International Engineering Ambassadors
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Monday, 13 February 2017

The Daytrip Diaries: Leeds - by Rishi Parwani

There’s a great saying that goes something along the lines of ‘the more spontaneous a trip, the better’. Alright, I lied, I don’t know if there is such an expression but it makes sense doesn’t it? In this series of posts, I’ll bring to you the story of a daytrip that screams spontaneity.

The United Kingdom is a country full of incredible sights and cities, some that are so nearby that it would be a shame to miss out on. Last week, my friend and I ventured out to Leeds on as little as 5 hours’ notice because we really wanted to take a daytrip before the start of the second semester and what a day it was!

First things first, to sum up transportation, we decided to travel by National Express coaches because in terms of price it was the most reasonable (Approximately GBP7 return with a Young Person’s coach card) with a travel time of 55 minutes. The train is 45 minutes to Leeds albeit a tad bit more expensive if you don’t have a 16-25 Railcard, which I do highly recommend getting by the way.

Upon arrival at Leeds, being a Sunday, a lot of the attractions were still closed so we started the day off by aimlessly walking around marvelling at the architecture. Almost every single building looked incredible, each with a story to tell with their impressive stonework and façades.


After a quick breakfast, we started exploring the city and were quite lucky because, relative to British standards, the weather was definitely on our side that day! Trinity Leeds is one of the largest malls in the city so we started by walking through and I was impressed with its wide range of shops, really puts Meadowhall into perspective. The mall itself was very nice and open too with a glass roof which allowed for a lot of natural light to pass through.

Our first few hours in Leeds followed the same tune of aimless exploration which lead us from the city centre to the Minster which looked very grand, to the markets and to the canal.

Our thirst for exploration continued throughout the day and we proceeded to visit the main town hall, which was undergoing restoration but we couldn’t help but notice how much thought went into preserving its aesthetics despite the renovations. As you can see from the photo below, the façade in front matched the design of the town hall itself.

We carried on with our walking around the city and stumbled upon the Leeds Public Library which inside looked very traditional and quite beautiful, very different to our modern libraries at the university. This was followed by a visit to the Leeds City Museum which was actually very impressive as we learnt so much about the history of Leeds and it was just so much more diverse than we thought it would be. I would definitely recommend a visit to the museum to learn a bit more about the local history if you find yourself in Leeds.

After a very quick lunch on the go, we continued onto the University of Leeds campus right in time for the sun to come out which made the day so much more better than it already had been so far. Everything on campus was so close by which was awesome but to be honest I quite like my morning walks to university as it gives me a chance to wake up if anything! We ran into a friendly student who highly recommend visiting the Brotheron Library so we took on his advice and (after getting lost a few times) we found our way there.

Here’s one interesting thing you may or may not know. As long as you are a member of a Russell Group university (which we are here at Sheffield), you can use the facilities of any other university in the same group so upon presentation of our U-Cards, we were issued a day pass and sent on our way in. The library was absolutely magnificent and so well designed. It featured two galleries as well which were unfortunately closed the day we were there.

So there you have it. If you want an easy and enjoyable day trip that is not very far from Sheffield, head down to Leeds. My friend and I had a really great day and are now anticipating the next spontaneous trip.  

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