Meet some of Leeds’ northern highlights

PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 July 2013




Jo Haywood

Mention you live in North Leeds and the response is inevitable. There’ll be a momentary pause for a brief but perceptible flicker of jealousy, then a sigh, a shrug and the words: ‘Lucky you.’

The city’s affluent northern enclave – from Cookridge, Bramhope and Adel to Meanwood, Alwoodley and Harewood – has an enviable reputation, which means people who live there tend to stay put.

And is it any wonder? They’re just minutes from the centre of one of the UK’s most exciting and influential cities, yet just a short drive from rolling Yorkshire countryside. And each suburb manages to maintain a separate and distinctly diverse character, with its own independent shops, restaurants, bars and social clubs, while boosting and benefiting from the overall North Leeds effect.

Bramhope, for instance, is a particularly affluent village, predominantly made up of large private homes that tend to sell for way above the West Yorkshire average. It has a very active Round Table, a well-regarded cricket team that competes in the Wetherby League and a busy village hall – the Robert Craven Memorial Hall – which is used for all manner of things, from crown green bowling and tennis to flower shows and farmers’ markets.

Yorkshire Music Education Service is also based in Bramhope, offering both in-school and extracurricular opportunities for young learners, parents and adult students via Chevin Music Centre at Bramhope Primary School.

Just a mile or two nearer than Bramhope to the city centre on the Leeds-Otley Road is Adel, a suburb that seems to have slightly elastic boundaries. Most people appear to agree, however, that it centres around the Grade I listed Church of St John the Baptist and the two primary schools; anything more remains debatable.

The area made its way into the national psyche in 2011 when, shortly before the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it was revealed that Kate’s paternal grandparents were married at Adel Parish Church (a small royal connection, granted, but an important one nonetheless).

Sport appears to play an important role in modern Adel, with the well-used Memorial Hall housing 11 separate sporting sections, including squash and lacrosse, as well as various social groups (the WI, bridge club and painting club are just three of the many).

The suburb is also home to Headingley Golf Club, which was founded in 1892, making it the oldest golf club in the city.

The course was laid out and shaped in the early 20th century by a number of eminent architects, including Dr Alistair MacKenzie and Harry S Colt.

It enjoys a rural setting with wonderful views and many memorable holes that make the most of the dramatic terrain.

Golf is also to the fore (or should that be ‘Fore!’) in nearby Cookridge, home to Cookridge Hall Golf Club, health centre and spa. The par 72 championship course caters for golfers of all abilities, but if you do happen to have a bad day (and it happens to the best of us), there is always the warm hospitality of the 18th century clubhouse to look forward to.

But the Grade II listed hall is not the only landmark to catch the eye in Cookridge. There is also the water tower, built in 1929 on one of the highest points in Leeds (630ft above sea level) and its close neighbour, the Tinshill BT Tower – known locally as Cookridge Tower.

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