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Leeds Welcome | All is calm: escape the Christmas rush in Leeds

All is calm: escape the Christmas rush in Leeds

Words by Lauren Entwistle

The turkey has been painstakingly prepped, the presents wrapped and you’ve only just managed to shove visiting Great Uncle Jim out the front door in a bid for some peace and quiet. After a few manic days stuck in the house with the kids, we get that you might want recommendations for spots and places in Leeds to chill out and unwind over the Festive Season – and we’ve got you.

Here’s our tip top guide to the most chilled places in Leeds:

Roundhay Park

Credit: Charly Murgatroyd

Sometimes there is nothing better to do than get the dog and head out into the cold. It might seem like the last thing you’d want to do, but walking around Roundhay’s gorgeous lakes and gardens makes a fabulous balm for those suffering from festive frustrations.

Explore over 700 acres of rolling parkland and sit for a while and reflect on just how wonderful it is to be out of the house. Grab a cup of something hot from one of the cafes dotted about (permitting their Christmas opening times) before heading back home – you’ve just bagged yourself an hour or so of peace in the process.

Kirkstall Abbey 

Credit: Olivia Brabbs Photography

Another outdoorsy one for you, but definitely worth a visit over the Yuletide Season. Kirkstall Abbey and its grounds make for a perfect escape, with its huge and looming silhouette making a fantastic Christmas Card-esque backdrop. Grab a flask and make sure to take in the ambience of this beautiful Medieval and Monastic slice of history. If those monks could live, work and pray in such a place – then surely Kirkstall Abbey is a no-brainer for chilled vibes.

The Corn Exchange

Ok, so after all the stress of Christmas shopping (not to mention recovering from the sharpness of some eager people’s elbows) – going to a retail spot is enough to make one recoil immediately. But bear with us.

The Corn Exchange is one of Britain’s finest Victorian buildings and a Grade 1 listed structure. Designed by Cuthbert Brodrick and completed in 1864, Leeds Corn Exchange holds significant weight as both an architectural masterpiece and cultural icon. But as fancy as all that sounds, The Corn Exchange is a fairly peaceful place where you can pull up a chair in a good vantage spot, have a coffee and marvel at aforementioned architectural beauty. We don’t think there’s a better way to while away free hours than having a good “people-watching” session with a brew.

Left Bank Leeds

Left Bank Leeds cuts a striking figure. Originally starting out as a church dating from 1906, it is now a hub for the community, arts and discussion. There’s always something happening inside its belly, from children’s craft sessions, choir practises, exhibitions, panels and more – so it’s worth checking out the website here before heading on down.

But for true peace and quiet, we recommend attending one of their free afternoon teas. Have a chat, a brew and a slice of something sweet on second Wednesday of each month from 2 – 3:30pm. There really is nothing like it to banish those Winter Blues.


Whatever and however you spend the Festive Season, everyone here at Leeds Welcome wishes you a very Merry and Bright one.

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