Here’s how students in Leeds can look after their wellbeing

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You may have recently arrived in Leeds for your first year of university, or perhaps you’re returning for your second or third year to an increased workload. Either way, it's essential for you to look after your wellbeing as you adjust to changes in your life. In Leeds, you'll quickly realise there are plenty of places where you can escape from the stresses of the city and university. Here are seven suggestions to get you started.

1. Glide along the Aire on a water taxi

River Aire

A little trip on a Dutch water taxi along the River Aire is a great escape from the busy city streets. It’s a fun way to see Leeds and being on the water can be very relaxing. The yellow boats depart every 20 minutes and are completely free of charge to ride. Hop on at Leeds Dock, just a two-minute walk from Liberty Dock, and float all the way to Granary Wharf.

2. Pet some pigs

Petting

If you really feel like getting out of the city (and petting some farm animals while you’re at it), the impressive Tudor-Jacobean mansion of Temple Newsam to the east of Leeds is well worth the trip. The house itself is full of fascinating objects and fine art and the lovely parkland is a great place for a walk or a picnic. Perhaps the main draw though is the rare-breed conservation farm where you can meet pigs, chickens, goats and other animals. It’s a really fun day out. If you live at Liberty Park, you can hop on the number 19 from Leeds City College, or save this trip for when the parents are visiting (and pray that they’ll agree to drive you there for free).

3. Admire some art

Art

Art can challenge us intellectually and emotionally and it can show us something we’ve never seen before in a quiet and calming setting. Both Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute are home to multiple masterpieces, and are a 12-minute walk from Liberty Park.

4. Get out into nature

Yorkshire Dales

Being in nature, even if it’s just for a short time to get some fresh air, makes us happier. It can put things into perspective and give us a much-needed respite from the modern world. There are great walks around Leeds and the city and surroundings are home to several local Nature Reserves. But if you’re up for a bit of an adventure, you could take a trip to the Yorkshire Dales or Peak District National Parks. Nature really is good for the soul.

5. Learn something outside your course

Learning

Leeds’ museums are perfect for seeing and learning new things that can be refreshingly different to what you’re learning at university. You can stop by Leeds City Museum to learn about local history, but the city’s must-see attraction has to be the brilliant Royal Armouries, which is free to enter and just a three-minute walk from Liberty Dock. Here you’ll find an incredible display of ancient armours and weaponry. There aren’t many places in the world where you can see a suit worn by an Indian elephant in the 1600s, but this is one of them.

6. Swap Netflix for the big screen

Big screen

Going to the cinema can be a much-needed escape from our world for a couple of hours as we enter someone else’s. Yeah, we know you’ve got Netflix, but there’s something special about going to watch a film on the big screen. The Hyde Park Picture House is an excellent independent cinema (over 100 years old) that has a varied programme and offer student discounts. Head there on ‘Student Mondays’ and tickets are only a fiver!

7. Get active

Active

A great way of staying well in both body and mind is getting active. Every Saturday morning at 9am there’s a free organised 5km run on Woodhouse Moor. That might sound painfully early, but you’ll feel so good afterwards! Why not try to improve your time over the course of a term? The moor is just a 20-minute walk from Liberty Park, perfect for warming you up. Alternatively, if the Yorkshire weather isn’t doing you any favours, try indoor climbing at City Bloc – they offer discounts for student and the centre is just a 12-minute walk from Liberty Dock. Bonus!

Whatever your interests, you won’t be short of activities in Leeds to keep your body active and your mind stimulated. Our two residences in Leeds are both located in the city centre, so you never have to travel far to keep yourself happy, entertained and inspired during your studies.