Having a 14-year old nephew means I get to take him out on days out in Leeds and we both get to discover new places. I try and make the trips educational for both of us. There are tons of things to do in Leeds and in this blog post I wanted to highlight family friendly places that will not break the bank.
Walk up Otley Chevin
The market town of Otley is a 20 minute drive from the city centre, the X84 bus takes you there in about 40 minutes. From the visitor centre grab a leaflet and explore the many walking trails. Walk up to the white house, sit and have a picnic with breathtaking scenic views of Wharfedale.
If the kids are still full of energy then continue on the path up to Surprise point, relax, have some Yorkshire ice cream and learn about what the area used to look like 300 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs existed. The Chevin isn’t just a fun place for walking; they’re a number of mountain bikes trails for those more adventurous.
Located on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Armley Mills was once the world’s largest woollen mill, and is a fun place to visit for all of the family. Learn about Leeds industrial past, and what it used to be like working there; visit the smallest cinema in the North of England, and try and find the shed full of old locomotives that used to transport workers and goods from the mill to places around the city.
Leeds has many open spaces, it is one of the reasons why I love living in this city. Roundhay Park is by far, my favourite place to go when the weather is good. Walk around Canal gardens, let the kids run free, play football, cricket, or have a picnic. In the summer brass bands play in the bandstands across the park, which makes for a great atmosphere.
While you are at Roundhay Park you must visit Tropical World. There’s a small entrance charge, but it is well worth it. Walk around and keep a look out for tropical birds, butterflies, and impressive Koi carp fish. Make sure you do not miss the meerkats because you will love them, stood to attention on the mounds of mud.
Leeds City Museum
Unfortunately, Leeds doesn’t have a tropical climate, but the City Museum is a good place to visit when the weather isn’t so good. Entrance is free and there are lots to keep the kids occupied, it is very educational. Learn about the history of Leeds, and keep a look out for prehistoric animals and the Egyptian mummy.
Kirkstall Abbey and Museum
Enjoy a visit to Kirkstall Abbey, one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian abbey in Britain. Set in wonderful parkland along the banks of the River Aire, Kirkstall Abbey boasts historic architecture amid a haven of wildlife and greenery.
At Abbey House Museum you can experience the sights and sounds of life in Victorian Leeds in the year 1880! A journey through the carefully recreated streets and houses of Abbey House Museum is a great day out. Combine your visit with a trip to Kirkstall Abbey, just across the road from Abbey House Museum.
Darren Cronian is the editor of My Life in Leeds, an online local guide where you can find out about where to go in Leedsand things to do that are family friendly. Hopefully this blog post has helped inspire you to visit my home city on your next trip to England.
Guest-post and photos by Darren from www.travel-rants.com