As Yorkshire’s biggest city, home to 5 universities and approximately 60,000 students, its easy to see why young adults flock to the city of Leeds.
It’s known for its diverse nightlife and picturesque canals, but most importantly, Leeds is home to our three amazing iQ properties: iQ Altus House, iQ Marsden House and May’s Site Spotlight of the month: iQ Leeds.
Moving to Leeds in September? Well, what better time to hear from Emily, our CSA at iQ Leeds, who is here to give her local recommendations and tips for events that are worth popping in your social calendar.
From the streets to the stage, there’s something in Leeds to suit every type of student. And if you are thinking of checking-in early to Leeds this summer, you’ll be surprised with how much there is to do before semester starts! Did you know that Leeds is the only city outside London to host both an Opera house and ballet company? West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Grand Theatre and Northern Ballet Company are all easily reachable from iQ Leeds and ideal if you’re looking for an alternative Friday evening out.
For a look at Leeds history, The Leeds Royal Armouries has a huge display of historical armour from throughout the ages. Studying medicine? Then the Thackray Medical Museum may be of interest, this has a collection of 20,000 medical artifacts that displays the development of medicine.
A favourite go-to spot for iQ Leeds residents is actually Hyde Picture House, the world’s only gas-lit cinema. Voted as the ‘cosiest cinema in Leeds’, you can get there in less than a 20-minute walk from our site and ideal for a date night.
If you’re living in Leeds, there will always be something going on, whether it’s a visit from physicist Brian Cox speaking at the First Direct Arena ( you can buy these for the 22nd October here) or our annual iconic carnival events.
Let’s start with Leeds Pride, one of our favourite occasions. Leeds Pride over the last 15 years has become one of Yorkshire’s leading events for the LGBTQ+ community, attracting over 50,000 people each year. As the Pride march weaves throughout the city centre of Leeds, expect endless free entertainment, fantastic floats, and a guaranteed good time, all whilst showing support for the LGBTQ+ community. (Although sadly not running this year, hopefully it will return in 2022!).
Leeds is also home to The New Penny, which is actually one of the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ venues. We thoroughly recommend giving it a visit. It’s only a 20-minute journey door-to-door from iQ Leeds.
A mixture of big brand names and local independent shops makes Leeds a shopping destination for most of the North; you won’t struggle finding your perfect Fresher’s week outfit here!
Forgot Starbucks, start your day with a caffeine kick from Laynes Espresso in Leeds City Centre. They are an independently owned coffee shop that makes their own coffee (and are our all times favourite). From there, hit The Corn Exchange, home to a host of independent shop keepers, cooks, and creatives, whilst The Arcades all tell their own historic story through their name: The Queens Arcade, Thornton’s Arcade, Grand Arcade and the magnificent Victoria Quarter).
Fancy seeing more of our Leeds shopping districts? Head to our iQ Leeds Instagram Stories highlight!
Last but not least, for all lovers of the outdoors, Leeds has an abundance of green spaces that are perfect if you are needing a fix of nature or simply searching for a serene spot to knuckle down and revise.
A favourite space of our residents has to be the banks of Sheepscar Beck, a stream which flows from the River Aire and is situated just behind iQ Leeds. Head here for a lunchtime walk or to pick wild garlic, which grows by the riverbanks.
The nearest park is Hyde Park, five-minute on foot from iQ Leeds and the place to be for students having BBQs and enjoying al fresco lecture breaks. We also love The Meanwood Valley Trail: a 7 mile linear walk that allows you to explore the Meanwood Nature reserve.
Whatever your hobby or interest, the city of Leeds and it’s cultural community will be ready to embrace you! Want to see more of our iQ Leeds site? Check out Emily’s tour of the nearby areas, on-site rooms and social areas on our Instagram: @iQstudents. You can also contact the site team at [email protected] for booking queries and to arrange viewings. For more details on prices and contracts, head to the iQ Leeds booking page.
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