Leeds City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

UKflag200Leeds is a city located in West Yorkshire, England and is the urban center of the City of Leeds metropolitan district. It is situated on the River Aire and stretches from Otley to Wetherby at the northern side, Pudsey in the west, Garforth and Micklefield in the east and the City of Wakefield in the south.

Recent population count of the metropolitan district was 747,939 with the urban area having 443,247 people making Leeds the fourth most populous in the country. The entire city is a combination of urban and suburban areas with distinctive surrounding villages and towns. Leeds has grown significantly in terms of economy and commerce in the past few years making it another hotspot among immigrants and foreign investors.

The expat community has been abuzz about the city of Leeds as seen in a post at the Britain Expat Forum last September 13, 2009:

I’ve been told belfast, cardiff, manchester, glasgow, leeds, liverpool are all nice.

Residential Places in Leeds

There are many notable neighborhoods and downtown residential places in the city. There are a number of cozy apartments at Queenswood Drive and Spen Lane. Residential buildings here are conveniently located near West Park as well as commercial establishments, restaurants and bars. West Park is located just north of Headingley, which includes suburban homes and council estates. Some houses are open for rent or sale at relatively expensive prices due to the very nice location. There are grassy areas, woodlands and playing grounds for the whole family to enjoy.

Little London is another council housing area between Sheepscar and the city center. Hostels, housing complexes and apartment buildings are found here wherein students usually live. Other popular places for students are Hyde Park and Headingley. Richmond Hill is a district in the east where more suburban communities are located. People may find old homes at reasonable rates. Cross Gates is another notable suburb in the east of Leeds with a wonderful backdrop of grassy meadows and the woods.

Other neighborhoods to see in the city include Lawnswood, Miles Hill, Oakwood, Holt Park, Harehills, Killingbeck and Kirstall. Some of these places have schools, parks and health institutions nearby. Prices of homes and apartments will differ depending on location and size. Places closest to the city centre tend to be more expensive. This was echoed in a post at the Britain Expat Forum last January 6, 2009:

I’d recommend cities like Sheffield, Bath, York, Harrogate, Leeds.

Hospitals and Universities in Leeds

Leeds General Infirmary or LGI is located in the city centre. It is a huge teaching hospital accredited by The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The hospital is one of the best in the UK in terms of brain surgery with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. St. James’s University Hospital is one of the best in the country and is also part of The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Other health institutions of note include Seacroft Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Cookridge Hospital and Wharfedale Hospital.

The University of Leeds is one of the top and biggest in the UK having a population of over 32,000 students. The University of Leeds is part of the Russell Group and is one of the six original civic universities. Leeds Trinity & All Saints is accredited with the University of Leeds. The college offers several degrees covering areas like education, business and media. Leeds Metropolitan University is another major education institution in the city. It has an extensive array of courses and degrees offered. One of the biggest educational institutions in the city is the Leeds City College, which formed from a merger of three smaller colleges and will soon be operational after all the matters have been threshed out.

Commercial Places in Leeds

There are several boutiques, shops and department stores all around Leeds. The Victoria Quarter on Queen Victoria Street near Birggate is one of the biggest shopping streets in the city. The area consists of several arcades and shops called the “the Knightsbridge of the North”. There are other shopping hubs in the district as well like Leeds Shopping Plaza, Headrow Shopping Centre, Corn Exchange and The Merrion Centre Leeds.

Shoppers will also enjoy Birstall Retail Park, the White Rose Centre, Granary Wharf and Leeds Kirkgate Market. These places have many notable shops including designer labels and big names like Louis Vuitton, French Connection and Vivienne Westwood. These areas also sell a lot of local produce such as fruits, meats and vegetables. More shopping places are being planned in the near future such as the Eastgate Quarters and Trinity Quarter. The retail base of the city has grown so much earning it the name Knightsbridge of the North.

Many restaurants also fill most of the commercial districts in the city centre. Sante FE Cattle Co. offers great steaks and a fine wine selection. Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant and El Cazador Mexican Grill will satisfy the tastebuds of those who love spicy food and exotic cuisine. East meets west at Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant.  There are also a number of on-the-go restaurants like Chick-Fil-A and Subway, which features some of the best sandwiches in town. For dessert lovers, Dairy Kreme and Leeds Café & Creamery are must-visit places featuring delicious coffee blends and ice cream.

Service Establishments in Leeds

Water supply and sanitation in the city is well provided all throughout. Several private agencies and companies also offer water purification and softening. As for power supply, PowerGen supplies all gas and electricity in the city. Energy Plus is another gas and power supplier based in Leeds providing for Bradford A number of companies like Energis on Melbourne Street, CCS (Leeds) Ltd at 31 Birchfields Avenue and Torsion at Crown House, 94 Armley Road also extend support and aid.

Other coal and solid fuels providers include Keighley Diesels Ltd and Silsden Fuels. There are plenty of Internet service providers in the area mostly consisting of private companies. Transportation in the city has developed very much. Health institutions are rampant with modern facilities and excellent staff. The police force is also associated with major international agencies and government groups.

Embassies in Leeds

Leeds has formed partnerships with several communities in the EU to provide more opportunities for cultural exchange, business relationships and foreign investment. Together with the UK embassy, areas of focus for growth and development include communication, education and trade. British consuls all over the globe are also actively encouraging foreigners to start creating businesses and transactions in Leeds.

The Benefits Agency is located on Otley Road and contacted at 0113 230 9000 (Telephone). Customs and Excise can be reached at 0113 389 4200 (Telephone). The Department of Trade & Industry is located at P.O. Box 213 City House 10th Floor and can be reached at 0113 244 3171. Leeds Health Authority is on St. Mary’s Road and can be contacted at 01532 781341 (Telephone).

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