It’s no longer "grim up north," as the old adage goes -- certainly not in Leeds, anyway.
A hive of manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution and key player in the UK textiles trade, this once grimy West Yorkshire city has shed its smoke and chimney-filled past and is now a buzzing city with a great nightlife, vibrant student scene, and a love for all things fashion and sport.
As well as the old mills being transformed into museums and plush apartments, the city centre is currently blossoming as one of northern England’s most enticing retail destinations and its charming Victorian shopping arcades have become sophisticated boutiques and designer stores in recent years.
Sport is a near religion in Leeds and football fans should head to Elland Road, hallowed turf of Leeds United, on a weekend to experience the love of the game from a northern perspective. Rugby is also big business and both League and Union teams are based at Headingley Stadium. The stadium also home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, so there should be something for any discerning sports fan to enjoy.
Nightlife is diverse and spans across cool live music bars, gay and lesbian clubs, karaoke lounges and a wide array of clubs, as well as a massive assortment of pubs and bars.
While the town isn’t especially big on the backpackers’ circuit, seekers of hostels in Leeds should consider venturing to the student suburb of Headingley for university dorm-type hostel accommodation. The area is lively and has everything you’d expect from a primarily student-filled part of town -- pubs, cheap places to eat, and vintage shops.
Leeds is well connected by public transport, which should mean a sigh of relief for most hostel-goers. It has an airport (Leeds Bradford International), plus trains and coaches link the city with most other parts of the country. Local buses around town are also very frequent and have a good coverage.
Hi, I'm Laura T,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Leeds hostels. Welcome.