You & Me, Me & You by Anthony Burrill – Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds


Street Art Trail

4th May 2023

Leeds is a city renowned for its art, from the extensive 20th century collections found at Leeds Art Gallery, through to the contemporary exhibitions that call The Tetley home.

In truth, there are so many great places across the city to experience art in all its forms, especially as you wander down our streets. Leeds has a rich street art history, with striking works such as Cornucopia (pictured) and the Mabgate Mural popping up decades ago before street art became as popular as it is today.

Cornucopia mural - Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds


Nowadays, striking street art provides a decorative backdrop for much of the city, creating an ever-growing web of distinctive pieces that tell the story of Leeds and its communities.

We start our trail with a hidden treasure, as exploring the streets of Leeds will reveal many easy-to-miss delights – Winifred by Qubek is one to seek out for sure. Hidden away in a ginnel (that’s an alleyway for those of you not from Leeds!) between York Place and Park Place in the city’s business district, this design brings together the famous elephant armour found at the Royal Armouries, our historic mills and the white rose of Yorkshire.

Winifred by Qubek - Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds


Just along from here, under the Inner Ring Road flyover on Wellington Street, you’ll find the Josh Warrington Mural, which immortalises the moment this Leeds legend became IBF world champion at Elland Road. Created by renowned street artist Akse P19, this mural commemorates his success, but also features Leeds Cares, an amazing charity who support Leeds hospitals.

Josh Warrington Mural, Leeds Street Art, credit Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Josh Warrington Mural


Taller than the Statue of Liberty, it is difficult to miss the awe-inspiring Athena Rising, which can be found on the towering Platform building on New Station Street. Designed by Manchester-based graffiti artists Nomad Clan, the piece features the city’s mascot, the owl, a popular feature of street art across the city, as well as a moon and crown.

Athena Rising - Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Athena Rising

On the other side of the station, on Little Neville Street, you will find Here We Go Now. This 20m tall mural was a collaboration between LeedsBID, Leeds City Hilton Hotel and art collective Moniker Culture. It features eye-catching shapes and colours, and ‘walking fingers’ directing you into the City Centre.

For another view of Athena Rising, walk down to Sovereign Square, where you will also see Jo Peel’s cityscape illustrations of Leeds along the hoardings. Jo was one of six artists commissioned to animate the streets of Leeds with public art installations as a part of the A City Less Grey project, a collaboration between East Street Arts and Leeds BID.

Grey Heron mural and Barge - credit Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Grey Heron mural and Barge

From here, you’ll need to head down to Granary Wharf and hop on to one of the yellow Leeds Water Taxis. You will see Leeds from a different angle as you chug along the River Aire down to Leeds Dock. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the Grey Heron mural as you pass underneath Centenary Bridge – if you’re lucky you’ll spot it, as it is designed to be submerged and then reappear as the river level changes. If you don’t manage to spot it, don’t worry! The Barge is unmissable. Designed by Benjamin Craven and Jenny Beard, The Barge is an old barge painted with bright and colourful geometric patterns that sits close to the Heron on the River Aire.

Whilst on the waterfront, head towards Armouries Drive, where you should find The Faces of Leeds and Wildlife tucked away. Both created by graffiti artist Affix, the former is an homage to iconic Leeds celebrities Alan Bennett, John Craven, Sue Ryder and Nicola Adams OBE, while the latter highlights the importance of canals in urban areas, as they sustain nature in the city.

Wildlife and The Faces of Leeds by Affix - credit Carl Milner Photography

Wildlife and The Faces of Leeds

Stop for a drink or something to eat at Leeds Dock, then head towards Duke Studios on Crown Point Road, tucked around the corner on Sheaf Street is where you will discover The Linnet. Hand painted by London street artist ATM, this mural was created in response to the birds decline in numbers over the last 40 years.

If unique is what you are after, head up to the river to see the deep-sea diver of Brewery Wharf, and find him climbing out of a washing machine. Washing Marine is an unusual delight which uses forced perspective to achieve a distinctive 3D effect which has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

Washing Marine credit Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Washing Marine

Take a stroll back over Centenary Bridge, where you may be able to catch another glimpse of the Grey Heron, before making your way up the Calls. Here you will come across You&Me, Me&You designed by Anthony Burrill, an alumnus of Leeds Beckett, which displays a message of unity during a time when the world has felt divided.

You & Me, Me & You by Anthony Burrill – Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

You & Me, Me & You

Just a few buildings down you will then see another new addition Paving the Way, a homage to Leeds United by Akse P19, featuring club legends Albert Johanneson & Lucas Radebe, with midfielder Kalvin Phillips at the heart of the wall.

From here, make your way towards the architectural wonder that is the Corn Exchange. Opening its doors in 1864 as a purpose-built space for corn trading, the building now houses a plethora of independent shops. If you’re into film, music, gaming and comic book art, you will not want to miss a visit to ‘On The Wall’ where you can pick up a poster print or two.

Resized Paving the Way by Aske P19 – Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Paving the Way

Over the road from the Corn Exchange is Cornucopia, an ancient symbol for abundance and nourishment, which can be found at the top of Call Lane, embodying the area’s vibrant market history. The colourful mural, which has been a must-see in this area for decades, features the historic Corn Exchange in a scene spanning Roman legends to the area’s Victorian past.

From here stroll down Kirkgate, until you come across the Duck & Drake pub, on the side of which you will see another piece of art dedicated to the local Leeds United football team. This Leeds United mural by Adam Duffield pictures Pablo Hernandez and his iconic celebration of a goal which saw the team gain a long-awaited promotion to top flight football.

Insa X Moniker by Insa

INSA X Moniker

Continue under the railway bridge and to the right onto the cobbles, on the side of Wharf Chambers you can spot the colourful carbon conscious and waste aware mural, INSA X Moniker. Created using Graphenstone Biosphere paint, the mural will absorb the same amount of CO2 as an adult tree in only 3 years.

Then head back north until you reach Fred Aldous on your left, just around the corner of this art supplies shop, look up to find Common Ground by Leeds based street artist, Mike Winnard. This mural tells the rich and diverse history of Kirkgate, the oldest street in Leeds, from ancient Norse runes to modern day bulldozers.

Common Ground

Common Ground

Those looking for an enriching street art experience simply must check out the next stop on the trail: Kirkgate Market.

Entering through the market’s main southern entrance, take in the colourful optical illusion surrounding it: #Welcome by artist Rob Lee.

Whilst in the area, take the opportunity to pop into the market and try some of the incredible street food options before you – your taste buds will thank you for it. Be sure to check out the vibrant abstract mural inside the market’s events space by internationally-renowned Leeds artist Nicolas Dixon entitled Change is upon us, featuring a huge owl, and 29 stars, signifying the districts of the city.

Welcome by Rob Lee, Kirkgate Market - Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeda


Exit the market and make sure to find the Rainbow of Hope, a rich mosaic installed by Seagulls Reuse on the outside. In a few steps, you will go from a rainbow filled with the words of market traders to a white Yorkshire rose, a symbol used frequently in street art across the city. 

Rainbow of Hope by Seagulls Reuse - credit Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Rainbow of Hope by Seagulls Reuse


A stand-out feature of Kirkgate Market in recent years has been its Hello & Welcome to Leeds mural found on George Street, making for an eye-catching welcome for visitors to our city. This expansive, hand-painted design celebrates the vast communities that call Leeds their home, and is well worth a visit after you wander through our iconic Kirkgate Market.

Hello and Welcome to Leeds

Hello & Welcome to Leeds

Alternatively, wander round the streets surrounding Munro House to find works inspired by environmental issues. While exploring, you should find Spix’s Macaws, a boarded-up window now boasting beautiful blue Brazilian birds. You can also discover a changing exhibition programme of contemporary art from some of the freshest talent at The Gallery at 164, or lose yourself in independent bookshop Colours May Vary amongst their collection of design, illustration, photography and lifestyle titles.


Learn From Yesterday, Live For Today, Design For Tomorrow by Peter Barber – Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Learn From Yesterday, Live For Today, Design For Tomorrow

Making your way past the eye-catching new front of the Leeds Playhouse, find your way down Lady Lane and into Edward Street car park. A derelict clothes factory has been transformed, now proudly displaying the immortal words of Einstein – Learn From Yesterday, Live For Today, Design For Tomorrow. Each letter found on the former Lyon Works building sports its own unique style, spanning designs from across time as an homage to the city’s rich history.

Finally, a short 10 minute walk away from the city centre and you will find Mabgate, home to a new mural – Creativity Takes Courage. Completed in 2022 the piece was painted by three local artists: Bobbi Abbey, Jameson Rogan and Emma Hardaker, funded by the Welcome Back Fund and supported by Leeds City College. Down the street you’ll find the Mabgate Mural, another historic example of Leeds’ creative spirit. A truly unique piece of street art, the owner of the café on which the mural is painted entwined the Mabgate he knew with the history of the area, creating a timeless favourite.

Mabgate Mural by Janet de Wagt - Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Mabgate Mural

With striking street art to be found all over the city, be sure to wander and keep your eyes out the next time you are exploring our city. With an ever-growing collection of street art calling Leeds home, you never know where unusual and distinctive designs will pop up next.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

*This blog was first published 6th April 2022