It had been an aim of mine since I came to Leeds to visit the stunning Kirkstall Abbey, and on the final week of the semester, I recruited three good friends to make the trek from Leeds city centre to Kirkstall with me.
For those residing in Headingley, the walk to Kirkstall is about 20-30 minutes. For those living in the city centre or even further, I recommend that you take a bus to Headingley and enjoy a brisk walk from there. My friend, who is more of a pioneer than the rest of us, managed to find the route without a map. However, it is always better to plan your route before you begin your adventure.
Access to the Abbey can be found through the museum/visitor's centre, entry is free and the staff were only happy to answer questions and offer us a map of the grounds.
Even in ruins, the abbey was still imposing and very, very beautiful. It was easy to imagine how the medieval residents of Leeds must have felt when it was stretching into the sky in its full and undamaged glory: absolutely mystified.
The information plaques acted as guides around our tour of the abbey and helped up get a flavour of what room was what and how the monks who resided here used to live. We also found out interesting and peculiar facts, for instance: in the late Victorian era, a road used to run through the centre of the abbey building.
The abbey, museum and visitor's centre are all family friendly and provide a beautiful, free activity, perfect for the school holidays. The visitor's centre is very child-friendly too, offering activities such as colouring in and dressing up. The museum is more catered to parents and students, showcasing artifacts and a history of the abbey.
So if the holidays are dull and the children are getting restless, take a trip up to Kirkstall and enjoy a fun and informative day at what is, in my opinion, Leeds' most beautiful historical site.