Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Leeds – a city of stone and surprises.

Just walking around Leeds is a pleasure in itself. Looking up from the pavement is a must if you want to appreciate this beautiful northern city.


Churches pop up now and again around the city – substantial edifices that are not going anywhere soon.


Whole swathes of the most exquisite architecture – mostly Victorian but some little gems much older.


Winding it’s way through the old, but wonderfully restored, warehouses is the River Aire.


The last time we saw a building along these lines we were looking at the “Flat Iron” building in New York ……….


…….. and, on a more modest level, this little house also squeezes itself into a corner space in the same way!


On Monday morning we had to say a sad au-revoir to friends Neil and Pauline. Their family crisis has necessitated them having to journey onwards to put “Waterlily” into marina for the time being. We’ve had a ball travelling with them since Great Hayward on the Trent and Mersey canal back in May and so sorry that our travel plans with them have been cut short. It’s been a wonderful few weeks and we’ll meet up soon we hope.


Our mooring in Clarence Dock has changed from the private moorings on the right to the public ones on the left. It’s still a great setting and somewhat reminiscent of Paddington Basin in London. 


More mooching around and we find this marvellous ancient stone, now mounted in a more recently constructed wall, which once marked the eastern boundary of the medieval town.



About the fifth of the size of York Minster, Leeds Minster is much more on the human scale and a complete delight inside.


Another substantial stone pile is the very grand Corn Exchange …………


……. with another delightful inside space. Built between 1861-63, the ingenious roof design gave an even north light to enable the careful inspection of the grain which was traded here up until the 1950’s. There were 170 stands on it’s trading floor during the building’s original use.


Looking more like Harrod’s department store in London the Leeds City Markets building is yet another substantial and imposing edifice.


Tucked into the Ginnels which run between Briggate and Lands Lane are some terrific old pubs. They’re squashed in between, and behind, the larger buildings and have a character very much of their own. Tucked away they might be but popular they certainly are.


Another gem which we only found because one of the “ginnel” pubs wasn’t serving food and they suggested we try this one. “The New Conservatory” is in the cellars of Albion House in Albion Place. A great feeling inside and very well dressed, the food was excellent and very reasonably priced.


After our late lunch at The New Conservatory we walked to the rather splendid City Square. Flanked by the huge Queen’s Hotel on one side ………….


……… and the most imposing Post Office building we’ve ever seen (!) the square has numerous bronzes mounted on stone pedestals just right for the plague of pigeons to defecate on! (Councils will soon have to do something about these flying vermin!)


And the reason why we needed to make our way to City Square was to meet up with Liz - an avid blog reader of ours, Facebook friend and friend of a friend who we’ve wanted to catch up with for quite a while. A Leeds girl and also working in the city she met us after she’d finished work. A grand hour indeed we spent with her and we much appreciated her advice and suggestions of things to do while we’re still ‘'in residence’. Thanks so much for the meet up Liz and for the “friends and family” rail passes! We shall certainly be using them.

No comments:

Post a Comment