This subTOUR is better done by bike than walking as it's quite some miles to complete in total. You will visit Kirkstall Abbey first, beautifully situated at the bank of river Aire. A ruined Cistercian monastery within calm surroundings. Also home to two huge Kaiser Chiefs gigs in 2011.
Head on for some antique shopping afterwards before strolling across Woodhouse Moor with its huge trees and statues. Get a proper snack on the way to Leeds University with its live venue The Refectory. Discover a truly historical place in Rock music.
Finally, weather allowing, take your time to have another break in one of the mentioned spots before getting back to your starting point.
Leeds Train Station (Google Street View)
Take a hearty breakfast or lunch, then head to Leeds Train Station. Centrally located, it’s perfect for discovering the city and starting point for today's subTOUR. If you prefer to walk the tour - be prepared for some extra miles. We rather recommend getting onto bikes. If you’re looking for a bike rental, try Bike&Go, directly located at the station. Its flexible and affordable bike hire scheme is an ideal way to get around Leeds. Just register online and go for your bike adventure. The first leg of the tour will take you to Kirkstall Abbey in about 20 to 30 minutes biking time. Take one of the minor roads towards the Northwest for a more relaxed cycle experience. In Burley and Kirkstall area you will pass some nice little parks where you can step from the bike and have a breather if needed.
Get off the biycle at the public park on the north bank of river Aire, that’s where you find Kirkstall Abbey. The ruined Cistercian monastery was founded in 1152, but disestablished in the 16th century. Sit down at the river bank, have a stroll through the masonry masterpiece and enjoy its calm atmosphere. Here’s also where the Kaiser Chiefs played two huge outdoor gigs to an audience of 20,000 folks in September 2011, supported by local band The Cribs. So why not listen to their tunes and have a small picnic before getting on the bike again?
Head back to the Southeast again, towards city centre, passing Headingley area, one of the most popular suburbs of Leeds and home to a rugby and cricket stadium. Woodhouse Lane is where you will find some nice antique stores if you are looking for a nice souvenir, second hand clothing, or vintage furniture. One of the hot spots: Retro Boutique.
Follow your way until the park on your right hand side. When in Leeds, do as the Loiners do, which is the nickname for the city's inhabitants. British weather allowing, take a rest at beautiful Woodhouse Moor with its lush green lawns, grand trees, and noble Victorian statues. For relaxing and watching skateboarders or having a stroll around.
Fancy a lunch or snack now after sightseeing and shopping? Perfect spot for a lunch break is The Library with great offers on food and drinks - not only for students around, but also for exhausted cyclists. They also regularly host live music in the evenings, so check out tonight’s schedule.
Food tip: another option for a lunch snack is Pack Horse Pub, renowned for rehearsals and the first gig of local band Pulled Apart by Horses.
The Refectory (Birgit Bachmeier & Stefan Ramsthaler)
Head towards Leeds University. Right in the very centre of the campus lays The Refectory. Not only central lunch and meeting point for students, but also a historic, 2,100 capacity venue. It has played host to some of the most important acts worldwide, such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, or Pink Floyd. Also highly renowned for The Who’s album Live at Leeds which was recorded here in 1970. A blue plaque outside the building reminds you of this milestone in Rock history.
Brudenell Social Club (Bachmeier / Ramsthaler)
Still The Who’s catchy My generation in mind? Seems like it’s time for an afternoon pint. Straight to the west is Brudenell Social Club, a non-profit community venue and major centrepiece of the local music scene. It’s the perfect scenery for sitting outside the building and studying the program. Why not stay here to attend a concert tonight?
Restaurant time (Bachmeier / Ramsthaler)
If you do not want to take the detour to Brudenell Social Club, you may also take the direct route to The Faversham. The outside: a beautiful Victorian building. The inside: a home to excellent food and drinks. There's a really beautiful outside terrace, if you got luck with the weather. This is the final destination of the subTOUR, so why not enjoy a break in the sun before heading back home again?
The name says it all: get the best of central Leeds with this condensed walk. It's about sightseeing as well as shopping. It's about record stores as well as venue hopping. Along the way, discover some legendary spots in Rock history or the city's other hidden gems.
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