Leeds University

Things to do in Leeds | Leeds University

Whether you’re coming for an open day or attending a graduation ceremony, at the University of Leeds you’ll find interesting 70s architecture, a buzzing atmosphere and a lively student population. It’s one of the largest in the UK - and has one of the best Student Unions around. To really get the most out of your visit, why not spend a weekend in Leeds? That way you can soak up some of the city’s culture and vibrant nightlife while you’re here. After all, it’s right there on the university’s doorstep!

Leeds University can trace its roots as far back as 1831 when it was predominantly a medical college used to train doctors to serve the booming industrial city. Awarded a charter by Edward VII in 1904, Leeds is now one of the largest universities in the UK. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of universities and notable alumni include Mark Knopfler, the guitarist from Dire Straits, the impressionist Alistair McGowan and Olympic triathlon medal winners, the Brownlee brothers. These days, the University of Leeds is so popular that it receives more student applications than any other university in the country.

Leeds University

Leeds University

Top tip

If you’re visiting, don’t miss out on some of the spectacular architecture Leeds University has to offer. Nine are Grade II-listed, but most spectacular (and divisive of opinion) has to be the Roger Stevens Building. Built in the 1970s its ‘brutalist’ concrete and glass structure is hated by some, but loved by others for its bold external shapes and carefully designed interiors.

Eating and drinking

Whether you’re working, studying or just visiting the campus, there are lots of options nearby to make sure you are well-fed.

The Refectory
is the main catering outlet on campus, offering a variety of dishes cooked up by an award-winning head chef. The Student Union has its own options, including the Salad Box, where you can build your own wraps and salads as part of a very cheap meal deal, or the delightfully quirky Hidden Cafe with its eclectic furniture that’s been ‘reclaimed’ from different places around the university. For outdoor eating when the weather’s nice, you can sit watching the ducks and fountains at the Waterside Cafe.

With its central location, all of Leeds’ best culinary options await you. One of the closest is 2 Oxford Place, a charming cafe that’s the first gluten-free eaterie in Yorkshire - in fact, there are only five of its kind in the UK. Don’t be put off if you’re actually a bit partial to the stodgy stuff - there’s loads here to tempt you even if you have no allergies, from Eggs Benedict to hearty bangers and mash. Also less than a mile away is the Town Hall Tavern, a great pub with a reputation for serving up the best fish and chips in town.

Getting to Leeds University

Just a pleasant, 20-minute stroll from Leeds Station, you’ll find the University is incredibly easy to get to. But if those shoes weren’t made for walking, here are your other options.

By car
Leeds is linked to both the M1 and M62. The code for your satnav is LS2 9JT. Parking on campus is limited and must be pre-booked. It will cost around £7 per day to park your car.

By bus
The LeedsCityBus service stops at the southern end of campus. Hop on at either the bus or rail station - they run frequently from 6.30 am - 7.30 pm Monday to Saturday.

By train
Leeds Station connects to all major UK cities and there’s a fast and efficient London service. To get to the University, take a taxi, the LeedsCityBus or just walk there in around 20 minutes.

Looking for a hotel in Leeds?

From the city centre to its leafy suburbs and beautiful surrounding countryside, you'll find lots of great hotels in Leeds. If you need to be central, try the First Direct Arena Hotel and Trinity Leeds Hotel, or Leeds City West for Elland Road. For those jetting in, check out Leeds/Bradford Airport hotel.