All the day trips you need to do while at uni in Leeds

Yorkshire is your oyster

Although Leeds has plenty to offer, sometimes it’s nice to get away. Now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, there’s nothing better than a little exploring by taking a day trip.

For those day trip seekers, here’s six you don’t want to miss while in Leeds:


Distance: 24 miles

Driving time: 40 minutes

Public transport: 30min train from Leeds £2.90 – £8.15

York is a great day trip for many reasons, starting with its atmosphere and character. Full of independent cafes and pubs, cobbled streets and statues, York feels super homely and looks stunning – especially in the winter months where the decorations make it feel particularly festive.

York is entirely walkable, or if you’re up for it, you can hop on the ‘TIER’ scooters and make your way through the area by downloading the app, which is really easy. Be sure to take special notice of the seventh century Gothic Cathedral and the iconic medieval street – The Shambles. If you’re a HarryPotter fan, you’ll love that part.


Distance: 10 miles

Driving time: 20 minutes

Public transport: X84 for 1 hour 5 minutes

You’ve done the Otley Run, but have you actually visited Otley?

Like in York, Otley is home to many pretty, paved streets and independent shops, especially worth visiting during Christmas time. Grab a hot chocolate or a coffee from one of the local cafes and make your way through the car boot sale on Sundays, where you’re bound to find a few y2k fits.

Looking out onto Otley, is Otley Chevin Forest. Popular with local hikers and their furry friends, Otley Forest is a perfect spot for a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery not too far from home.


Distance: 15.5 miles

Driving time: 30 minutes

Public transport: 35 minute train from Leeds £3.30

Harrogate is knownfor being England’s classic spa town. Here you can saunter around the scenic streets or gardens. You’ll find an array of unique gift shops and charming pubs.

If you’re not so much into drinking beer, an extremely popular choice for a drink is at Betty’s Tea Rooms for afternoon tea. This traditional tearoom books up, so be sure to make a reservation before you go. Staying on this wholesome tone, you can always visit the Royal Pump Room Museum, Royal Hall or even the Harrogate Theatre for a show.


Distance: 18miles

Driving time: 30 minutes

Public transport: Train from Burley Park or Leeds for 50 minutes

In North Yorkshire you can find Knaresborough, another spa town known for its medieval streets, seaside atmosphere and markets. There’s a bit of everything for a lovely day out. Famously home to the grand viaduct, visitors can go on rowing boats under the magnificent arches through Knaresborough’s Blenkhorn’s Boat Hire.

If you’re hoping to find sights worth posting on your Instagram story, be sure to visit the castle and the River Nidd. Along here, if you love a bit if history, Knaresborough is home to Mother Shipton’s Cave. This attraction began charging a fee since 1630 and tells the story of how Mother Shipton and the waters turn objects into stone.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Distance: 24 miles

Driving time: 55 minutes

The Yorkshire Dales is a must-see before students leave Leeds.

The Dales are made up of river valleys and hills, meaning it’s a great place to go for long walks or picnics. For a picturesque walk, some of the best are to Malham Cove or Brimham Rocks. If you’re up for more of a challenge, try the Yorkshire Three Peaks, but this seriously is a hike so be prepared. There are numerous walking trials through the hills andthe dales to explore.

People travel far to visit the towns, countryside and the villages, such as Appletreewick and Kirkby Lonsdale. If you want to have a chilled day, you can relax by the water. Although it doesn’t get particularly hot in good old Yorkshire, on the odd occasions when it does, this spot gets particularly busy as you can take a dip in the water to cool off.


Distance: 40 miles

Driving time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Public transport: train from Leeds for 45 minutes £3.10 – £8.05

Full of great vintage shops and Meadowhall shopping centre, it’s a fab place to dip into that student loan. Providing the weather is on your side, be sure to visit the many parks that Sheffield has to offer, you can go to Endcliffe Park, Weston Park, or Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens.

If you love music, make sure you head to the Leadmill, famous for its live music, comedy performances and cinema, you’re bound to have a good time. If you’re more into a chilled vibe and want to head fora long lunch, visit Cutlery Works – a vibrant food court in an industrial warehouse full of various cuisines to satisfy every craving.

















These are only a few of options, but be sure to check out as many as you can before you leave Leeds, as you wont be disappointed!

All train prices shown are with a 16-25 railcard.

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