Leeds is the closest major city to mine and Helen’s home in Wakefield. As such we find ourselves grabbing the train or a taxi for date nights or simply to meet up with friends. Being one of the major cities in England it’s home to plenty of things to do through the day and into the night.
Here are our seven favourite things to do in Leeds at night. The majority of these are suitable for all tastes and group sizes and can just as easily be adapted into an incredibly romantic date night as they can an awesome entertaining evening with friends.
1. Bars / Rooftop Bars
Although not known for its sun or particularly warm evenings, Leeds is host to a number of really cool outdoors bars open from daytime to late at night. The best of the bunch is definitely the Headrow House and the famous, Belgrave.
Headrow house sports two rooftop terraces, a beerhall and restaurant and prides itself on its reasonable pricing and chill vibes. The rooftop bars are spacious and you can get some beautiful steak and chips for £5, what more can you ask for?
They host live music events and also have their own pilsner brew. For a sunny Friday evening, a little boozy evening here is perfect. Headrow House is in direct competition with the famous Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen.
The Belgrave is perhaps the best and most well-known pub in Leeds. Hosting live events from Cabaret to Street food festivals, this place has two restaurants – one serves pizza the other arguably the best burger in the North of England – a bar and a spacious rooftop bar for when the sun is shining. This place has everything and is super-reasonably priced for a great selection of food and beer.
A lively yet pleasing vibe both inside and out this place has everything you need from a venue. Once you go you won’t leave for the rest of the night!
Leeds is known for its good nights out, student population and boozing establishments but it also has a cultured side. This is a city with some great history and a booming arts scene.
The cinema selection reflects this perfectly. Whilst providing a state of the art modern experience they have also managed to retain their famous intimate cinema spaces. Everyman is, in my opinion, one of the best in Leeds.
Whilst displaying movies on the state of the art screen to three auditoriums that can hold up to 500 people, the cinema has retained a homely vibe. The sofa seats with wine bottle holders transport you from your living room to the latest blockbuster.
A more authentic and affordable experience, you should check out the Cottage Road. The oldest cinema in Leeds (it opened in 1912!) screens both new films and old. It’s one of the best spots to view old classics like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and the ‘Godfather’.
It is also the host to the yearly Leeds Film Festival which has been running in November. Cottage Road is independently run and whilst retaining its character has also retained reasonable pricing compared to the big chains, really admirable.
For live theatre shows in Leeds, there’s no other place that quite does it like the Grand Theatre. The grade II listed building is stunning both inside and out. Retaining its 1878 vibe this theatre is the home of Opera North and boasts all West End performances.
The gothic interior and dazzling chandeliers on the interior add to a mesmerizing experience from ballet to stand up comedy. The bar is fairly extortionately priced and tickets can sometimes be hard to get a hold of, but this experience is worth the hassle.
It has previously been host to premieres of Gary Barlow’s The Girls and Fat Friends the Musical. This ornate and spared historical gem is a must for any theatre lover (or frankly anyone) visiting Leeds.
With a plethora of wonderful food and bar options, it is hard to know where to go in Leeds for some dinner. One place that you definitely need to check out is Matt Healy X The Foundry. Their ‘food to swear by’ motto incorporates everything about this wonderful restaurant.
Not cheap but certainly not expensive for the food you are eating at this place, this restaurant brings seemingly basic looking recipes to life. Starters will set you back £3-9, mains £18-30 and desserts sitting at around £7, with wine costing around £20, this place is not for the budget backpacker.
What this place does offer is a Masterchef runner up (hence the name) touch on some old school British classics. Open every day of the week with varying times this place is a must for some exquisite culinary dining.
Sitting in a bar with your friends is fun. But so is playing games with your friends. In Leeds you can do both, how about it?
Roxy Ball Room is a rough and ready games pub which holds host to competitive social gaming. This place is seriously good fun. From ping pong to American pool, Roxy has all your games-needs sorted.
The pub also does food but as a fair warning, this place can get a bit rowdy and are usually host to stag and hen dos. Not for the fainthearted and a favourite amongst students, the beer pong here alongside the indie rock soundtrack can make for some memorable nights at this venue – that is if you don’t lose at beer pong, you might not remember much if that’s the case.
For a more unique experience, the Junkyard Golf Club in Leeds offers 3 x 9 hole mini golf courses alongside a fine array of cocktails and is made quite literally out of junk.
A tad more reserved than Roxy (but still by no means less competitive) this venue uses its inventive golf courses combined with its wacky cocktails to create a really unique experience not to be missed. The cheap enough £10-weekend price provides you with hours of fun and is even cheaper during the week.
The courses can be challenging (and increasingly challenging as the night goes on) but the drinks array is more than equipped to help keep you hydrated throughout. This is a perfect venue for a first date or a friends night out alike.
6. Ghost Tours
Steeped in rich heritage and history it is no surprise that the buildings of Yorkshire in general but particularly Leeds are allegedly home to a number of ghosts.
If you would fancy checking out these paranormal links for yourself and getting in touch with the spirit world then this is for you. Fairly priced at around £40 – 60, Haunted Evenings run ghost hunting nights where you can visit Armley mills, the haunted city hall, Kirkstall Abbey or Thackray museum.
Tending to commence around 9pm and usually running in October (Halloween) and November, you can partake in table tipping, Victorian Seances and see who’s speaking to you through the Ouija Board. Terrifyingly brilliant these tours are a bit different to the usual haunting nights out in Leeds.
Late-night clubbing is huge in Leeds. A rich history in music and a huge clubbing clientele from the big student population means there’s something for everyone looking to party till the sun rises.
The clubbing scene is huge here and electronic music is on top. For techno, you will want to check out Wire. This intimate basement is known for attracting big named DJs and being a bit sweaty. The booming sound system and reasonably priced drinks will easily take you into the early hours.
Similarly, the Mint Club is renowned for its place in Leeds nightlife. It plays the beats and actually has a reasonably priced bar, can’t really ask for much more. Known around the country it plays host to huge names and DJs, continually playing the latest and best techno music.
If you are looking for a more relaxed night, the Hi-Fi club has you covered. Attracting everyone from students to older folks, this venue hosts events all the time from the famous soul music nights to the weekly comedy night.
For the comedy nights, you will want to get down for 7pm before it ends at 10pm and the clubbing commences. HiFi has recently been garnering huge success and voted the best club in Leeds recently, certainly worth checking out.