We’ve told you before – our mighty fine city is a whole lot of awesome, with a veritable smorgasbord of things to do and see.
We’ve also told you before that not all these activities need cost you the earth, and that there are a whole host of tit bits to take on for nowt (25 things to to for free in Leeds, to be precise).
We all know that us Yorkshire folk like to keep our wallets full and our minds occupied, so here are 15 more for you to feast on.
1. Drink it all in at The Tetley
OK, free booze may not be exactly what we’re promising here, but now that we’ve reeled you in, a free day out at The Tetley is still a pretty intoxicating experience, especially if you’re something of a culture vulture. There are three floors of free art to get your eyes around at the former home of English ale, and regular workshops for all ages. Check their website for more details.
The Tetley, Hunslet Rd, LS10 1JQ – more info
2. Catch a free gig
Some cities across the Pennines would have you believe Leeds is derelict wasteland on the music front. And they’d be telling lies, damned, Mancunian lies! Our monthly ‘What’s On’ guides are testament to this, as is our guide to the best live music bars in Leeds. Whether you’ve got the gnarl to sit in there without a drink all night is down to you, but rest assured, there’s usually free music on every night of the week. We recommend Oporto.
Oporto, 33 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BT – more info
3. Take in our heritage
The Civic Trust’s ‘Blue Plaque’ project is not a Leeds-only phenomenon, but it does provide us with a cracking look into points of importance when it comes to our history. There are 150 of the things dotted about the city and its suburbs paying homage to important historical and cultural moments that all add up to what makes Leeds the place it is today.
All over – more info
4. Get well read
A day at the library isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who like to scour the pages, it’s a criminally under-used and downright beautiful facility right in the heart of our city centre. There’s free WiFi, regular workshops in all manner of subjects and a relaxed, quiet atmosphere. Shhhh!
Leeds Central Library, Calverley Street, LS1 3AB – more info
5. Settle down in front of a film
Regularly featured in our ‘What’s On’ guides, The Crowd of Favours’ secret cinema club is a little-known beauty that’s thrown on once a week completely FOC. With a different theme every month and what can only be described as classics delivered right into your eyeballs, it’s 100% cheaper than a trip to the Everyman and you might just catch that cult classic you never got round to seeing.
Crowd of Favours, Harper Street, LS2 7EA – more info
6. Climb a cow
Not literally, of course. Ilkley’s Cow & Calf rocks sit a mere twenty minute train out of the city centre, and in terms of beauty, they’re more or less unrivalled. The view from the top is incredible and if you pack a sarnie or two, it makes for one hell of a spot for a picnic.
Cow & Calf rocks, Ilkley, LS29 8BT
7. Sample park life
Our previous guide to non-gratis activities listed a fair few of Leeds’ beautiful options when it comes to a day at the park, but they left our Horsforth’s finest, and one of the most versatile of the lot. Hall Park boast a skate park, regularly used bandstand and a local cricket club, who sell teas and cakes out of their clubhouse to an army of local park-goers. One for the Summer months.
Hall Park, Hall Ln, Horsforth, LS18 5JE
8. Owl around
One for the Alan Partridge fans this, but if like Jill, you like owls, then the Leeds Owl Trail is a underrated tour around the city centre of ours, the bestest town on the planet. You may not have realised, but the city has dozens of owl statues dotted arouns the place each with their very own story and reason for being there. Worth a go if you’ve a few hours free, and it wont cost you jack.
City Centre, more info
9. Get quizzical
What;s your favourite quiz team name? ‘Quiz Team Aguilera’? ‘The Quizzy Rascals’? You’d best come up with something good if you’re to take on the Outlaws Yacht Club pub quiz, which is fired your way every Monday at 8.30pm. Winning teams are treated to a £30 bar tab and everyone gets a free slice of cake.
Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York St, LS2 7DY – more info
10. Go to market
Very much a throwback to times gone by, Leeds Kirkgate Market can’t have changed much in several decades, but for the stalls flogging second hand mobile phones and hair extensions. Wandering around, you get all the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned market experience, taking in the iconic Butcher’s Row, the smells of street food vendors such as Cafe Moor and all manner of beautiful colours.
Kirkgate Market, 28-34 George St, LS2 7HY – more info
11. Kick out
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 24, 2016
Love a kickaround but hate having to pay over the odds for pitch space? The FA People’s Cup gives small-sided teams the chance to get their sweat on at some of the country’s very best five-a-side facilities for free entry, and Leeds is no exception. It comes around twice a year and is held at Kirkstall’s Goals Centre.
Goals, Redcote Ln, Kirkstall, LS4 2AW – more info
12. Become a sculpture culture vulture
A hop, skip and a jump out of Leeds and towards Wakefield is where you’ll find the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in West Bretton. Rammed full of beautiful designs by some of the planet’s foremost sculptors, the project won the Art Fund ‘Museum of the Year’ award as recently as 2014 and does great work for the local community, too. Entry is completely free although a small donation is advised.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, WF4 4LG – more info
13. Get up close with a donkey
Leeds’ very own donkey sanctuary is a little-known haven that does incredible work for a huge number of mentally challenged children and young adults in the local community. It’s a hugely worthwhile project and a whole lot of fun, too, and if you’re an animal lover you’re guaranteed to enjoy getting up close with these friendly, calm creatures. They’re open 365 days a year, too.
The Donkey Sanctuary, Off Blackhill Lane, Swan Ln, Eccup, LS16 8AZ – more info
14. Get operatic
If you love the whole theatre experience, you may well know that things can get pretty pricey from time to time, especially when the big guns are in town. Luckily, thanks to a new government initiative aimed at getting young folk into the arts scene, under 30s can get access to free tickets on the regular courtesy of Opera North. Get around it.
Opera North, Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, LS1 6NU – more info
15. Get stuck into some first-class sports action
This is a little-known worldy for sports fans, but after 4pm, Yorkshire CCC let people in for nowt at County Championship matches. That gives you at least two and a half hours of top class sport to watch for absolutely nothing – not likely in any other codes. The boys have been doing well in recent years, too, bringing home the County Championship title in 2015.
Headingley Stadium, St Michael’s Ln, Headingley, LS6 3BR – more info
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Featured image: Tom Blackwell / Flickr / CC