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Living in Leeds

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Areas like Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse can be popular neighbourhoods for students to choose to live in but there are many other communities within easy access to campus and the city centre which also have a great deal to offer.

In this blog we have highlighted some of the other key areas that you can consider living and what they have to offer. These are Chapel Allerton, Meanwood and the City Centre. 

Keep an eye out for our other blogs too if you think that Woodhouse, Headingley, Hyde Park or Kirkstall and Burley might be more suited to you!

Chapel Allerton

Chapel Allerton is located in north-east Leeds about two miles (10 minute bus ride) from the centre. The residential community is diverse housing families, professionals and older people. Over recent years, the area has become increasingly popular with mature students and graduates.

The area has a vibrant centre, which is always bustling with locals. With a Co-op supermarket, independent businesses, a post office, several banks and numerous restaurants, bars, and pubs, you’ll never be stuck for places to go.

  • Eat: Pinche Pinche is a Mexican Street food restaurant that has become a firm favourite amongst the local residents. They also have a considerable vegan range so they cater for everyone. Don’t miss their black bean hummus and home-made tortilla chips.
  • Drink: A bit further south on Harrogate Road, Alley Cats is a café bar decked out with guitars, vinyl and vintage posters. You can even play their Xbox and board games whilst sampling their extensive range of craft beers and tucking into their American diner comfort food.
  • Relax: Gledhow Valley Woods is a stretch of woodland that runs through north Leeds along to edge of Chapel Allerton. Only a five minute walk from the centre of Chapel Allerton, there are lots of walking routes along Gledhow Beck which flows along the valley into Gledhow Lake.
  • Get involved: CARA is an independent, non-profit, non-political, social community group run by local residents, for the enjoyment and benefit of anyone who lives in, works in, or simply loves Chapel Allerton.
  • Shop: The Refilling Station, about as close to zero waste shopping as you can get. They stock a range of loose natural foods such as oats and rice as well as groceries. All are plastic free!
  • Something different: Seven is an arts space with a difference. It is an independent arts venue with events most evenings and a cafe/bar serving great food.



Meanwood is most popular with young families and professionals seeking a more peaceful life than the city with the tranquillity of Meanwood Park on your doorstep. There are two shopping centres with pubs, bars, restaurants, several supermarkets and the facilities of Headingley are only a 10 minute walk away.

  • Eat: The Hungry Bear focus on quality, seasonality and sustainability. Their produce is locally sourced wherever possible, with the majority of ingredients gathered within Yorkshire.
  • Drink: Alfred is the perfect local hang out for fans of great beer, wine and spirits.
  • Relax: Meanwood Park is a 72-acre park featuring open greenspaces, mature oak woodlands, basketball and tennis courts, a bowling green, a playground and extensive walking paths.
  • Shop: Leeds Community Shop has a great range of second hand books, clothes and much more.  It’s a great place to find a bargain and all funds go to support local causes!
  • Get involved: Meanwood Valley Partnership is a resident run community organisation who volunteer their time and skills to preserve, protect and enhance the Meanwood Valley area.
  • Something different: Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is a working farm and offers visitors the chance to meet their animals, gardens, and flourishing woodland. Make sure to pay a visit to The Barn Coffeeshop for a bite to eat!


City Centre

If you’re a fan of the hustle and bustle of big cities and are looking to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a lively community, living in the city centre could be perfect for you.

With easy access to Leeds main train station and everything you need accessible on foot in less than half an hour, living within the centre puts the whole city right at your fingertips. Accommodation options include a wide range of purpose built student accommodation options.

  • Eat: Roots and Fruits is a vegetarian restaurant with a Mexican theme and excellent desserts. It’s unlicensed, although customers can bring their own bottles for a corkage fee.
  • Drink: Northern Guitars Café Bar is a recent newcomer and features stripped back walls lined with guitars, original vintage posters, local artwork and photography. This makes for a cosy, 70s vibe in the evenings, with regular live music.
  • Relax: Leeds & Liverpool Canal offers 127 miles of walking, boating, wildlife-watching and all-round relaxation. The Canal & Rivers Trust work hard to ensure this 200 year-old canal continues to be a well-loved link between the bustling cities of Liverpool and Leeds.
  • Get involved: St. George’s Crypt provide support and care for the vulnerable individuals who are homeless or suffering from substance dependence all year round.  Look out for their volunteer opportunities and charity shops to help support their efforts.
  • Shop: Panda Refill Shop is Kirkgate Market's Zero Waste refill shop! Refill your dry foods, sweets, and cleaning supplies in central Leeds.
  • Something different: Holbeck Underground Ballroom is a unique performance space nestled beneath railway arches and offering coffee and beer at affordable prices. All shows operate on a pay-what-you-want basis, allowing everyone to soak up a bit of culture without worrying about the cost.

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.


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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.