Leeds: A One Day Tour

My trip to Leeds was decided in the same time that you take to read the  weather forecast and decide whether the day would be rainy, sunny or it will use its discretion to act funny. I am a late sleeper and a late riser. Usually my mum’s voice is the alarm clock ; but for a change that day it was my father asking her whether to go to Leeds or not. My half -awake self became fully conscious of a brewing travel plan and I woke up in a jiffy to join in the conversation. The very word ‘travel’ makes me enthusiastic and I was ready for a full day trip to Leeds. My half backpack (half cause I use the same bag for my travels and my college) is always semi-packed with travel essentials. All I had to do was get up , have breakfast, take a bath and wait for my parents to get ready. 

We booked a Megabus Travel Bus (https://uk.megabus.com/) for the to and fro trip. As Leeds is only an hour away from Manchester, there was no need to spend on trains. Also, megabus fares are really affordable with fares being as low as £3- £4 per person for a one way trip. Our bus was supposed to arrive at the Shudehill Bus Stop, Manchester City Centre (which is the standard bus station for Megabus Coaches) however it got delayed by half an hour due to an accident in the highway. Nevertheless, the coach arrived at 10 AM sharp and we departed for Leeds. It took us exactly one hour to reach the Leeds City Bus Station. 

This was my first sunny day trip via the highways and I left no stones unturned to take some decent photographs from the bus windows.

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On our way to Leeds on the highway
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The Countryside

After reaching Leeds we waited at the Bus Station to try to find out which buses take us to the Kirkstall Abbey which was our first destination. We figured out that the buses 33 and 757 takes us to our destination and hopped onto one. Unfortunately, we were not aware of the fact that the day had been chosen for the Leeds Marathon Run and thus there was increased traffic on the roads. Furthermore, some routes were diverted as well. As we waited for the bus to move, I took some photographs of the marathon runners. 

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Kudos to the Runners
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Musicians on the road lifting up the spirits of the runners

After waiting for almost an hour the bus left us at a point from where the Abbey was a mere walk of five minutes. The Abbey and the Abbey (House) Museum are on opposite sides of the same footpath and each is a must visit when in Leeds. We decided to go to the Museum first and see the Abbey later. Both sides of the road were bound by beautiful parks and lawns where people were enjoying a sunny day to its fullest. 

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Sunbathing in the Parks

KIRKSTALL ABBEY MUSEUM

The Museum which opened in July 1927, is an award-winning museum located just outside the Leeds city centre. It is a ‘fun and family friendly’ museum which is ‘the perfect place to entertain all ages’. 

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Kirkstall Abbey Museum

The highlight of this museum are the three recreated 19th century Victorian era Streets. These streets had reconstructed shops and pubs on both sides. In fact, more than me describing the place, the photographs should give you a feel of the place. 

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Overview of the reconstructed street
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A pub
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A house
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At the pipe makers
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Beautiful Pottery

The Childhood Galleries were probably my personal favourites. Toys ranging from 1850’s to 1976 were displayed here including a miniature Dalek (Doctor Who ) and a Jigglypuff (Pokemon).  

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The smiley man
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A sinister looking tree
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EXTERMINATE!!! I AM DALEK

Since it was almost 2pm, we decided to stop for a quick-lunch in the Museum shop. Trust me, it was the best food I had ever had outside. Amazing Chicken/Meat sandwiches with chocolate brownie cake. For more information on the Kirkstall Abbey Museum you can take a look at their website at leeds.gov.uk/kirkstallabbey . The Museum is closed on Mondays and open from Tues to Sun (Tues- Fri 10am – 5pm ; Sat- 12 pm – 5 pm). There is a nominal fee for entry to the museum. 

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Side View of the Museum with overlooking the outdoor seating arrangements of the museum cafe

KIRKSTALL ABBEY RUINS

After having our lunch, we decided to take a quick stroll around the Abbey ruins. The Kirkstall Abbey Ruins is one of the very few well-preserved Cistercian architectural marvels in modern times. Though today, it is nearly in ruins, but you can still get a feel of the place. In fact, it is very difficult to not get intimidated by the long walls of the church. 

The Abbey is closed on Mondays and open from Tues to Sunday 10 AM to 4/4:30 PM . Entry is free of cost. There are lovely Abbey markets which are held on weekends every month. Since I went on a day which did not host the markets, I missed it . But I would recommend you to plan a trip keeping in mind the markets if possible and to enjoy them as well. Full details and dates for the markets are available at the website: leeds.gov.uk/kirkstallabbeymarket .

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Ruins of the Abbey in the Park
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A Full View of the Abbey
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The High walls of the Abbey
Gate to enter the Abbey (which was locked )
Gate to enter the Abbey (which was locked )

After having a quick scan of the Abbey grounds we took another bus to the Leeds City Bus Station. Our next destination was the Leeds Royal Armoury Museum which was at a walking distance from the station. As we were making our way to the Museum, I spotted this unusual sight of graves lying open in a park. This was something which I had never seen before and thus thought of capturing it through my lens. 

Graves in a park
Graves in a park

LEEDS ROYAL ARMOURY MUSEUM

“The Royal Armouries was established in its present form by the National Heritage Act (1983) and is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.” It includes the sights of the Tower of London, The Leeds Royal Armouries Museum and The Fort Nelson near Portsmouth. The Museum in Leeds was the first of its kind armouries museum that I had visited.From battle formations, history of battles fought all over the world and Britain, weapons used, technologies used to lives of soldiers during the war; everything was depicted beautifully through its more than 75,000 exhibits.

A Scene depicting a battle in progress.
A Scene depicting a battle in progress.
Live demonstration of using a bow and arrow
Live demonstration of using a bow and arrow
A titled mosaic . . . .Can you spot Titanic??
A titled mosaic . . . .Can you spot Titanic??
A fight in progress
A fight in progress

Entry to the museum if free of cost. In fact , apart from Tower of London, the other two museums have given free access to its visitors. For more information you can check out their official website at: https://www.royalarmouries.org . It is open Mon-Sun from 10 am to 5 pm. 

BIDDING ADIEU

We took another walk from the Museum to the station and waited for sometime for our coach to come. A one hour journey by coach, this time during dusk , brought us back to Manchester. I would not say I have seen a lot of things in Leeds but I would have to appreciate that making a plan in a jiffy and then visiting three sights on the same day is quite remarkable. However, I plan to be back with friends/ parents/alone and complete the rest of my sightseeing in Leeds. 

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Bidding Adieu to Leeds

 

 

 

 

 

105 Replies to “Leeds: A One Day Tour”

  1. I love the idea of just waking up one morning and saying, “Want to go on an adventure today?” Your day trip looks amazing, especially considering that it did not cost hundreds of Euros! I especially loved the photos of the Abbey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, right now Im a student and funded by my parents. So I try to make these day trips as cheap as possible without spending too much . But the day I can afford, I would definitely like to make a two nights halt at least and visit everything on the list in Leeds.

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  2. Leeds seem just so interesting and I’ve always been into the countryside and all the Museums. I do think you’re starting to know a place when you know the region and the city a bit better as soon as you’re starting to know its history and why it was built there, according to the Historic buildings and also the Abbey involvement!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a quaint city…I absolutly adore the cathedral pictures, they just have the most amazing ones in England 😀 at least in my opinion^^ and your Day Plan is great..nicely planned out…plenty to keep one busy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunny days are so rare in the UK that every time I woke up with the sun I used to go somewhere too. Despite that, I’ve never been to Leeds, I had a friend from there and he always told me that there was not much to see. He may have been right about quantity but not quality! The ruins of the abbey were my favourites in your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You. you know i had just heard this from someone its a quote and it summarizes to the basic meaning that unless you go and explore a place for yourself you would never know how wrong were people in describing it. I have heard about a lot of places not supposed to be great but I still go because i think exploring is subjective and I may like something that others dont.

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  5. Sounds like a great day trip! And so affordable as well with the bus as an option. You were certainly able to pack a lot into one day having visited 3 sites. The Abbey ruins look lovely and I definitely want to see it for myself some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe ! Yes while megabus is quite cheap, the disadvantage is that soemtimes you dont have early morning buses to some of the notable places in UK. also, from Manchester there are certain key places that Megabus does not ply to like Cambridge.

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  6. That was a really nice day trip for the family. Like many have said the Abbey Museum with the complete storefronts and more was really nice. I have never seen one set up that way. My favorite stop would have been the Abbey. For photographs, it would have given me the best results. All in all a good family outing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I prefer buses anyday. Its cheap , fast, takes around the same time to reach a place as compared to train (+ 1 hour here and there at times ) . Also, because being a student that is the cheapest facility available and we travel on budget holidays. 🙂

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    1. Yes. I never thought that such a museum could even be conceptualised and the so many exhibits displayed; but if there can be dolls museum, story museum, hat museum then why not this kind of a museum.

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  7. What gorgeous photos! Looks like you’ve had an amazing day in Leeds. I am a sucker for ruins, so the Kirkstall Abbey Ruins would have probably been at the top of my lists. Hope to get to Leeds in the future and see it for myself, along with the surrounding countryside.

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  8. Leeds must have been a very different experience from the hustle of London city due to its laid back atmosphere. The facade and high walls of abbey looks amazing sad that some part of it is in ruins today. Would love to visit one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well the history of Leeds is manifold. (1) during the Industrial Revolution, Leeds developed into a major mill town (2) Leeds is served by four universities (3) Leeds has the third busiest railway station and sixteenth busiest airport (4) Leeds Football team is also very rich and famous.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I had no idea there was so much to do in Leeds! I would love to visit the Abbey Museum. I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes nerd so I’d love seeing the Victorian recreations. –Stella

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How fun 🙂 I love spontaneous day trips too so totally know the feeling of excitement! The museum looks awesome, and the ruins too! I’ve heard a lot about Leeds but this is my first experience seeing pics 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Before I read your post I knew nothing about Leeds. I would like to visit the Abbey ruins, they looks impressive. I have visited some ruins like that before, in Glastonbury, they were not as beautiful. It’s great that you had good weather and the lunch outside seems like the best option on a sunny day.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I visited Leeds years ago but I missed these museums. The grounds of the Abbey looks so wonderful. I would love to go back and explore these places next time we are in Leeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The trip must have given you an opportunity to view the famed English countryside and the museums are really very interesting. My special pick of the lot is the Armourymuseum, I really found it fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The battle scenes are always interesting! Also, for some reason I forget about Megabus when travelling in the UK. Thanks for the tip, I will try using Megabus when I return next month. It is so much cheaper than the train! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I want to move to the English countryside! It’s so peaceful and green! I adore these little stone houses. I’ve seen only photos, but I think I belong there 🙂 I also loved the Kirkstall Abbey Museum! Thanks for the tour!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. AMAZING post !!! Really enjoyed that , have shared this with my British community ( well , not only but mainly brits) on FB. Very neat post , and your blog is amazing . Like your template and all very much , nothing to complain here.( joking )

    Liked by 1 person

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