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With almost 60,000 students in this bustling northern town, Leeds is a city that attracts students from across the globe. With a deep cultural history, textiles lineage, and being famed for one of UK’s most progressive digital cities, you’ll find traditional pubs nestling beside contemporary fusion restaurants, and the glorious Yorkshire dales are a short bus ride away.
Our Leeds student accommodation, The Foundry, is in an ideal location to absorb the energy of the city; an easy walk into Leeds University, Leeds Beckett and the renowned high street. There’s no shortage of reasons why students love Leeds; the friendly locals, great shopping scene and vast choice of universities guarantee you a cosmopolitan and rewarding student experience.
- Close to Uni
- High speed WiFi
- Social spaces and 24 hour security
- All-inclusive package and spacious rooms
- A student experience like no other
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Find Your New Home in Leeds
From £150 P/W
Nestled in the heart of Leeds, The Foundry offers contemporary and hassle-free living within easy reach of universities and the city centre. Choose from a range of en-suite rooms and studio apartments, and enjoy the complimentary on-site gym, cinema room, social spaces, study rooms, 24 hour customer service, supportive wellbeing teams and high speed WiFi.
What to do
Top eats in Leeds
Leeds is a city dubbed as a ‘foody haven’ and feeding thousands of hungry students is at the heart of the Leeds restaurant scene. With a vast independent food scene, this town’s reputation for cuisine innovation extends to a great choice of food options for any hipster wanting to explore more than the standard high street fair. Artisan coffee shops, underground tapas joints and pioneering fusion Vietnamese restaurants, these little jewels are can be found all across the city.
Stage Expresso & Brewbar, on Great George Street, is a hidden-away café is a marriage made in heaven for any student seeking out a flat white and freshly-baked pastry, while La Taberna is family-run tapas restaurant that will become an absolute favourite during your student years.
If you’re after something a little more upmarket (especially when your parents visit) The Man Behind the Curtain holds a Michelin star and serves up a host of small and internationally inspired dishes to be eaten across several hours. To bring you back to a more student-friendly budget, we’d recommend grabbing a pub lunch at Whitelock’s Ale House, or tucking into Nash’s famous fish and chips.
Choice of eatery is in no short supply in Leeds, and the growing independent scene is a firm favourite for all the city’s students. Our Leeds student accommodation The Foundry is just 10 minutes’ stroll from the city centre, where you’ll find Kirkgate Market’s breath-taking choice of street food and an array of big name high street options.
The OxClub, boasts a selection of British classics - firm favourites with locals and students alike – and Matt Healy x The Foundry is a great date night choice and a go-to experience when you’re after a meal that’s little bit more special.
Burger bars are hugely popular in Leeds and as a student you’ll no doubt be keen to sample a few of the best burger joints in town. Patty Smith’s, not far from The Foundry, boasts some of the mouth-watering burgers in the city, whilst Almost Famous is a bonkers, but incredibly fun, night out; perfect for when you want to chill out and grab some insane grub with a group of friends.
Headline events in Leeds
You’ll know before you check-in for your first Leeds Freshers Week, that this city is famed for it’s iconic festivals. Music is big in Leeds, we mean really big, and as a student you’ll be pulled into so many different musical directions with each of your new friends wanting to try a different venues and clubs, but after a bit of time, you’ll find your own favourite haunts and be bowled over by this northern powerhouse’s music scene.
Whether led by small community groups, or taking the form of a huge international event, the city’s dedication to culture and accessibility is something you’ll fall in love with whilst living here. Leeds Waterfront Festival is connected by 4 miles of the city’s waterways and The Leeds Light Night Festival is a breath-taking spectacle of dancing lights and parades that residents turn out for in force.
Leeds Festival is the climax of Leeds’ annual events calendar and is beloved by music fans for across the UK and beyond. Taking place in August every year, it plays partner to the Reading festival and attracts some of the biggest names in music. Thousands of artists have performed at the festival including no short supply of local bands and headliners alike, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Muse and Eminem just to name a few!
Music maestros from across the globe don’t just come for the Leeds Festival once a year, the First Direct Arena and O2 Academy pull in big names and huge crowds for an unparalleled concert experience. And the Summer Concert Series in Millennium Square draws visitors from across the country every summer, come rain or shine.
The booming independent scene competes fiercely with the popularity of the big concert halls; they offer very friendly discounts to Leeds students to keep this buzzing scene going throughout the year. Gigs at the Brudenell Social Club or The Wardrobe are an absolute must for any student in town.
But Leeds’ cultural scene doesn’t end at music; the recently refurbished Leeds Art Gallery and the more contemporary Tetley Art Gallery, are equal beacons for art enthusiasts and anyone seeking an afternoon of escapism or inspiration. The amazing collections of twentieth century works and contemporary art will have you hooked, and provide a great alternative to usual student venues. Plus, it’s just a short journey out of the city to reach the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a perfect way to spend a day in Spring looking at magnificent works outdoors, with a great café and gift shop to match.
Going out out in Leeds
What’s the best night out you can remember? A night out in Leeds may well surpass that. A city know for it’s emerging independent music scene, scores of bars, bottomless brunches, mouth-watering restaurants and festivals, the possibilities are almost endless.
As a student in Leeds you’ll never be stuck for somewhere welcoming you to hang your hat; a quick half and a slider in Assembly Underground, followed by a round or two in Whitelock’s Ale House will stand you in great stead for the night ahead.
Immersing yourself in Leeds’s LGBT+ community is your guarantee for a great party night and will have you making shapes on the dance floor until the early hours.
Are you a lover of cocktails? Thewlis Gin & Cocktails is an absolute must; we hear the espresso martinis, mojitos and gin mules are knock-outs, plus the wide selection of mocktails will keep everyone happy, no alcohol needed.
Looking for somewhere a bit special, maybe with a date night in mind? Leeds’ Call Lane is home to an amalgamation of rooftop bars and restaurants that offer stunning views, alongside a delectable selection of food and drinks. For a little sophistication try Angelica, The Adelphi and Roland’s, you’ll fall in love with the relaxed atmosphere and adventurous choice of beverages on offer.
The nightlife in Leeds, albeit an immense selection of, bars and pubs, offers places to make your own in small gathers or large crowds. Huge artists from across the world take to the stage at the First Direct Arena, and the Brudenell Social Club is a much-loved grassroots venue that students flock to. Plus Leeds Playhouse, sees some of the best UK theatre pass through it doors, and is a huge supporter of nurturing home-grown talent.
For those lazy evenings that turned into epic nights out, take a stroll down Call Lane, Merrion Street or Greek Street, which offer no shortage of music, moods and venues to cover all tastes.
After a dose of funk and New York-inspired jazz? Upstairs at Smokestack promises an otherworldly experience, and one that you’ll be telling your friends about for weeks to come.
Leeds offers an almost dizzying amount of entertainment and caters for students whatever their mood. Comedy is big business in this town, and is often in the line-up at the Town Hall, City Varieties, First Direct Arena and the HiFi Club. Keep an eye out for student deals and with a bit of luck, you could bag yourself a memorable night out with entertainment and drinks thrown in for under twenty quid.
After a bit of action, romance or drama? The beautiful Hyde Park Picture House and independent Cottage Road Cinema will quickly become firm favourites. Plus, the uber cool Hyde Park Book Club supports artists from around the county in a quirky disused petrol station, transformed into a buzzy artistic hub.
Where to shop in Leeds
Outside of London, you’d be hard pushed to find many shopping experiences superior than a day out in Leeds. Stacked with variety, and easy on the student purse, the city is famed for its devotion to independent boutiques, high fashion labels and high street staples. Just 10 minutes from our Leeds student accommodation, The Foundry, the city centre is abuzz with shopping centres and arcades, so you’re guaranteed to bag yourself a bargain or find that perfect outfit for your next big night out.
Let’s start big, and in Leeds there’s no bigger retail centre than Trinity Leeds; a monumental shopping wonderland entombed in a spectacular glass dome and spread across three floors. Opened in 2013, with 120 shops, bars and restaurants on offer, seven days a week, here you’ll find all the high street names you could want, and for many, the Trinity is one-stop shop which you could devote hours to, or even days!
If you’re looking for a more refined experience of high-end brands and top fashion, head to the Victoria Leeds, which sees the Victoria Quarter and the stylish Victoria Gate combine to form a shopping mecca which boasts the likes of Harvey Nicholls, the largest John Lewis outside of London, and over 85 stunning boutiques.
Shopping in Leeds isn’t just a great experience, many of the shops are housed in beautiful arcades, adding an authentic and special quality to any shopping trip. Queens Arcade, Thornton’s Arcade, Grand Arcade and the stunning Victoria Quarter are all steeped in history, and play host to a wide selection of designer brands, including Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood. Not every shop fits into a student budget, but most cater for students with instore discounts and offer dedicated student shopping days, so keep your eye out for a bargain.
Central Arcade is a particular student favourite, with its choice of vintage stores and independent brands, while Thornton Arcade is acclaimed for alternatives, offering including music and comic book shops. As well as clothes, the arcades are great destinations for craft and gift stores, which will come in especially handy for many students when Mother’s Day creeps up on you.
Grade I listed Kirkgate Market, where Michael Marks, of Marks and Spencer, famously first descended from, is a journey of textiles and loose leaf tea, with smatterings of international street food and hundreds of other independent stall holders.
The Corn Exchange is a hotpot of innovation and creativity, and a perfect place to channel artistic energy to escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world for an hour.
If you find yourself in town shopping, stopping for an energising bite and a beer is an absolute must. The Trinity Kitchen is a completely unique concept, that sees six new street food vans rotate every eight weeks, so visitors are treated to a smorgasbord of cuisines from across the world. Loved by locals and students alike, the variety and novelty are an utter delight, and perfectly situated in the Trinity Leeds amongst a vast selection of shops, so taking the weight off your feet has never been easier.
Sport & leisure in Leeds
If you have a love of sport, or committed to a healthier lifestyle, Leeds is a fantastic place to start your health journey. From Headingley, hosting the very first Rugby League Challenge Cup final in 1897, to Leeds United Football Club and universities’ dedication to the growth of sport and recreation, students in Leeds have a fantastic history of hard-work and success to draw upon.
Leeds United are a staple in the English Championship League since 1999, but have seen many successes, and a few losses, over the years since their inception in 1919. Lovingly known as The Peacocks to their fans, the team draw in huge crowds to their Elland Road stadium, and inspire great devotion from thousands of locals.
If rugby is more your sport, the famous Headingley Stadium plays host to both Rugby League and Rugby Union; the Leeds Rhinos are one of the most successful rugby league clubs in the UK (with the men’s team winning 11 championships, and 3 World Club Challenge cups).
City universities share similar passions for sports, and both Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds invest huge resource into improving the sporting facilities they offer and supporting their students to achieve more. Team Beckett head up a huge offering of sports and lifestyle activities, as well as supporting and subsidizing a junior sports academy.
The University of Leeds is home to the Gryphons; a community of sporting students that make up over 60 sports clubs. Becoming a gryphon unlocks a host of opportunities to develop performance, leadership skills and become part of an active, and social society.
Sport in Leeds is not just limited to being part of a club or society, the city has a wealth of open spaces perfect to indulge in running, cycling or a friendly game of cricket with friends. Roundhap Park is the jewel in the city’s crown, and one of the biggest and most popular city parks in Europe. The vast lake, walking trails and wildlife make it a relaxing and re-energising day out, not to mention the food festivals, market and annual fireworks displays, which add a bit of vitality to such a multi-use space.
And not to forget the breath-taking Yorkshire Dales, just a short bus ride from our Leeds student accommodation. Stretch your legs outside of the busy city, explore the amazing scenery and stop off at one of the many welcoming local pubs dotted along the way.
Top universities in Leeds
There are three big universities in Leeds, all within easy walking and commuting distance of our student accommodation The Foundry. Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds are an easy 10 minute stroll from The Foundry; Leeds Trinity University is located a few miles outside of Leeds city centre but there are great transport links to the campus are on The Foundry’s doorstep.
With almost 60,000 students descending on this vibrant northern city every year, Leeds attracts students from around the world with its rich cultural history, depth of job opportunities for students after their degree is in the bag, and its buzzing social scene.
Leeds Beckett University has an almost 200 year history which began with the Leeds Mechanics Institute in 1824. This well-regarded institution has grown immensely since that time, and now welcomes 28,000 students to campus every year from almost 100 countries. Situated in the city centre, known for being the biggest financial district outside of London, Leeds Beckett prides itself on its innovation, enterprise, global reach and impression on the local community. Choosing Leeds Beckett is choosing an amazing student experience that goes far beyond lectures and last-minute deadlines; you’ll become part of a student community rich in opportunity, choice and joined by thousands of your peers, some of whom will no doubt become friends for life.
A member of the acclaimed Russell Group of universities, The University of Leeds was named University of Year 2017 by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. This hard-fought reputation for excellence in higher education is mirrored by an amazing on-campus student experience that is recognised and appreciated across the UK.
The students union has over 300 clubs and societies on offer, so students are spoilt for choice when it comes to expanding their extracurricular activities. As a student at the University of Leed’s, you’ll have access to their state of the art fitness complex The Edge; it’s an emporium of sporting facilities that will have you spoilt for choice – the 25 metre swimming pool, multiple sports courts, huge climbing wall and high-spec gym, helping you burn off some steam and keep your body active after long essay-writing stints in the library.
Leeds is a city that offers students the best start to their adult life. Yes the nightlife is amazing, but the student experience has grown well beyond a rowdy freshers week and a few bar crawls; the opportunities that Leeds universities provide, whether academic or social, makes this city a top contender for thousands of students across the world.
Blogs & Guides
We’re covering everything you need to know for a stress-free student life. From recipe and interior inspiration to the latest attractions to hit Leeds, get the best tips and insights for your wellbeing, money management and personal development from our carefully curated blogs.
The Foundry is perfectly placed to absorb the energy of this city; an easy walk into Leeds University, Leeds Beckett University and the cosmopolitan high street, with bars, clubs and grade listed architecture on your doorstep.
- Leeds Beckett University 10 minute walk
- University of Leeds 12 minute walk
- Leeds City Centre 11 minute walk