I’ve spoken about it and photographed it many times on this here blawg – so when Travelodge Leeds asked me to talk about my favourite thing about Leeds – I knew want I wanted to talk about straight away.
I first discovered Kirkstall Abbey in 2010 when we were moving from Bradford to Leeds when my student life sadly ended. Can I just point out that leaving my student life and entering into the adultness of full time work was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me. Like, SRSLY. If any universities would like to sponsor me and send me back to university, I’ll write you a wonderful review.
Where were we? Oh yes, we were viewing some houses, we came across the Abbey by accident. It looked cool so we stopped and had a walk around.
But this wasn’t when I fell in love with it.
This happened three years later.
I was starting to feel restless and sluggish around July 2013. I had just moved into our second house in Leeds and after being inspired by one of my favourite YouTubers, Shaycarl, who lost 100lbs and ran a marathon – I decided I wanted to run, too.
I downloaded MapMyRun and did something I never thought would ever do. I ran 5k.
Yup. I went from not running since I was in school to running 5k all at once. I stopped a few times, and it took me 45 minutes, but what an amazing feeling.
I wasn’t too familiar with my new neighbourhood, so decided to run up Kirkstall Road. Just over a mile in, I saw Kirkstall Abbey.
THIS is when I fell in love with Kirkstall Abbey.
It was summer, around 7pm and there were other humans there. Humans walking their dogs, humans sat on blankets with wine, humans playing football with their children, humans running and walking and laughing and talking.
The Abbey has been the centre of many of my runs since then (and Instagram photos!) and I sometimes wonder if I would have bothered to go on that second, third and forth run if I didn’t have somewhere so beautiful to run to.
It’s also become a key location for me in the summer – taking a blanket, bottle of wine and a friend or two down there to enjoy the scenery. Especially as I moved again in July even closer to the Abbey!
There’s a river next to it and plenty of grass to sit on. Not to mention, it makes a wonderful location for OOTD’s!
It also hosts a variety of events, such as markets even month, events like the Harry Potter one I went to in May.
So yes, Kirkstall Abbey is my favourite place in Leeds and if you’re ever in the are, should should go visit it!