So it seems that a lot of students stay where they know, the bubble as I like to call it. Consisting of the City Centre, Woodhouse, Hyde Park, Burley, Headingley, and Kirkstall. A lot of students whilst living here don’t seem to go much further than these few places. Here is a quick guide to a few attractions you may not know about and might want to check out.
1. Tropical World.
Canal Gardens | Roundhay Park, Leeds LS8 1DF
Last year as part of my university work my course was sent to Tropical world to take photographs of all the different wildlife they had at the centre. At just £3.30 to get in I was not expecting a lot from this little wildlife centre, maybe a few different fish, a few different species of this and that but I was shockingly surprised. As soon as you walk in there are lots of butterflies, fish, snakes, and a huge meerkat display, they were possibly the cutest animals I have ever seen. This attraction is not far away from the city centre, just in Roundhay Park and you can spend a good, enjoyable afternoon there.
2. Hope Pastures Miniature Horse and Donkey Sanctuary.
Weetwood Lane, Leeds LS16 5PH
Every time I come back to Leeds my mum drives past this and it is not that far away from Headingley. This miniature horse sanctuary is a registered charity and is always looking for volunteers to help with anything from Gardening and general maintenance help, to stable help, or visitors centre and events help. Not only is it a fun day out and you get to look at mini horses all day but this can look good on your job applications to future employers. They ask for help between 10 and 3 so it is not a long day either and there are many different bus routes that go past the sanctuary so check out www.hopepastures.org to see how you can donate and get involved.
3. Thackray Medical Museum.
Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7LN
Just being next to the hospital this is a hidden treasure if you do not know about it. Over about 3 hours you take a look back at Victorian era Leeds, with a realistic ‘sounds and smells’ as they put it. At £7.00 to get in it is fairly priced for everything that you get to see. This could make a fun day out if your family are visiting, or to go with your friends for something to do on the weekend. It is a great piece of history right in the city centre that can help you get to know all about your university home.
Alternatives to the medical museum are; Kirkstall Abbey, The City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, and Armley Mills.
4. XScape Yorkshire.
Colorado Way Glasshoughton, Castleford WF10 4TA
Real snow slope, 2 rock climbing walls, florider (indoor surf machine), aerial assault course, indoor skate park, Laserzone, bowling, cinema, 6D Motion experience, bars and restaurants all under one roof. Sounds like a good day out to me. About a 20 minute train journey outside of Leeds will get you out to Castleford – home of XScape, which is mainly known for its indoor snow slope. A lot of people have told me about this place and mainly from going with the Leeds Met Snowsports Society. It sounds like a good day out and there is so much to do there you can go early morning and come back late on a night. The only downfall to this I think is that it is a little pricey, each activity costs its own individual price that you pay when you start but online you can look for different discounts and offers currently going on. If you save up for this it is definitely worth a try.
5. West Yorkshire Play House.
Playhouse Square Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UP
A play house is not something a normal student would probably think about going to, but with different productions put on throughout the year the WY Play House is a good idea for a cultural night out. Located just near the bus station in town it is not far away for anyone to get to at all. With productions such as Sherlock Holmes – The Best Kept Secret set to play there this year there are many different performances that span all interests and price ranges. Tickets for most performances don’t go above £10 and max out just under £30, but the one event that caught my eye on their list for this year is Transform 2013. In brief they says it is featuring performances in unique and unusual spaces, all within walking distance of the theatre, alongside a rich programme of special events, performances, music and encounters within the Playhouse itself. You’ll engage with extraordinary pieces of work, surprise yourself in a city you thought you knew, and see Leeds in a new light. For more information on this check out the WY Play House website.