Rugby Visitors Guide to Leeds

Shopping arcade Leeds Victoria Quarter

Victoria Quarter. Photo © Hayley Walker

Leeds prides itself on a number of things, but two of the best are food and drink.

And the shopping’s not far behind.

If you’re in this decent Northern town for the World Cup, here are the places you need to visit.

FOOD

If there is one thing Leeds is doing well at the moment it has to be the food scene.

Recently, there are more new eateries opening than you can actually get to each month.

Indian street food Bundobust, Leeds

Indian street food. Photo © Hayley Walker

One of my favourite additions to Leeds is Bundobust on Mill Hill, a craft beer bar that sells amazing vegetarian Indian street food. The dhal and rice is amazing and well worth a try, as are the okra fries.

DAYS OUT

If you’re here for the rugby, you’ll already be visiting Elland Road.

As a kid I grew up just up the hill from the stadium and have fond memories of match days.

Plus whenever I have been away it always feels so comforting to see Elland Road in the distance when travelling back to Leeds.

If you’re booked into a Leeds Travelodge, you’ll be about 3 miles from the stadium.

Ruins Kirkstall Abbey, near Leeds UK

Kirkstall Abbey. Photo © Hayley Walker

Apart from the rugby though, if the great northern weather is in a good mood and the sun is shining, Kirkstall Abbey is the perfect backdrop for a picnic. The 12th-century monastery really is breath-taking.

And if you come back next year in Spring/Summer, they should still be running an outdoor cinema in the grounds, showing the likes of Grease, Shaun of the Dead and Alice in Wonderland.

You can get to the abbey from central Leeds on the 33 or 757 buses.

DRINKS

If there is something Leeds has an abundance of its bars. There are new ones opening each week, especially in the newly regenerated Northern Quarter.

Roxy Ballroom has a relaxed vibe along with pool and ping pong – you can also turn this into a game of the classic American college game beer pong. And they have recently introduced mini golf to the menu.

The Maven is one of Leeds’ best kept nightlife secrets. If you haven’t been told where it is there is not much chance of you spotting it from the street when walking past.

Tucked above a penny arcade near the Corn Exchange, the unadvertised bar is a gem of a find. When you know that it’s based on speakeasies and Prohibition times, it becomes clear why it’s harder to find.

They offer some of the tastiest cocktails around, amazing masterclasses, a relaxed atmosphere and the staff are kitted out in outfits from the era – what more could you want?

SHOPPING

Just south of Eastgate, the Victoria Quarter is home to not only beautiful Grade II-listed architecture, but also a host of designer shops including Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood & Illamasqua.

Even if you don’t have the budget for a designer buy, it’s always nice to pop in for some window shopping, drooling and a look at the gorgeous surroundings.

Leeds Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange. Photo © Hayley Walker

Another beautiful and historic building is the Corn Exchange. Packed full of quirky shops, it’s usually also got a fair or two happening.

The Exchange is also surrounded by independent vintage shops like Blue Rinse, plus the whole area has undergone some major regeneration recently to attract a lot more vendors.

As you can see, you can easily fill up your visit to Leeds with things to do. There’s really something for everyone.