This summer is turning into a whirlwind of travel. We just got back from another weekend away. This time we went to Leeds. It was so nice to see lots of green- there was no shortage of it.
When we left the airport and took the 30 minute ride to the city center, we started off by driving past farmland and it was so, so quiet. I haven’t heard that kind of quiet in a long time. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until then.
As we travelled we went from farms to suburbia and then all of a sudden we were in the city. It kind of sneaks up on you.
We were surprised to discover that Leeds City has a totally different vibe than London, too. It’s a somewhat newer city (compared to London) but it has great character.
The Donkey Sanctuary
We took a really early flight so we arrived well before check in at our hotel so we ended up just dropping off our bags off. And the call of the quiet was too much to ignore. We called a car to collect us and had it bring us back to the country to The Donkey Sanctuary.
I’m not kidding. I swear I was a farmer in a past life. Before moving to London, I kept chickens at my home in Pennsylvania. I had a large vegetable garden that I practically lived in during the summer. I’m determined to turn my tiny 2 acre property into a working farm, one day. I can dream, yes?
But back to the donkeys. I wanted to adopt them all and take them with me. They were so sweet.
The Donkey Sanctuary was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Svendsen, MBE, in 1969, and since then the charity has grown to 10 sanctuaries throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
We had such a nice time just wandering about, petting the donkeys and enjoying the peace and quiet.
After we returned back to the city we ended up at the hotel to watch Football in the lounge. I’m not going to lie, I’m glad the World Cup is over! I like football but it really gets in the way of progress when you’re traveling with people who absolutely must watch it wherever they may happen to be. We (when I say we I really mean me) had the same issue last week when we went to Belfast.
By the time the match was over we were hungry so we went off to find dinner.
We ended up at a Korean table barbecue restaurant called Bulgogi Grill where you cook your own food.
It wasn’t fancy but it was a lot of fun. And the food ended up being tasty, as well.
It was a relaxed way to end our first day in Leeds.
The next day we decided to go to Harewood House. Because the weather was so lovely we were there nearly the whole day just wandering about. It’s a beautiful property with landscape that was designed by Capability Brown.
They have farm animals and a bird garden that is home to many types of birds including flamingos.
And there were even penguins!
There is a small pond that you can cross by boat to visit a walled vegetable and fruit garden that had soothing music playing in it coming from I don’t know where. It was unusual and oddly calming.
And it has inspired me to add music to my own garden, some day!
There is also a Himalayan garden that feels secluded and very peaceful.
At the house, there is a terrace garden in the back that is an incredibly gorgeous space with sweeping views overlooking the rest of the property below.
The inside of the house was absolutely stunning.
There were a number of furniture pieces that were designed by Thomas Chippendale. It was very impressive. It always amazes me how much of the past still survives in these estates.
The Oldest Pub in Leeds
Since it was Sunday we decided to go for a roast at the oldest pub in Leeds called Whitelock’s.
Its tucked away in Turks Head Yard, a little alley off of Briggate, a pedestrianized area in the section of the city called the Victoria Quarter.
The local beer was ice cold and just the thing we needed to cool off after walking around for most of the day.
The roast lamb and fish and chips were both delicious and the portions were huge.
After eating we just swanned about the area taking in the sites.
The Royal Armouries
On our last day in Leeds we started our morning with breakfast at If Coffeebar.
The portions were massive and kept us going well until the afternoon.
They had the soundtrack to Hadestown playing so we had entertainment along with our meal!
After eating we headed over to the Royal Armouries.
It was really something to be able to look up and see swords and armor up to the very top of the building.
I didn’t think we would be there that long but we were there for hours.
The collection is amazing. It reminded me of the Wallace Collection in London but on a much bigger scale.
After the armoury we had a late lunch at The Botanist.
The food was just ok but it was the location that was capitavating.
Its located within the shadows of Holy Trinity Church.
After eating we peeked around the arcades and then it was off to the airport we went.
Leeds was a fabulous weekend away and I hope we get the opportunity to go back. I would love to be able to explore Kirkstall Abbey and Temple Newsam House. And since the flight is under 40 minutes it couldn’t be easier to get there.
Have you been to England? What areas have you enjoyed visiting? Let me know in the comments area below.
Thanks for reading! Cheers!