8 Hidden Spots in Leeds
25th April 2018
Always visiting the same places in Leeds? Well we’re here to get you out of that rut and remind you that there’s always something fresh to do, see and explore in this city. Here we’ve put together a list of some city spots you may not yet have heard of, so get some inspiration by exploring some unusual parts of town.
1. The Mabgate Mural
Spot this mural hidden away on Mabgate, one of our city’s back streets. Seeking it out will give you an insight into part of the area’s recent history. The building that’s become the mural’s canvas used to be a Stone Cutting Mill and was redecorated back in 1987 by the company Surmak Products. The people depicted in the windows are based on real employees, and it makes a pretty impressive sight.
2. The Tiled Hall
Housed in one of the city’s best galleries, the Tiled Hall in Leeds City Art Gallery is a scrumptious scene. The ornate detailing, high ceilings and beautiful columns makes this a perfect place to sit back with a coffee and just enjoy the view. You don’t even have to be visiting the art gallery to pop in, so make the most of the array of cakes on offer and enjoy this secret spot. Find out more about the Tiled Hall Cafe.
3. Live Art Bistro
A little out of the way, to be found on Regent Street, this arts space is a recent addition to Leeds’ flourishing cultural scene. Focusing mainly on performance art, the space is probably best described as a theatre but it showcases a very diverse range of art and creative performances. Actors, artists and creatives are welcome to use the space to rehearse and showcase their work, so you never know what you’ll end up with – immersive cinema or a circus act! Find out more about Live Art Bistro here.
4. Penny Pocket Park
A cute and easily missable spot on Kirkgate, Penny Pocket Park is a great spot to sit back and enjoy the view of neighbouring Leeds Minster. It may simply seem like a nice green area, but there’s history to be discovered here if you delve a little deeper. Go for a wander and you’ll notice stones that look a little like paving stones but are actually grave stones – a common sight in areas near to church buildings. When Leeds’ railway was being built the grave stones weren’t taken away, but instead moved to the viaduct’s embankment in order to make way for the changes to the city’s infrastructure. This allowed for the viaduct to be built and trains to pass in and out of Leeds Railway Station.
5. Flight Sculpture
You’ve probably walked through Leeds City Square hundreds of times but haven’t noticed this beautiful sculpture. Made from bronze by artist Lorne McKean, the piece looks like a flock of birds mid-flight but it actually represents a single bird’s movements as it glides through the air. No matter what you see, its a refreshing sight in the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
6. York Gate Garden
York Gate packs quite a punch for its one acre proportions. It never fails to intrigue its visitors with its fourteen garden rooms, linked by a series of clever vistas – all inspirational, and due to its realistic size, many elements give exciting ideas for potential in smaller gardens. Find out more here.
7. Spice Corner
Corners are, by nature, missable places. They’re tucked round bends and hidden away. So you may not have come across this little stall despite having visited Kirkgate market before. Spice Corner offers a vast array of global products, from obscure spices that you can’t get in your Sainsbury’s Local to fresh produce in season in the Southern Hemisphere, not just the Northern one. Enjoy exploring and updating your staple culinary concoctions with what you find. Find it at stall 107/106 at the bottom of Row 2 near Malcolm Michaels. Find out more about Leeds Markets.
8. Holbeck Underground Ballroom
Those in the know call this space by the catchier name of HUB. Holbeck Underground Ballroom is one of the city’s most dynamic theatre spaces, hidden away under a part of the city’s railway arches. It has a great vibe and the resident theatre company Slung Low, that calls the space home, promotes a pay-what-you-think policy. This means that the performances aren’t restricted to certain clientele, allowing everyone to see what they have going on. Slung Low frequently puts on shows but also invites travelling companies to perform too which keeps the programme engaging. Find out more about Holbeck Underground Ballroom here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my guide to some of Leeds’ best secret spots and get to know them all a little better by making a visit in person! Liam.
Thank you to Liam for writing this blog. Liam is a freelance website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds. He spends the rest of his time exploring what the city has to offer. https://liampedleydesign.co.uk/