One of the most visually stunning areas of Leeds, Kirkstall is home to some of the city’s most iconic sights. It also has plenty of places to enjoy a night out and study in peace, as well as great bus connections to the three universities. It’s also pretty close to the city centre too, handy if you need to do the big shop.
Things to do in Kirkstall
Founded in 1152, the ruins of this famous abbey and the surrounding park have since become a major tourist attraction. During the summer, concerts and open-air theatre performances are regularly held there, while it’s a nice place for a leisurely stroll all year round.
Although strictly in nearby Burley, this shopping, leisure and entertainment complex has all you could possibly need for a day or night out. A gym, Vue Cinema, several restaurants serving a range of cuisines and a few bars to boot mean you can spend all night in Cardigan Fields without wearing your shoes out!
Abbey House Museum
Situated near Kirkstall Abbey, this fun, quirky museum has plenty to entertain newcomers to Leeds and locals alike. Interactive exhibitions and lifelike Victorian-era streets help to give you a glimpse into what life was like in Leeds back in the 19th century. A must-visit for history students.
University of Leeds
Address: University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT
Tel: 0113 243 1751
Location: Just off Woodhouse Lane, around 1.5 miles east of Kirkstall
The largest university in Leeds, it’s also the oldest. On the main campus, there are plenty of places to eat, shop, write and revise, while there are good bus links to and from Kirkstall too. The 97 bus to Guiseley stops near Kirkstall and the Parkinson Building.
Leeds Trinity University
Address: Brownberrie Ln, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS18 5HD
Tel: 0113 283 7100
Location: Around three miles north-west of Kirkstall, to the north of Horsforth town centre
Trinity is the smallest of Leeds’ three universities, but it’s also surprisingly easy to get to from Kirkstall. It has quiet spaces for study, a state-of-the-art sports and fitness centre and, if you find Leeds City Centre a little too hectic, a peaceful vibe which allows you to get on with work and talk to your mates without fear of interruption.
Leeds Beckett University & Headingley Campus
Address: Church Wood Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 3QS
Tel: 0113 812 0000
Location: Approximately one mile north-east of Kirkstall, just off Otley Road in Headingley
The Leeds Beckett Headingley Campus is small yet perfectly-formed, offering a great place to study and chill out. Decent transport links and walking routes to and from Kirkstall make it a convenient place to study as well, particularly if you’re into sport.
Working in Kirkstall
Most of the jobs going for students in Kirkstall are in retail. The recently-opened Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park has plenty of vacancies going at the start of every academic year, while there are also seasonal roles going in and around Kirkstall Abbey during spring and summer. Post-graduation, opportunities become greater in retail and service roles.
The 19/19A, 49 and 50/50A go along Burley Road and Kirkstall Hill towards Horsforth and Tinshill in one direction and Garforth, Seacroft and Harehills in the other. Bus routes on the A65 Commercial/Abbey Road include the 33/33A to Otley and 757 to Leeds Bradford Airport. Typically, buses take around 15 minutes to get to the City Centre.
Kirkstall doesn’t have a train station of its own yet. However, Kirkstall Forge station is due to open at some point in the next year. In the meantime, Headingley Rail Station is less than a mile from the centre of Kirkstall, with regular trains going to Leeds in one direction and Harrogate/Knaresborough in the other. It takes 11 minutes to get to Leeds from there.
Sports and leisure
Kirkstall Leisure Centre
Address: Kirkstall Lane, Leeds LS5 3BE
Tel: 0113 3782086
Location: Just near the crossroads with Commercial Road and Kirkstall Lane
Run by the council, this leisure centre is pretty cheap to enter. If you want a swim, gentle workout or play sports such as football and tennis, this is one of the best-value and most convenient places in Kirkstall.
Milford Sports Club
Address: Beecroft St, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS5 3AS
Tel: 0113 226 3030
Location: Just off Commercial Road
This down-to-earth club is home to the famous Milford Marlins amateur rugby league club, as well as classes for things like Zumba and yoga. Membership fees are low, while it’s conveniently located in the centre of Kirkstall.
PureGym Kirkstall Bridge
Address: Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park, Leeds LS5 3BL
Tel: 0845 901 1059
Location: On the first floor of Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park, a few minutes from Morrisons
Newly-opened, this branch of PureGym offers over 50 different classes to new and existing members. It’s also close by to bars and restaurants in the area, while if you’re into weightlifting, this is just the place to go to when needing to let off some steam.
Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park
Address: Bridge Rd, Leeds LS5 3BW
Location: Just opposite the Kirkstall Valley Retail Park (Morrisons)
Opened in late 2015, this new shopping area has chain stores, a gym and places to eat on an evening. BHS, Home Bargains and Marks and Spencer are among the high street names based here, while more are due to arrive in early 2016.
The Bookshop Kirkstall
Address: 10 Commercial Rd, Leeds LS5 3AQ
Tel: 0113 278 0937
Location: At the crossroads of Commercial Road and Kirkstall Lane
This independent bookshop sells antique and modern titles, many of which might come in handy for your studies. It also hosts book readings from local authors, so if you consider yourself a bookworm, there are certainly worse places to visit!
Kirkstall Valley Retail Park
Address: Savins Mill Way, Leeds LS5 3BW
Location: Opposite Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park
This shopping area is home to a Morrisons, where you can get all your essentials in one place. There’s also a Dunnes department store for home furnishings, which is quite similar to M&S, while it’s handy for getting a bus back home.
Nightlife and entertainment
Kirkstall has a handful of traditional pubs and trendy cafes for students and locals alike. Most of them are near Kirkstall Bridge and along the A65 Abbey Road/Commercial Road, the most famous being the iconic Kirkstall Bridge Inn, run by the Kirkstall Brewery. Cardigan Fields further down the A65 has numerous bars including Control.
Address: 41–43 Commercial Rd, Leeds LS5 3AW
Tel: 0113 274 0041
Location: Just round the corner from Milford Sports Club
This cozy Italian restaurant is just a stone’s throw from all Kirkstall’s shops, but it has a rustic, charming aura that lends itself to a great night out. The menu includes authentic pizza and pasta dishes, as well as an extensive wine list, while early bird specials mean you can save a few quid by coming in straight from the last seminar of the day.
Kirkstall Bridge Inn
Address: 12 Bridge Rd, Leeds LS5 3BW
Tel: 0113 278 4044
Location: Next to the Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park, just by the River Aire
This pub looks pretty traditional on the inside, but there’s more to it than real ale! Special menus, pub quizzes every Wednesday night and Wings nights make it the place to be, particularly if you’re fortunate enough to live within a short walk and have no other plans on a night.
Number 55 Sandwich Bar & Coffee Shop
Address: 55 Kirkstall Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS5 3BE
Tel: 07805 408448
Location: At the crossroads of Kirkstall Lane and Kirkstall Hill, near the newsagents
As cafes and sandwich shops go, few are quite as homely as this one. It’s handy for anyone studying at the Headingley Campus of Leeds Beckett University as it’s easy to get to and from there by foot. The menu features sandwiches, wraps, salads and even jacket potatoes to go, while you can dine inside in peace too.
Parks & Green spaces
The space around Kirkstall Abbey and Kirkstall Valley is ideal for a Sunday morning walk, not to mention a jog. Further north, Bramley Fall Park is a quiet space where you can get away from the buzz of the main roads, while just behind Morrisons, there are a few playing fields where you can have a kickabout with your mates.
Hospitals and emergencies
Leeds General Infirmary
Address: Great George St, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 3EX
Tel: 0113 243 2799
Location: Just south of the main campus of Leeds Beckett University, around a mile east of Kirkstall
Kirkstall Health Centre
Address: 15 Morris Lane, Leeds LS6 3DB
Tel: 0113 843 2700
Location: Just off Church Street, near the bus stop
Leeds Central Police Station
Address: Park St, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 3BY
Tel: 0113 238 2017
Location: Just next to the Combined Courts, just off Westgate. Around a couple of miles south-east of Kirkstall.
Our student accommodation in Kirkstall
Kirkstall has a mix of flats, terraces and detached/semi-detached properties, all of which lie in one of Leeds’ safest areas. For student flats in Kirkstall, you’re spoilt for choice, whether it’s something in a quiet spot or close by to the major bus routes and shops.
Popular areas around area name
Just to the north-east of Kirkstall, Hyde Park is one of the most popular parts of Leeds with students. Plentiful bars, shops and cultural venues and, of course, being close by to the university district, make this area an ideal place for living and studying in.
For fans of sport, fresh food and the arts, living in Headingley makes perfect sense. It lies just to the north-east of Kirkstall, being close by to the Abbey and sharing some bus routes too. Most of the iconic Otley Run of pubs are in Headingley too.
Burley is right next to Kirkstall, sitting at the lower end of the Kirkstall Valley. It’s home to Cardigan Fields, lies on the same bus routes and is easy to get to from Leeds and the two main university campuses.