History of Headingley
Headingley's history starts in Viking times with the Shire Oak or 'Siaraches' at the centre of the town. Legend says this ancient oak tree stood to the north of St Michael's Church until 1941 and gives its name to two pubs, the Original Oak and the Skyrack. Viking tribes would flock to this tree that was used as a meeting place for settling disputes or calling together their armies before an invasion.
Headingley was mainly a farming village until the expansion of industry led those with more money to look for property near Leeds, the rich liked the look of Headingley with its open fields and clean air and so here they built until eventually Headingley became another suburb of Leeds.
In 1840, it became the site of Leeds' Zoological and Botanical Gardens. Despite the opening of Headingley railway station, serving the gardens in 1849, the zoo was a loss-making venture and closed in 1858. The bear pit still survives though and can be seen on Cardigan Road.
Throughout Headingley's modern era, the rugby and cricket stadia have been significant in the fabric of the area. A major England test match or a rugby league derby brings many spectators to the area. The cricket ground has been enlarged in recent years to maintain its eligibility for test matches, while in 2006 the eastern terraces of the rugby ground were replaced with the current Carnegie stand.
Amenities in Headingley
Headingley has all the amentities you could ask for. There are many banks, building societies, restaurants, cafes, charity shops, and Letting Agents in Headingley.
Headingley, with its own shopping centre, the Arndale Centre, incorporates high street names as well as a super market and post office. Several other national chains are located in the area as well as a selection of fashionable boutique clothes and jewllery shops.
Beckett’s Park in Headingley is an attractive expanse of greenery with tennis courts and a childrens’ play area.
Woodhouse Moor is located at the Hyde Park end of Headingley, this is an attractive wooded park with tree-lined walks, skateboard ramps, and several public statues.
Leeds University have their sports campus based in Headingley so the area is very popular with students and around the country, Headingley is very well known in sporting circles. Its stadium, ingeniously named “Headingley Stadium”, is home to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club as well as the Leeds Rhinos Rugby League and Leeds Carnegie Rugby Union clubs. Headingley is also the home of the FA Chartership Team of the Year 2006, Headingley AFC.
Entertaining and eating out in Headingley
Headingley has all of the nightlife that you would normally find in a city centre without having to venture that far!
There are juice bars, noodle bars, nail bars, and lots of great pubs close by that make Headingley a great destination for a night out with many places catering to the vast student population that rent in Leeds.
Headingley also has two renowned fish and chip shops whom have been serving the popular dishes since the 1930s.
One of the many long established pubs, The Headingley Taps is so called because it was formerly a water pumping station and is just one of the many pubs to visit when undertaking “The Headingley Mile” – a well renowned local pub crawl. Traditionally completed in fancy dress, you can often find Fred Flintstone or Minnie Mouse wandering through Headingley visiting in the local watering holes, and taking on the infamous Otley Run pub crawl!
For a quieter night you can take in a movie at the local cinema on Cottage Road in Far Headingley, one of the oldest cinemas in Leeds, with velvet seats and an old fashioned ice cream seller at the interval, this makes a lovely night out and a step back in time.
Housing in Headingley
Headingley has expanded from a small village to a Leeds suburb so you can find an eclectic mix of beautiful period properties tucked away from the road side and interesting art-deco style homes, amongst the mix of brick built terraces and semi-detached houses dating back from the 1930s and the 1960s. There are also a large number of student houses but Headingley is also a popular family destination towards the other side of the Universities in the area known as Far Headingley.
The area has a history of welcoming the student population, with Leeds Metropolitan University having a campus at Beckett Park in Headingley. Much of the housing around Kirkstall Lane is student lets in Leeds. The conversion of Leeds Polytechnic into a university and its subsequent growth has brought about an increased student population in Headingley in the last decade. There are also a large number of newer built flats and apartments to let in Headingley which are often taken up by young professionals and mature students. Headingley has the highest concentration of HMO’s in Leeds (houses in multiple occupation), which are mostly redbrick terraced houses. These house shares are very popular with students and they are also cost effective. These properties also give great returns for landlords.
How to get to Headingley
Buses: There are buses almost every minute running through Headingley towards Leedss and surrounding areas. The Free CityBus links Headingley to Leeds' rail and bus stations, business and shopping districts, the General Infirmary, Universities and Park Lane College too.
Trains: Both close by Burley Park and Headingley have train stations will take you into the city. The trains run on the Harrogate line, with services to Knaresborough and York.
Road: Located along the A660 (Otley Road) Headingley provides great access routes and the M62, M6 and M1 are also easily accessed.
Headingley has a healthy mish mash of students, families and young professionals. Here you can enjoy popular shops and boutiques alongside a cafe culture with lots of wide open spaces. The housing market is as varied as the people who live here so whether you'd like a traditional Victorian terrace or an art deco semi there are houses to rent in Leeds here for everyone. And with the public transport links of both bus and train, the bright lights of Leeds City Centre are never far away.
*Area guide images are from Wikipedia and can be used under the Creative Commons Licence.