Five reasons to love Headingley
PUBLISHED: 17:06 28 May 2014 | UPDATED: 01:48 24 October 2015
Joan Russell Photography
There are many more reasons than five to love Headingley, a lively suburb of Leeds. But here are a few for anyone thinking of relocating there or just planning to visit
1. The warm welcome
There’s a strong sense of community in this suburb just two miles from the centre of Leeds, popular with the well-to-do since the Industrial Revolution as a place to escape grimy city life. Click onto headingley.org to discover how to become involved in community life. The website brings local people together in a wide range of activities and events including community volunteering, festivals, concerts, films and the arts in general. There’s the Headingley Development Trust (headingleydevelopmenttrust.org.uk) an organisation of local people and small businesses committed to the wellbeing of the community. They created HEART, an enterprise, arts and community centre, owned and run by residents. It is not only a modern meeting place but has shared workspace, a licensed café and a range of classes and events. The trust was also responsible for Café Scientifique as well as small community orchards to encourage healthy eating. Go to heartcentre.org.uk for inspiration and information.
Just a short way north of Headingley is Far Headingley watched over by the Far Headingley Village Society (fhvs.btck.co.uk), which has successfully won protection for the historic cottages and terraces and continues to work for the wellbeing of the village. The Cottage Cinema in Far Headingley is likely one of the oldest cinemas in the country.
2. Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Mention Headingley and the first thing that will probably spring to mind is this sporting institution which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year. Its home is the Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground in St Michael’s Road (online home is yorkshireccc.com). It is argued by some that the love of cricket brings our diverse county together, that and the fact it is the most successful cricket club in the country and has produced some of the finest cricketers in the world. Enough said except to mention the club shares its ground with Leeds Rhinos, one of the country’s leading rugby league clubs.
3. Shopping, drinking and dining
Headingley’s shopping centre is on and around Otley Road and is a busy and interesting mixture of bars, pubs, restaurants as well as high street and specialist shops. There are two much-favoured fish restaurants including Bretts Fish Restaurant in North Lane and Bryan’s Fish Restaurant in Westwood Lane. Salvo’s Italian restaurant off Otley Road is long established and cherished by many. There are too many pubs and bars to mention, not all inhabited by students. Explore at leisure.
4. Green spaces
Beckett Park is big and enjoyed by everyone young and old. It neighbours the university campus so don’t be surprised to see would-be sporting stars training. It’s named after the second baron of Grimthorpe, Ernest Beckett (1856-1917) who was a banker and one time Conservative MP for Whitby.
People live mainly on quiet streets without much through traffic. The housing is mainly Victorian brick terraces, easy for getting to know your neighbours and according to some, is one of the reasons why there are a lot of civic-minded people in Headingley. Quite a bit of housing has been used for student living (Headingley is home to Leeds Metropolitan University to be known as Leeds Beckett University from September this year) and there’s been concern over the loss of family housing. The situation is reported to be changing with student properties now being converted back to family housing. There are mainly long-term residents here. Once you arrive in Headingley you tend to want to stay.
What’s your experience of living and working in Headlingley? We would love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Yorkshire_Life.