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Our complete guide on things to do while living and studying in Kirkstall

Kirky, to give it its local title, is a smart move for students. It’s well-handy for the unis and Leeds centre, but still has a nice leafy, relaxed kind of vibe. And it’s not quite so dosh-demanding as some places…

The wheel deal

No worries, getting to Kirkstall, to the unis and Leeds centre is easy-peasy.

Kirkstall Forge Train Station – to Leeds centre
Confusingly, Headingley Station is in Kirkstall – someone should tell them
Buses: 33, 33a, 34, 508, 757
M621, M62, M1, A1M, A64M – all easily accessed
Handy for Leeds Bradford airport

Shop to it

All the regular daily and mainstream things catered for, and big name stores line up at the retail park. Explore a little further and you’ll find plenty of independents too.

Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park – JD, Puregym, Tanning Shop, Trespass, Home Bargains, M&S Food, Holland & Barrett, Costa
Carphone Warehouse

Let’s do this

Kirkstall Abbey’s the big attraction, next to the River Aire. It’s a beautiful ruined abbey space to chill in, and there are some pretty cool events held there too.

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve – natural oasis
Vue Cinema – slightly further down the road
Kirkstall Leisure Centre – swimming, squash and a mixed use sports hall
Blueberry Hill Studios – if you have a band, here’s where you practice
Riverside walks – and you can run/walk/cycle into the city on the canal towpath
St Stephen’s Churchyard – Gothicky kind of peaceful/spooky vibe
Goals – 5-a-side footie
Kirkstall Festival – 8 performance areas, comedy, rock, classical, jazz and folk sets
Abbey House Museum – check the history, and ghostly occurrences, like the piano playing by itself…

Pubs, bars and eateries

The New George – lively pub with fortnightly open mic on Wednesdays
Kirkstall Bridge Inn – independent community pub, fab roast dinners
West End House – villagey kind of pub, good food and ales
Number 55 – mega tasty vegan fast food
Gallery 41 – classic Italian dishes
Dos Amigos – relaxed tapas bar
Kirkstall Fisheries – proper fried in lard Yorkshire fish & chips

Other student-friendly areas nearby

Burley, Leeds