From coffee to culture: Top to-dos on your walk or wheel to campus

University of Leeds
3 min readOct 10, 2023

Are you loving the mood-boost from travelling to campus in the fresh air? Fancy getting even more out of your walk or wheel to class? Whether you’re travelling from near or far, check out this handy guide for all the hidden gems en-route to Woodhouse Lane.

Cycling from Headingley?

Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Headingley high street are some great independent coffee shops. If you fancy a caffeine fix before your lectures, pop into Fika North for expertly blended espresso or Bowery for bakes and cakes as well as a range of exhibitions by local artists.

A coffee being made. Someone is pouring milk into the cup to create latte art on top of the foam.

Walking from Meanwood?

Try the Meanwood Valley Trail, a stretch of forest that runs through the heart of leafy Meanwood, emerging at Woodhouse Moor. This alternative route is a great way to connect with nature and to discover Meanwood Valley Nature Reserve.

Want a sneak peek? Check out Get Out Get Active’s adventure through Meanwood.

A trail through a forest of tall, green trees whilst the sun shines through the leaves, dappling the light

Got the train this morning?

If you’re coming from Leeds city station, chances are you’ll need a refuel! Nip into Laynes Espresso to start your day right with a coffee and their famous Marmite and Cheese knot.

Whilst you’re in the city centre, explore some culture! Check out Leeds Central Library. This beautiful Grade-II listed building is home to gorgeous architecture, a mountain of books, and a gallery full of exhibitions. Once you’ve had an explore, grab a drink and a snack at the famous Tiled Hall Café.

Three people sit on the wall outside the entrance to Leeds Central Library and Gallery, a large pale stone building with rounded Victorian windows and a sculpture to its right.

Coming from Kirkstall?

Take some time to explore Kirkstall Abbey on your way to campus. With miles of land around the derelict ruins, these acres of greenery are a great quiet nature space before bracing the red route rush.

If you need a pit stop, give Archive Coffee a go. With everything breakfast and brunch related, this coffee and exhibition space is the perfect way to start your day.

A handful of people sit on the grass outside the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey in the sun

Traipsing the Hyde Park hill?

If you’re coming from Hyde Park, give Coffee On The Crescent a try for the biggest cinnamon swirls you’ve ever seen; the perfect treat for a library day! If you fancy somewhere different, see what’s going on at Left Bank. This re-purposed church houses everything from a café to exhibitions, workshops, community groups and art markets. There’s always something going on!

A big, icing-laden Cinnamon Swirl is displayed on a white ceramic plate.

Arrived on campus a little early?

Get involved in all the activities available right on campus. If you fancy journeying from Leeds to Venice and Jerusalem, visit The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery or if you’re curious about Yorkshire’s own literary family, the Brontës, visit The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Both found in Parkinson building, these galleries always have workshops and exhibitions going on!

If you’re by the business school, have a look around the M&S Archive, a free museum of the Marks & Spencer story with classic products and clothes from the iconic Leeds department store’s almost 140-year history.

A blonde woman stands smiling into the distance outside the entrance of the M&S archive which has the name Marks & Spencer displayed in gold on its glass doors.

For more top tips, advice, and ways to get involved in travelling sustainably to campus, have a look at the Sustainable Commute to Campus page.

If you’re still looking for inspiration for how to pass the time on your commute to campus, check out Meg’s handy blog.

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