Skip to main content

Kirkstall and Burley Park

Blog Posts

A bit further afield from the University Campus, Kirkstall and Burley have their own unique atmospheres and we’ve combined them in this blog to give you a brief overview of what they have to offer.

You can explore the famous Kirkstall Abbey ruins, visit the largest collection of video games in Europe, get involved with the new Kirkstall Valley Development Trust or sample Kirkstall Brewery beers and ales in one of the many pubs alongside the River Aire and Leeds canal!

Zoe Gilbank, Sustainability Assistant, said:

Although Kirkstall and Burley are a little bit further from campus, they both have their own unique vibe which is definitely worth exploring. There is such a mix of residents living there and so many projects to get involved with, so make sure you take any opportunity to be part of and contribute to such a diverse community.


There are numerous community organisations and action groups across Kirkstall and Burley working to improve the local neighbourhoods including Kirkstall Valley Development Trust, Burley Top Community Association, Leeds Grand Mosque (LGM), Cats of Burley, Kirkstall Village Action Group, and Burley Village Community Association.

Seagulls: established as a grassroots social enterprise in 2002, Seagulls focuses on reducing paint waste and also has a zero waste shop, whilst also offering a training, volunteer and employment opportunities for the community. Don’t miss one of their arts and craft workshops too!

Cat from Seagulls said:

As a fellow Leeds student, I think it’s important that students recognise they are part of a community and, if possible, contribute something positive to the area. Students can help Seagulls by visiting our shops, signing up for a workshop or visiting our markets.

Building with white wall and pink door with seagulls sign above the door

Harriet Matthews, Sustainability Projects Assistant, gave her advice for moving to local neighbourhoods:

Treat your neighbours as you would like to be treated and get involved as much as you can! It’s a really enriching experience to feel part of a really diverse community, and it will also enrich the lives of people living in the area who aren’t students


Getting outdoors is key to a healthy lifestyle so make sure you know all the best places to explore and hang-out in the area. Always remember to respect outdoor areas and other visitors.

  • Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most famous landmarks in Leeds as the grade 1 historic ruins make up one of the most complete Cistercian monasteries in Britain! You can enjoy a leisurely walk around the grounds and along the River Aire, explore the interactive visitor centre or head across the road to Abbey House Museum.
  • Burley Park: 2 minutes away from Burley Park train station. Head across Cardigan Lane to Burley Bottom Park.
  • Leeds Canal runs through Kirkstall and Burley so make sure you check out the many walking routes on offer. You can even take a leisurely stroll into the city centre waterfront.

Burley Green, Burley Lodge Park and Willow Field are also great places to hang out as each space has large green areas that are perfect for a kick about and other games.

Local must-sees

  • Eat: JJ’s Vish and Chips opened in 2019 and serves a traditional chip shop menu with a twist – all the dishes are vegan and vegetarian!
  • Drink: Kirkstall Bridge Inn is an independent pub perched on the edge of the River Aire that serves traditional pub classics alongside beer from Kirkstall Brewery and beyond.
  • Relax: Arcade Club offers three floors of classic and modern arcade gaming that make up Europe’s largest collection of video games!
  • Shop: Revive is located at Kirkstall waste recycling centre and is an award-winning reuse shop on a mission to divert waste from landfill.
  • Something different: Abbey House Museum, opposite Kirkstall Abbey, transports you back into the 19thcentury with authentic Victorian streets that recreate shops, pubs and houses.

Remember, a majority of these organisations and businesses are, unfortunately, still closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

For more advice on living independently, see our Your Time In Leeds web guides which cover waste and recycling services, safety, respecting your neighbours, avoiding noise complaints and information about community conduct sanctions.



Keep up to date on the latest news

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on Student Citizenship is linked to the following SDGs:

    • Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
    • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.