How to have an alternative night out in Leeds

For those who want more than tinnitus and a doner wrap

Are you bored of trekking all the way to Control? Tired of awkwardly shuffling in Space? Have you been to Fruity so many times you can practically remember the playlist?

Let’s face it, despite being a wonderfully diverse and vibrant city, students in Leeds tend to limit their choices to have a night out.

So if you’re not big on busy dancefloors, huge queues, and ear splitting house music, then there are plenty of alternatives available.


Chronologically, it makes sense to start with a bar and Mook is a great opening to the night. Chilled out, craft beers and no obscenely repetitive music.

Plus, it’s right next to Space, so you’ll still feel a bit involved.

Hirst’s Yard

Once one or two drinks have been sank, head just next door to Hirst’s Yard. This absolute gem is unfamiliar to many due to its almost hidden location.

The party piece is the upstairs room, with plenty of seating and a balcony, making it perfect for spring and summer. Drinks aren’t cheap, but it’s worth it.

By this point, you may be feeling a little tipsy (I’m factoring in pre-drinks here) and thoughts of a club may be running through the mind. But you also hate EDM?

Stone Roses Bar

The solution is quite simply The Stone Roses Bar. One of the few indie bars/clubs in town, it’s the perfect place to huddle up with friends, wear parkas indoors (it doesn’t have a cloakroom) and sneer like Liam Gallagher.

The Elbow Room

As the magic stamp allows you re-entry, you can continue to explore. The Elbow Room, a specialist pool bar, is always a good shout.

Because truthfully, what doesn’t sound brilliant about watching your drunk mates missing easy shots and potting black balls early?

The Smokestack

Finally, and perhaps the most alternative of all, is The Smokestack. With an eclectic mix of funk, jazz and pop, it’s the perfect setting for one last hurrah before stumbling to the taxi rank and leaving town.