10 Instagrammable spots in Leeds

University of Leeds
4 min readSep 17, 2021


Second year journalism student Katie Ahearn shares her tips for giving your feed an upgrade with some iconic spots around the city.

A student stands in front of a mural at Leeds’ Belgrave Music Hall.
The mural outside the Belgrave is the perfect spot for a quick Insta update.

Summer is over and the academic year is beginning. Gone are the days of your holiday Instagram feed, and suddenly oversaturating is not enough to give your photos the pop of colour that they need. All you can focus on is the cold nights ahead, the 5pm darkness, and the intense determination to maintain the feed of your dreams.

Luckily for you, Leeds is home to some of the funkiest places that’ll spice up your ‘gram in no time — with the added bonus of making all your friends back home super jealous.

A neon sign at Headrow House reads ‘I feel love’.
The neon signs at Headrow House make for a great photo opportunity.

1. Headrow House

If you had a The 1975 phase you’d probably love Headrow House for its neon-sign aesthetic. There are four floors for you to get the perfect shot — with their roof top area ‘Kennedy Meadows’ a heated, grassy haven that maintains those summer vibes way into winter.

2. Neighbourhood

Inspired by New York, it’s no wonder that Neighbourhood lures you in with bright lights characteristic of the Big Apple itself. Striped black and white flooring teamed with green accents and fairground style lighting makes for the perfect glitzy pic.

A plate of loaded fries at the Belgrave Music Hall.
Even the chips at Belgrave are Insta-worthy…

3. Belgrave

Are you really a Leeds student if you haven’t been to the Belgrave? Expect live DJs, gigs, and an impeccable roof terrace for you to dine on their huge pizzas and trays of loaded fries. Even if you’re just passing, you can satisfy your Insta needs with a quick photoshoot next to the graffiti outside.

A close up internal shot of Kirkstall Abbey.
You can get some really stunning shots at Kirkstall Abbey.

4. Kirkstall Abbey

A ruined monastery, Kirkstall Abbey combines its vast history with stunning views. It’s perfect for that Pinterest picnic, plus you can support local businesses by grabbing a treat at their weekend food market.

People sit outside the Waterlane Boathouse at night with fairylights reflected in the water.
Waterland Boathouse looks magical at night.

5. Waterlane Boathouse

Get the foodie pics of your dreams as you dine on pizza and burgers to funky tunes next to the River Aire. As the sun sets, the fairy lights reflect in the water, and, by dark, you’re in a gently lit haven which serves as the perfect background for some more eccentric shots.

A student on a night out poses in a tunnel lit by coloured lights.
The lighting in Leeds’ Dark Arches make for a great photoshoot spot.

6. The Dark Arches

Something more underground — literally. The tunnel beneath Leeds railway station — known to locals as the Dark Arches — is lit up with colourful lights by night, and if you’re on your way back from the Boathouse, it’s definitely worth a walk through for some quick outfit snaps.

Clarence Dock lit up at night, with boats on the water in the foreground.
Clarence Dock looks beautiful lit up at night.

7. Clarence Dock

If you don’t already live at Clarence Dock, when you eventually stumble upon the dock you’ll wish you did. The perfect place for a stroll, the dock is home to restaurants, cobbled pavement, and views you wouldn’t want to miss (a sunset stroll is a must). Grab a water taxi and enjoy the light reflecting off the water.

A set of stone stairs lead up through the forest on Otley Chevin.
Otley Chevin will add some much-needed greenery to your feed.

8. Otley Chevin

Hop on the X84 bus for a hiking spot with a view. Spot some sheep on your way up the road before you’re greeted by a lush woodland. Emerge to a view of the entirety of Leeds and chill with an ice cream as you look out from upon the rocks.

Two students on a night out pose for the camera on the top of a multi-storey building with brightly lit buildings in the background.
The top of the Arena car park offer some great views at night.

9. Top of the Woodhouse arena car park

Jump in the lift to the top of the car park for stunning views of the city lights. Best at night, grab a group of friends for edgy photos and to snap a sick pic of Leeds uni lit up in all its glory.

A girl poses holding a golf ball lit by neon lights at Junkyard Golf.
Neon and blacklights mean you’ll get some cool shots at Junkyard Golf.

10. Junkyard Golf

Junkyard is littered with photo opportunities. From the alcoholic slushies adorned with sweets upon arrival, to the neon aesthetic that prevails throughout, Junkyard has plenty of props for you to get that perfect shot.

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