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We all know that as a student, your money needs to stretch a long way. There’s rent, bills, books, food, fancy dress costumes, props for pranks… the list goes on.  

Luckily for us, Leeds is one of the best value for money student cities in the UK. There’s loads of exciting adventures to be had which will leave you change from your £10 note. 

Don’t believe us? Just take a little look through this list…

1. Get some greenery

Here in Leeds, we really do have the best of both worlds. We’ve got a mesmerising, bustling city centre – but take just a short bus or train journey and you’ll find yourself amongst plentry of beautiful countryside. 

First on your list should be Roundhay Park, which consists of more than 700 acres of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens – and it’s just a short bus ride away from the city centre. The park regularly hosts attractions such as concerts, triathlons, farmers' markets, fun fairs, fireworks, brass bands and loads more. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy, sunny afternoon – just don’t forget your sun cream! 

You could also take a walk along the Meanwood Valley Trail - a seven mile scenic walk that explores the Meanwood Valley. Download the official guide, and you’ll find that there’s plenty to discover en-route, such as ancient ruins, unusual animals, and the lovely Golden Acre Park. 

Other local green spots are: Chevin Forest Park in Otley, Gladhow Valley Woods and Eccup Resovoir.

Make a day of it:

- Pack yourself a picnic and enjoy an al fresco lunch.

- Take a bat and a ball and have a game of rounders, or go really old school and play hide and seek (just make sure you remember to find everybody!)

- Boost those Instagram likes by taking some pretty pictures en-route.

- Skip the treadmill and go for a scenic run.

Roundhay Park

2. Free gigs

When it comes to music, Leeds has it all – we’ve got a big arena attracting chart-topping artists, as well as a large variety of smaller, quirky venues.

You may assume that you’d struggle to get a ticket to a gig for less than £10, but think again. Lots of venues in Leeds offer music for free, you just have to hunt around a little. 

Popular venues include: HiFi club, Nation of Shopkeepers, Verve and Brudenell Social Club. 

Make a day of it:  

- The fact that your ticket is free means money for other activities beforehand. Why not gather all of your friends and go for a budget-friendly meal beforehand? Many different venues in Headingley offer student discounts and offers that are too good to miss.

3. Become a history buff

Leeds is an area with a fascinating cultural heritage, which is just itching to be discovered.

You could visit Kirkstall Abbey, which is just a 15 minute journey from the city centre. This ruined monastery was built in 1152, and its history is fascinating. There are often free events hosted in the abbey’s grounds, so keep an eye on their website. 

Harewood House is a stunning 18th century manor house on the outskirts of Leeds. A student ticket costs less than a tenner, and there are plenty of things to keep you amused all day long – including flamingos and penguins (yes, penguins in Leeds!). 

Now, Haworth village is a little further afield, but it’s well worth a visit. Home of the famous Brontë sisters, Haworth is a charming little place that will make you feel like you’ve stepped backwards in time. The best way to get there is to hop on the train to Bradford, then get a bus. 

Make a day of it:

- Most historical places will have a museum or visitors area where you can learn loads of interesting facts. Why not make a note of some of them and impress all of your friends and family back home?

- You may laugh at this one, but why not take along your laptop and see if these cultured surroundings leave you feeling inspired to finish that essay you were struggling with? You never know, you may end up producing a masterpiece…

Kirkstall Abbey Old Ruins

4. Win yourself some goodies

Put all of that study to good use, and head out to one of Leeds’s many pub quizzes. As well as drink offers, the quizzes often have free snacks to boost that brain power – meaning that you can easily make a night of it for less than ten shiny British pounds.  

Often quizzes are themed, and we’ve seen Harry Potter, The Simpsons and Horror movies to name just a few. 

Prizes on offer include beer, bar tabs, cash… and you may even bag yourself 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts to share with your housemates if you’re lucky (or keep them for yourself, we won’t judge).

Popular pub quiz venues are: Belgrave, Nation of Shopkeepers, The Hop and The Library. 

Make a day of it: 

- Why not warm up by inviting your friends over to your house first, and practice with a free online quiz?

- Ask everybody to bring a random item of brain food along to your house before, and have a brainy buffet.

5. Art attack

If art is your thing, you’re in luck in Leeds. There are a huge range of historical, modern and contemporary exhibitions dotted around the city – and many are free. 

As a starter, we recommend you visit: Leeds Art Gallery, The Tetley, The Henry Moore Institute and The Gallery at 164. 

Make a day of it:

- Visit all of the city centre ones in one go – they’re in walking distance of each other, and you’ll get a bit of exercise too.

- Stop for a civilised coffee and soak up the arty atmosphere.

- Gather lots of pictures to impress your parents with when they visit (‘look mum, I don’t just sit around in the SU all day!’)

Leeds Art Gallery

6. Sample the world's cuisine

Why not make the most of the city’s eclectic food scene, and host an ‘Around the world’ dinner party? Leeds has loads of international supermarkets filled with delicious, exotic food that you won’t find in your average Tesco. Invite all of your friends around, and if each person brings a different unusual dish, you’ve got a budget-friendly, delicious banquet. 

Make a day of it:

- Take some time researching all of the yummy recipes you could make – the more unusual, the better.

- Make your recipes as elaborate and exciting as possible, and you’ll probably find that most of your day is spent perfecting them in the kitchen.

7. Go on holiday (sort of)

If money is too tight for an actual summer holiday this year, we’ve got the next best thing. Just half an hour from Leeds is Ilkley Lido – a lovely outdoor pool which is the perfect place to visit when it’s sunny. You’ll be able to grab your entry ticket and your train travel (if you have a railcard) for around £10. Why not bring along a few mocktails, and when sipping them by the pool you’ll feel just like you’re in Marbella… maybe.

Make a day of it:

- Arrive as early as possible to grab a good spot, and make the most of the day’s rays.

-Take your book and have some well-earned ‘me’ time.

8. Shop for less

Leeds is home to many a student budget-friendly shop or market. We’ve got lots of edgy vintage stores, a huge market, and Headingley is packed full of charity shops.

Kirkgate market is in the city centre, and it’s Britain’s current reigning favourite market (who knew that there were market awards?). Here you can buy fresh food, clothes, homeware and more. All for bargain prices. It even has its own street food area, where you can grab award-winning food such as Yorkshire pudding wraps, jerk chicken and Indian street food.

Make a day of it:

- Why not have some fun with your friends, and do the ‘charity shop challenge’? Spend the morning browsing Leeds’s charity shops together, then all split up. You each must buy an entire outfit for a friend for £5, then you must all wear them for an event later than evening. We promise its way more fun than it sounds.

9. Be beside the seaside

Now, when you think Leeds, you probably don’t think seaside, do you? Well, did you know that there is a BUS that will take you to the beautiful Whitby coast for less than £10 return? The journey takes a while, but it’s well worth it. 

Make a day of it:

- It’s easy to have a fabulous free day out in Whitby. Explore the charming winding roads, check out the gothic ruined abbey (which was the inspiration for Dracula) and take a peek inside the various free museums.

Whitby

10. Give geocaching a try

Geocaching is a bit of an unusual one – it’s basically a giant, free treasure hunt. You sign up online, and then receive a series of clues leading you to hidden boxes, which are dotted everywhere around the city. You’ll discover all sorts along the way – from quirky landmarks, to hidden treasure. The rule is, you must replace anything you take, so why not have some fun and think of some cool things to hide?

Make a day of it:

- We haven’t tried it ourselves yet, but it sounds like it’s very addictive. You could easily spend a full day exploring – and it may just become your new hobby. 

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