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A foolproof guide to the unmissable bars and pubs in Leeds

It’s time to impress your flat mates with your knowledge of Leeds’ best drinking locations

Fresher’s week is a time to drink an absurd amount of alcohol with a group of people you have just met. So, why not explore your new home and have drink at the same time in some laid-back bars? To help you get started, we have put together a list of the 8 bars which just cannot be missed.

1 – Old Bar: old in the name only

This is basically going to become your home for the next three years .

The prices are low, and the food is definitely better than whatever you were planning on cooking tonight. Put that pot-noodle down and get yourself to Old Bar, found under the Uni of Leeds Union. Over the months to come you will meet mates here after lectures and watch endless football and rugby matches at another infamous bar that Leeds student’s hold dear in their hearts.

Odds on at least one of your mates will work there come second year…

2- The Dry Dock: not so dry when you have a pint in your hand

You have probably already spotted this quirky bar when arriving in Leeds. Yeah, it’s that old boat which has run aground outside the entrance to the Beckett city campus. They run pub quizzes every Thursday and other events throughout the week. The music is good, and the atmosphere is even better. With a unique moving roof and beer garden on its top deck, Dry Dock is perfect for whatever the Yorkshire weather throws at you.

3- The Library: The best there is

That’s right, Leeds is the only city in the UK to have a student library with a bar in.

Okay that’s not strictly true, but this pub will be the best library you spend any meaningful time in over the next three years. You’ll find this bar in an old Victorian building on the corner of Woodhouse Moor, just behind the main buildings of Uni of. The food is banging and there is also a vintage Nintendo which you can play on and regular live music from local and up and coming bands.

Your parents will be so proud when they ring you up on a Saturday night and ask you where you are… “’just at the library mum”.

4 – Nation of Shopkeepers : now a nation of drinkers

Once an edgy place where you would find all the art students of Leeds, this bar in the city centre has recently undergone a refurb, turning it into somewhat of a place to be seen. They often have live DJs playing and quizzes every week. If the sun comes out the Garden of Earthly Delights certainly is a delight to sit in while you down a Red Stripe and listen to some heavy metal jazz which is far too loud.

5 – Hyde Park Pub : escape the hustle and bustle of the city

Heading out of the city towards Headingley, you’ll find Hyde Park pub dominating Hyde Park Corner with its student presence. Now this isn’t known as a destination for freshers due to its distance away from the city, in fact its more common with second and third years, but surely you want to be that cool kid who “found” this pub that no fresher in Leeds knows about? Of course, every first year will be aware of Hyde Park Pub over the next month as it is the cornerstone of the Otley Run – Leeds’s pub crawl of 16 pubs and bars starting in Headingley and ending in the city.

6 – The East Village : is it even in the east?

You’ll either love or hate East Village. This intimate bar is hidden away in Hyde Park on Brudenell Grove and is where you will find the really edgy students who study art-history, philosophy or something like that. Serving three-quarter pints and providing blankets if you want to sit outside in the Winter, this bar has a super laid-back atmosphere with great music and games to play. This is definitely a bar to remember if you move into the heart of Hyde Park come second year.

7 – Mojo – who cares about swag when you have mojo?

This bar, just off New Briggate, is ideal for music lovers who also love a cocktail. In fact, I’m going to cheat here and say that all the bars at the bottom of Merrion Street provide for one hell of a night out, but Mojo is definitely one to point out. Known for its live music, this is defo a place to visit during freshers.

8 – Whitelocks – traditional and aesthetic

Leaving one of the best bars/pubs in Leeds to the end.

Whitelocks is tucked away up a tiny side street off Briggate. You leave the hustle and bustle of city centre Leeds behind and within moments you are down a quiet alley way and inside an old looking pub where the beer is good and the atmosphere is better. Now this really is a place to take your new flat and course mates to impress them…how did you even manage to find it though?