here.