Do you want to avoid spending the little bit of money you managed to finally save up? But at the same time, you’re itching to go out and enjoy what the great outdoors has for offer? It’s a big problem we all have on our hands. Lucky for you, you can do both. There are loads of free things to do in Leeds, which can not only keep you entertained but you won’t have to spend a single penny along the way.
1. Victorian Garden Chess
Location: The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA
If you have a small chess board game sitting on the kitchen table ready to be used for a quick game, then please, pick it up and put it at the back of the cupboard. Because Victorian Gardens in Leeds have two of the biggest chess boards waiting for you. The boards are nailed into the ground with giant pieces to move around. It’s way better than the small and boring chess board game we all have at home. It’s open every day until 4:30 and is a brilliant way to have a spontaneous game with your mates.
2. County Arcade
Location: Victoria Quater, 10 Queen Victoria St, Leeds, LS1 6BE
There’s nothing better than spending an afternoon exploring Leed’s historic Arcades. You can start at the old-school Queen’s Arcade where you can take in renowned architect Edward Clarke’s ornate detailing, then make your way to the Ivanhoe and Robin Hood clock at Thornton’s Arcade. Plus it’s the perfect excuse for a little bit of window shopping.
3. Little Free Library
Dotted around the streets of Leeds are cute little black libraries. You simply borrow a book (no stamp or return date required), read it (obviously) and place it back when you’re done. It’s also an excuse for you and your bookworm friends to hunt to find the little libraries scattered around.
4. Meanwood Valley Local Nature Reserve
Location: Green Road, Meanwood, LS6 4LE
Another extraordinary (and free) thing to do in Leeds is going on an adventure through Meanwood Valley Nature Reserve. The reserve includes woodlands, breath-taking meadows and aesthetically pleasing streams. The valley is centred on two watercourses including Meanwood Beck. The becks are home to a selection of fish including bullheads and stone loaches.
5. RSPB St. Aidans
Location: RSPB St. Aidan’s Nature Park, Astley Ln, Leeds, LS26 8AL
Everyone should pay a visit to RSPC St. Aidan’s Nature Park, especially animal lovers. It has a variety of different animal species such as Short-eared Owls and the rare Black-headed Gull. Its also open for a wide range of other activities such as horse-riding, dog-walking and cycling. And did I mention its free?
6. The Tetley
Location: Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ
Located in the former Tetley Brewery, The Tetley is a pioneering centre which is home to exquisite pieces of art. Throughout the year, the Tetley holds amazing exhibitions and events such as family art projects which you and your loved ones can join in on.
7. Roundhay Lawn Tennis
Location: 31, 35 Shaftesbury, Ave, Roundhay, Leeds, LS8 1DR
If you’re an aspiring tennis player and you are looking for a place to play or learn to play tennis than look no further. The Roundhay Lawn Tennis Club is a free tennis court which allows you to book individual courts, only to be used by you and your friends. It’s the best way to have a bit of friendly competition without losing any money.
8. Marks in Time
Location: Michael Mark’s Building, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9LP
Fun (and pretty random) fact about Mark’s in Time is that it first opened as a penny bazaar in 1884 with the slogan of “Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny”. Today, the interactive museum shares the story of the M&S journey with historical clothes and accessories on display. It is one of the best things to do and is completely free.
9. Sahaja Yoga Meditation
Location: Radisson Blue Hotel (Top Floor), No.1, The Light, Leeds, LS1 8TL
We’ve all had stress on our shoulders, especially from everything going on. There is no better way to relieve this stress and tension than a yoga session. You may even need it to simply relax. Sahaja Yoga Meditation explores the experience of self-realisation and the depth of meditation that you and your friends can enjoy. It’s simply natural, spontaneous and effortless. Most importantly, these sessions are free!
10. Royal Armouries Museum
Location: Armouries Dr, Leeds LS10 1LT
And last but not least, another fantastic thing to do is visit the Royal Armouries Museum. The museum is home to over 75,000 arms and armour as well as different treasures from around the globe. This is your chance to jump right into the Ottoman Empire through to the Wild Wild West. If your lucky, you may even get the chance to witness live combat demonstrations where you can see the armour being used in live-action. And did I mention, visiting the museum is completely free!