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6 In travel/ UK travel

a short city trip | leeds with university rooms

Any opportunity to have a change of scenery for a couple of days, I’ll take it – be it a (new to me) continent, country, or city, I’ll be there.  I’ve said countless times now that I want to get to know the good old UK and it’s cities lots better, so when the opportunity came up to do so with University Rooms, I obviously didn’t need persuading.  This collaboration was originally going to be with Durham University, but due to renovations was changed to Leeds pretty last minute.  And whilst Leeds isn’t necessarily the most obvious choice for a city break, I’m really glad that I took Leeds up on their offer.  Read on to find out why!

If you haven’t heard of University Rooms, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: university accommodation for use whilst the students are home for the holidays, available all over Europe.  Seems like a pretty good idea, right?  Cheaper than a hotel, but not shoddy in the slightest.  I was seriously impressed with the whole accommodation setup, but more on that later!  Time for the city itself, first.

We didn’t bother with a hit list of things to do in Leeds, and instead kept it chilled and wandered with stops for food, photos, and a (totally accidental) Zara try on session.  Many bloggers I know live in (and love) Leeds, and I can see why!  Obviously my experience was pretty brief, but in general it feels like a fun, fresh city.  And sorry Manchester, but Leeds is far prettier.  Yes to all the arcades that satisfy my love for leading lines.  Our first afternoon basically consisted of dashing between the arcades in an effort to escape the rain, but I can think of worse places to seek refuge (and window shop).

Isn’t the Victoria Arcade a pretty one?

Oh how I wish I could play!  I’ve been told a couple of times that I seem like the kind of person who’d be a closet pianist (not sure why, but I’ll take it) but sadly I never made it beyond Grade 1 keyboard skills.  You wouldn’t have been able to prise me away from this white piano if I could.

I’d seen Angelica pop up on many a Leeds recommendations list, so made a beeline there for all day brunch.  You won’t see me turn down Eggs Florentine at any time of day, let me tell you.  Since the heavens were very much open we didn’t get the Angelica rooftop bar experience, but the views from inside were just as nice.  My jazzy back jumper is a TK Maxx find with a label ‘H.One’, but I can’t find it online anywhere!

Day 2 followed a similar pattern – more wandering, eating, and snapping.

I try to always make an effort to look up whenever I’m in cities, and Leeds is a particularly aesthetically pleasing city to do so in.  So much impressive architecture everywhere.

Lily looking up – just to demonstrate, you know.  The Corn Exchange is so impressive though, can you blame me?  A guy came over to tell us about the history of the building whilst we were nosying around, and it’s hard to imagine the place filled with horses and auctions and whatnot.

Would have been great to have more time to explore and look for the other notable street art.

That’s us Lancashire folk told then.

I’d saved a couple of lunch places to my Google Maps beforehand, Hepworth’s Deli & Kitchen being one of them.  And what a good idea it was!  I didn’t visit enough places to write a foodie list, but I’m 99% certain this place would be on it if I did.  I went for the banana & oat smoothie (much yum) and the deli fish platter, which was right up my street and is making me hungry to think about.

This gal does love a smoothie.

I’d be here all too often if I lived in Leeds.

Post lunch we walked underneath the tunnel around the train station/Granary Wharf (not entirely sure) with the intention of taking the free water taxi along the canal.  However, the boats carry a maximum of 12 people and 11 were already in the queue, and our achy legs didn’t fancy standing around for another half hour for the next one.  So that plan was scuppered.

As you do, we spent the time in Waterstones instead.  So easy to get lost in a big bookshop!  Holiday reads, come to momma.

Thanks to everybody who identified this building for me on Instagram!  I now know it’s the Town Hall, which probably would’ve been more obvious if I’d walked past the front of it rather than around the side.

sweatshirt: H&M | culottes: WearAll

Just me, trying to keep Summer alive through bright colours when it feels like Autumn is most definitely on its way.  Kept it super casual in the sweatshirt and culottes that I’m now wondering how I ever lived without.

Just me or does it look like those people are running away from me?  Had to get a snap of the golden hour light on the bunting whilst out for a wander around the university campus.

Quite liked this levitating gal chilling in the corner.

As for our accommodation itself, I bet you’d have believed me if I’d said it was a hotel rather than student halls!  We stayed in Storm Jameson Court (apparently the ‘fancy accomm’) and seriously couldn’t fault it.  The rooms were spacious, had loads of storage space, and with a super comfy double bed.  I was really impressed with the bathrooms too – I’d expected a wetroom kinda setup but oh no, not this time.  Proper bathroom with toiletries and all that jazz.  You have access to the common areas and kitchen too, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the kitchen doesn’t have utensils.  As long as you don’t plan to use any pans, it’s all good!  Walking into the city centre took around 20 minutes (at a leisurely pace and stopping for photos on the way) so you have the benefits of the pretty, green spaces of a campus, together with the convenience of a city on your doorstep.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’d 100% recommend staying with University Rooms if you’re looking to keep accommodation costs low.  I actually stayed with them in Imperial College London for a weekend trip with my mum years ago, and it’s definitely worthwhile in London.  Time to add more cities to my hit list me thinks!

Lily Kate x

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Our accommodation was complimentary thanks to UniversityRooms however all opinions are 100% my own.




  • Reply
    13th August 2017 at 4:06 pm

    This looks like a fab setup! I’d definitely do that over a hotel!

    Also, lets go back to Leeds together, I’ve got so many places on my to try list! Xxx

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th August 2017 at 2:38 pm

      It’s such a good idea, especially for touristy cities like London or Oxford! We definitely do, so many good foodie places!

  • Reply
    13th August 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I sort of knew about uni accom being available to stay at but never really looked into it and now I know where to look for it, so thank you! That looks a very luxurious room for a university haha!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th August 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Always glad to be of use! It really was, the most luxurious uni accommodation I’ve ever seen haha! Not complaining 🙂

  • Reply
    14th August 2017 at 8:52 am

    I’ve only been to Leeds once, and that was for work, but it’s such a beautiful city, and I’m planning on heading back soon to visit a friend.

    I lived in student accommodation in my first year of university and it never looked that good, haha! I’m just wondering, when I lived in student accommodation, some students stayed in over the summer. Were there any students still living there when you visited, or was it just being used by University Rooms?

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th August 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Isn’t it just! Definitely a city I could see myself spending more time in.
      I think there were a few students still on campus, but not in this particular accommodation. 🙂

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