Those who like getting off the beaten track and discovering a country differently will find plenty to do in Leeds, one of England’s most dynamic and underrated cities.
Between pubs, local eateries and CBD and cannabis shops offering the best CBD products, the best cannabis seeds selection of Sensoryseeds – the European legal marijuana seeds online company. The city of the famous Leeds United football club will surprise you in many ways.
Leeds, at a glance
Leeds is a relatively typical post-industrial city in the north of England, which is finding a new lease of life thanks to the service economy and finance. Victorian-style buildings stand alongside new blocks of flats, creating an architectural mix that can sometimes be unfortunate. It’s a charming city, and I loved visiting it in England.
My advice: Take the time to chat in the cafés and pubs with the locals, who will show you their city better than anyone else and give you all the tips you need for your visit.
How to discover Leeds?
You can discover the city from the outside by taking a Victorian route between the station and the market, stopping at Millennium Square, which often hosts attractions (a Christmas market and ice rink in December, concerts and exhibitions the rest of the year). The Leeds City Museum is also to be noticed. But the best thing to do is to wander around the city and go into the bars and cafés to meet the locals.
Even though I haven’t been to the other side of the world, I sometimes need clarification on the cultural difference between Europe and England, despite being so close geographically.
The first thing that impressed me was the English ability to see the positive in misfortune. In other words, the English don’t grumble like the French do, for example, and this can be troubling in the world of work when, for example, you notice the English ability to formulate a negative remark diplomatically. S
At first, I sometimes didn’t realize that the apparently positive feedback I was being given was constructive criticism in disguise.
Yorkshire people also have a reputation for being some of the friendliest in England: they’re naturally positive, kind and interested in other people, and that’s ultra-motivating, especially in the world of work.
Leeds has many charity shops selling second-hand clothes, furniture and other items at low prices for causes such as cancer or animal welfare. Many “carboot sales” are also organized on Sundays all over Yorkshire. This type of flea market is much more attractive than in France, and you regularly come across some excellent finds (there’s an authentic culture of reselling items here, with a certain level of high standards).
Neighbourhoods where it’s good to live
I live in Moortown, a tranquil residential area that I chose for its proximity to Roundhay Park, one of the most beautiful parks in England. But I’d particularly recommend Headingley for students (this area is like a second city centre in the city, with its bars, cultural venues, shops and park). If you’re more of a young professional or a family, I’d recommend Meanwood and Chapel Allerton. On the other hand, I would avoid Leeds city centre, which is quite noisy.
Regarding public transport, the bus network is efficient for getting to the city centre. But it becomes inadequate when connecting two outlying districts (you have to take several buses with a long wait between each one). This becomes frustrating at weekends when some buses run on reduced service or not at all after a specific time.
The supermarket offer is very similar to the French offer. So it’s easy to reproduce the food you’re used to at home. For those nostalgic for specific brands of French biscuits, supermarkets such as Waitrose or Coop will do the trick. For cheese, don’t panic either; a few shops in Leeds have products imported from France. But my advice is to look for various products you can’t find in France: I’ve discovered vegetables like parsnip, kale and rhubarb (grown in Yorkshire) that I couldn’t live without!
As in the rest of England, the range of Indian restaurants is vast. I’m particularly fond of a vegetarian Indian restaurant, Hansa’s, which specializes in the cuisine of Gujarat, a region in the west of India. Here, you can discover many flavours not found in the usual Indian restaurants.
But for an authentic meal in an English atmosphere, there’s nothing better than going to a pub. Leeds and Yorkshire are home to countless old pubs with traditional decor, excellent home-cooked food, and a pleasant atmosphere.
Image from: unsplash.com