The first in my new blog series, “5 Things to do With Kids in…” is written by the lovely Jo from “A Rose Tinted World,” with inspiration for things to do with kids in Leeds. Over to you, Jo…
There is such a lot to do in Leeds that it is quite hard to pin it down to a select few. Whatever your budget and whatever the weather it is easy to find somewhere to visit in this vibrant city. But here are my favourite 5 things to do with kids in Leeds.
Discover Over 800 Years Of History In Kirkstall
On one of the main roads west out of the city is Kirkstall Abbey. The ruins of a 12th century Cistercian monastery are an imposing sight and make a great place to visit for the day. The Abbey is set in huge grounds by the canal and the River Aire, so it is a lovely place to visit on a sunny day for a picnic. Take a bike or a scooter to glide around the many pathways. And explore the extensive grounds and ruins, which are free to enter.
Not having good weather? The Abbey has a small visitor centre. But across the main road lies the Abbey House Museum. There is a charge for this museum, but it is well worth a visit. It’s a very child friendly museum. It predominantly showcases the life and times of the Victorian era in Leeds, complete with a reconstructed Victorian street. But it also has a large collection of toys from days past, and lots of other interesting exhibitions.
Get Up Close And Personal With An Armoured Elephant At The Leeds Royal Armouries Museum
Also on the banks of the Aire, but this time closer to the heart of the city centre, the Leeds Royal Armouries is a purpose built museum. Opened in 1983, it was built to display many thousands of pieces of armour that could not be displayed at the Tower Of London due to lack of room.
It has several galleries of weapons throughout the ages, from the medieaval to modern warfare. But some of its most famous displays include the aforementioned elephant, an impressive “hall of steel” and a horned helmet fashioned as a gift for Henry VIII.
Again, the Armouries are free to enter, though there may be a charge for various exhibits. And the car park nearby is also quite expensive, which reflects generally the cost of parking in Leeds city centre.
Meet A Genuine Egyptian Mummy – And The Leeds Tiger
Right in the centre of Leeds, amongst the shops and bars, lie some of the oldest exhibits in Leeds. The Leeds City Museum is yet another attraction in Leeds offering free entry. It has several galleries, but on the top floor is a genuine mummy which is 3000 years old.
The other main attraction in the museum is the Leeds Tiger. This poor creature has a chequered past. Shot during the Victorian era, it was first used as a rug, before stuffing for display. Over its many years it has suffered through not really being treated properly, but it has never fully been restored.
Other galleries in the museum show a timeline of Leeds, and there is a floor full of other natural history exhibits and taxidermy. It is a great place to visit.
Step Into A Subtropical Climate In Roundhay
To the northeast of the town centre, the suburb of Roundhay boasts one of the largest parks in Europe. Covering over than 700 acres, the park has many attractions, such as a large lake, extensive woodlands and several styles of ornamental gardens.
But even though the weather in Leeds is most likely to be cold and wet, Tropical World can be found just over the road from the main part of Roundhay Park. This is a wonderful attraction where many species of butterflies, insects, meerkats and fish are all under the one roof. Another section introduces you to the fully nocturnal world of bats and bush-babies. And in another part of the exhibit tropical birds nest and swoop around. It is the perfect antidote to a cold winters day.
Get Out Into The Yorkshire Dales Countryside
Finally, It may be a little bit of a cheat, but the Leeds postal area actually extends up to the north west of the city to include the towns of Otley and Ilkley. You don’t have to venture far from either of these to be heading into some of the most wonderful countryside in Northern England.
Around Otley there is a host of wonderful woodland walks up Otley Chevin. And Ilkley is famed for its rugged scenery, the most instantly recognisable being the Cow and Calf rocks. These are a steep walk from the city centre, though there is a car park quite nearby. Both places are perfect for older children to go hiking, walking and climbing whilst taking in the scenery and Yorkshire air.
Hopefully you can find something amongst these that suits your family and budget.
Words and images: Jo Boyne from “A Rose Tinted World” – Thanks Jo!
“A Rose Tinted World” is a parenting, sewing and lifestyle blog by Jo Boyne. After 22 years of being a dentist, Jo had her first child in her mid forties and decided to take a bit of a career break. She discovered a new love of sewing and decided to start a blog about all her experiences. You can find her over on her blog, “A Rose Tinted World” or on her social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Would you like to feature in my guest blog series? Just send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll be in touch!