Leeds has something for everyone, whether for young professionals, parents with growing families or retired people looking for an affordable place to live outside London and in the north of England.
Thanks to its great blend of low and high-value housing, excellent job opportunities, superb shopping, strong economy, affordable living costs, lower than average house prices, and great culture, renting or buying a house in Leeds is a great option.
While Manchester and Liverpool may be better known as cultural hubs, taking the above into account, it isn’t too surprising that Leeds city was recently named as one of the best places to live in the entire country by a MoneySupermarket survey when it comes to the quality of life. So it’s no wonder that so many people now want to live in Leeds.
We agree that Leeds and its surrounding areas represent some of the best places to live in the whole of West Yorkshire. With its fantastic public transport links to the north and south, its own international airport with connections to Europe and beyond, lower than average house prices and outstanding location close to the green spaces and countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, the city and its suburbs certain offer something for everyone.
So please read on to discover our expert guide to this impressive part of Yorkshire and learn why we think that the city of Leeds is a great place for anyone to live who is keen to make their home in the north of the UK.
We’ll look at the five best locations around the city to make your home base so you can decide on the one that is best for your move.
In this article, you’ll find:
- Horsforth – One of the best places to live in Leeds
- Roundhay – Known for its green spaces
- Headingley – A thriving student hub
- Chapel Allerton – home to varied housing
- Leeds Waterfront – move into the heart of Leeds city centre
- Living in Leeds – Life in a beautiful city
Horsforth – one of the best places to live in Leeds
Horsforth is one of the top places in Leeds to buy or rent a house thanks to the excellent connections this suburb offers to the city centre.
Great for commuting
Horsforth is home to its own train station, so transport is readily available to Harrogate and York in the north, Bradford to the West and Wakefield to the south, as well as into Leeds city centre itself. This makes Horsforth a mecca for commuters who work in the city or its surrounding areas within West Yorkshire.
It is also a handy place for families to buy a house if they want to take advantage of everything the local area offers. This includes shopping, restaurants, art and culture, and the countryside, all of which is right on their doorstep, without needing a car.
Another added benefit of residing in Horsforth is that the area has some of the best primary schools in the entire region. Some of the schools rated outstanding by Ofsted here include The Beescroft Primary School, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Westbrook Lane Primary.
The local secondary academy is also highly rated. So, it isn’t too surprising that this part of Leeds is a popular place to call home. It’s ideal for growing families and young couples who want to experience the community spirit and quieter lifestyle of the suburbs with its outstanding educational institutions, but also the proximity of Leeds city centre and its nightlife, sports facilities, services, and restaurants.
Roundhay – known for its green spaces
Roundhay is perhaps best known for the huge park that dominates its landscape. The park hosts regular events throughout the year, including the area’s largest Bonfire Night fireworks events and live music concerts at regular intervals. But in fact, there is plenty more to discover in this beautiful Leeds suburb than simply its outdoor locations and frequent events.
The price of property in this part of Leeds may be more expensive than in some of the other suburbs, but it is especially appealing. In recent years, young professionals have begun moving here to buy a house or flat, and this has created a friendly community vibe thanks to the new restaurants, coffee shops, bars, cafes and delis that serve a wealth of different types of food and that have transformed the area’s centre.
This part of Leeds is also home to some of the most desirable housing in the whole of Leeds, and properties on sale here don’t stay for long on the market. This is despite having a higher price tag than elsewhere. While there may be other cheaper areas in which to buy or rent, many people are more than happy to pay the extra cost of the higher Roundhay local house prices to enjoy the wealth of excellent local amenities right on their doorstep.
Easy access to town
Roundhay is perfectly located for a short commute, thanks to its easy access into the city centre of Leeds, which is only five minutes away by road. The local schools are also excellent, with many families moving here to take advantage of being in the catchment area for schools such as Roundhay 4-18 all-through Academy, one of the best schools in the region.
Headingley – a thriving student hub
At one time, Headingley was a town in its own right. However, those days are now consigned to history. Today, this part of Leeds is a hub for a diverse and vibrant student population thanks to the biggest concentration of low price accommodation for students within easy reach of the city centre.
Leeds is home to numerous higher education colleges and universities, including the famous Leeds University, located within the city itself. This suburb has become the most popular spot for University of Leeds students to live, along with those who attend the other education establishments in the city.
Nevertheless, it’s important to recognise that this part of Leeds isn’t only ideal for those who study in higher education. In fact, the local town centre has become a hotspot for nightspots, with fantastic new bars, pubs, and restaurants setting up around the area.
It’s also synonymous with sports thanks to its connections with cricket. Yorkshire County Cricket Club have their base here, while local sport is also represented by Headingley football team and the Rugby League Emerald Stadium.
Stroll into town
There is no shortage of opportunities to shop here either, so there’s rarely any need to head into the city to buy the essentials. Whenever you do, though, there’s no need for a car.
Within a 30 minute stroll, you’ll be right in the heart of Leeds city centre. Alternatively, you could make use of the public transport links, with trains and buses heading into the centre regularly as well as into York, Bradford, Harrogate and other nearby cities.
Some parts of Headingley have a much higher than average house price, but others offer lower priced housing, making this part of Leeds accessible to everyone.
Chapel Allerton – home to varied housing
Chapel Allerton is best described as bustling. This attractive district in the northern part of Leeds appeals to many different types of buyer thanks to its varied housing stock, which encompasses all price brackets.
Both large families and single young professionals alike can find somewhere suitable to live here thanks to the wealth of big houses that rub shoulders alongside cheaper studios and one and two bedroom flats.
The city centre here has a friendly feel and offers plenty of shops, pub choices, cafes, and independent food outlets selling cuisine from a host of countries and cultures at all price tags.
There may be no train station here, but there are plenty of buses which head into Leeds regularly, and since this district is just 2 miles outside the city centre, the commute is short and easy whether by bus or car.
Notting Hill vibe
In recent years, there has been increasing growth in the property market here from professionals who have turned this area into “the Notting Hill of the North” and with higher than average house prices to match.
Fantastic regular art and music events are held here, and there are also markets held every month.
New independent businesses are popping up all the time, and all of this has added up to make this location a top area to move to around Leeds.
Another interesting fact about this popular part of Leeds is that some of the Channel 4 drama Sirens was filmed here.
Leeds waterfront – move into the heart of Leeds city centre
Why move close to the city when you can live in the heart of it? Over the past 20 years, the historic Leeds Waterfront has undergone a major reinvention.
This has turned it from a district known only for its heavy industries to an exciting, cosmopolitan, popular and vibrant destination that offers property with stunning views over the River Aire, with no need to take a bus or train to get to work.
The major redevelopment which has taken place at Leeds Waterfront is similar to that which has taken place in other major cities in England, including the capital itself.
Developers have seen the economic and financial potential that the picturesque riverside location offers and have been busy snapping up land once used by industries to build luxury properties within easy reach of the centre of town.
The luxurious apartments here cost a pretty penny (although far less than similar properties in London), but those who live here think it’s well worth it.
The convenience of being on the doorstep of such an array of world-class restaurants, pubs, independent businesses, services, bars, shops, cafes, museums, transport links to the capital and the rest of Yorkshire, and cultural highlights like the Royal Armouries Museum is a definite draw!
Moving to this part of Leeds will cost you on average more than buying larger houses in a less popular part of the city, but you can rest assured that your property will have everything you need just a stroll away.
Living in Leeds – life in a beautiful city
Thanks to its lower cost of living, Leeds and the towns, villages, and regions around the city have become a hotspot for those keen on moving to the northern region of England.
Average property prices in the city are lower compared to those found in many other similar cities like Manchester or Liverpool. Those who live in Leeds cite the advantages of residing in easy reach of the city’s fantastic central attractions, the array of employment and business opportunities, traditional and independent retail outlets, galleries, restaurants, bars, theatres, and sporting centres.
While also being close to the stunning wide open green space of the Yorkshire Dales countryside, this convenience means the benefits add up to make Leeds more than just the average city.
We hope our guide to Leeds has proved to be helpful and that it assists you in making your decision about the best place to live for you.