Sunday Times writers explain why they chose Leeds city centre as one of Britain's best places to live

Leeds city centre is a new entry in today's Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide for 2019.

Sunday, 14th April 2019, 1:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th April 2019, 1:09 pm
An aerial view of Leeds city centre

Its writers chose LS1 as one of seven Yorkshire locations to appear in the list for the first time. Chapel Allerton appeared in the 2018 guide and Horsforth featured in 2017's edition, but both suburbs have now dropped off the list to be replaced by the buzz of the city centre.

The seven Yorkshire locations that appear in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide for 2019The arrival of Channel 4 this year and predicted boom in the creative industries was one of the reasons the Sunday Times writers who compile the guide chose Leeds city centre - but their summary of its appeal also highlights the shopping, cultural offering and ever-improving food and drink scene. They've named-checked the likes of street food hall Assembly Underground, Michelin-starred restaurant The Man Behind the Curtain, Kirkgate Market stand OWT (whose vegan sausage rolls were praised), and modern Indian restaurants Tharavadu and Bundobust.

Tim Palmer, chief writer for the Best Places to Live supplement, picked out some of the city centre's key draws.

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The Victorian indoor hall at Kirkgate Market was praised by The Sunday Times


"Leeds's qualities have gone slightly under the radar, at least compared to the showier transformations taking place in Manchester and Birmingham. It's always been strong for business, but we think it's the best place in Britain for shopping. The Victoria Arcades are gorgeous and everything from the smart new John Lewis to the lively, down-to-earth Kirkgate Market is within walking distance."

New developments

"The city isn't resting on its laurels. The renovations to the Playhouse and the Grand Theatre will ensure that it remains a powerful force culturally, the station's getting a much-needed makeover."

Food scene

"The food and drink options are constantly improving and evolving - from the inventive (and expensive) fine dining at The Man Behind The Curtain to the cheap but delicious Indian food at Bundobust or Tharavadu."


"We're also excited by some of the innovative new housing developments along the river - especially the Climate Innovation District and the plans to regenerate the South Bank."

Other places near Leeds that appear in the 2019 guide

Two other hotpsots within easy commuting distance of Leeds also made the list - Saltaire and Boston Spa.

Saltaire was praised for its connectivity, affordable period properties, creative arts scene and quirky bars. Boston Spa was picked out for its riverside walks, new cafes and cocktail bars, proximity to the A1 and Georgian architecture.

The four other Yorkshire locations to be included this year were York, Beverley, Pateley Bridge and Driffield.