Leeds is so lucky to have places like this where it's citizens can not only learn so much about the past but do so in a pleasant, well managed site. Kirkstall Abbey really is a family day out and even I managed to exercise and ingest fresh air without really noticing.
What is even more awesome is that Kirkstall Abbey is used for outdoor events at various times of year so there are opportunities to experience drama, music, gothic films etc at special events.
So, last night i went to a showing of 'the innocents' at the magnificent kirkstall abbey.
It was part of the first gothic film festival. The abbey was all decked out in mood lighting with whispy ethereal mist blowing through the cloisters.
There was various 'props' adding to the effect, and within the abbey you could sit and listen to ghost stories.
The film itself was a classic b&w, tame by todays standards but seen in the dark open abbey ruins was a brilliant experience.
This feels like a secluded place even though you are right next to Kirkstall Road.
I love it here and I have been coming here since my childhood.
I have lots of fond memories here.
They do food fairs and concerts here so check out their website.
If you have never been here then you are missing a real treat.
A lovely spot to spend an afternoon - and seemingly a light year away from the nearby horrors of the main road and retail parks. Untouched by the greasy hand of commerce, it is a charming place and one of the more complete survivals from the dissolution of the monasteries. Thankfully, it hasn't been spoilt by the addition of needless explanatory signs - if you want to know what you're looking at, a 10 minute look at the small but comprehensive visitor centre is all you need to know.
Round the year, it plays host to various events - including an excellent outdoor Shakespeare season in late summer and the annual Classical Fantasia.
Oh - and across the way is the little-known but equally superb Kirkstall museum, which also does proper good grub
Kirkstall Abbey has always been right up there as my favourite place in Leeds, after living near there when I first relocated to Leeds.
This last time when I was there I met up with a group of friends for a picnic - it was a pretty windy day, but that didn't spoil the day for us - there's picnic tables & cover in the cloisters of the abbey ruins!
The Kirkstall festival is hosted here, and there's a number of other amazing events throughout the year so keep an eye on their website for details...
The grounds of Kirkstall Abbey are literally at the bottom of my road, so I find myself down here fairly often. It's a lovely, if not massive, area that is unfortunately just off the main road, but you don't notice the traffic unless you're on the side of the abbey closest to the road. But you've got some nice open grassy areas, a little river running along the bottom, and of course the remains of the abbey itself.
If it's a sunny day you get a nice mix of families and groups of friends relaxing on the field. It's a good atmosphere and a pleasant place to sit for an afternoon.
Another thing I've found it's good for is going for a run around the the main pathway that circles around the abbey remains. It's a nice wide path so you won't be running into any passers by in a hurry, and most importantly it's a lovely flat surface, which is good for those of us with dodgy joints!
All in all it's a nice little area, but it isn't that big and isn't as impressive as some of the parks in the area, so it's probably more for people who live fairly close by.
Oh and a mention needs to be made to the events that are held on the grounds. There are wide range, but I've made it to the live performance of the BBC's adaptation of Frankenstein a couple of years back, and the wonderful classical fantasia.
I used to visit all these kinds of places as a child, and so my visit to Kirkstall Abbey really made me awash with nostalgia. It used to be a bit of a Sunday day out, I believe, we'd pack a picnic and drive out somewhere to a castle or rustic building and spend the day there. Kirkstall Abbey is indeed the kind of place where this little sort of trip would be perfect, albeit in the summer months.
The building iteself is something of beauty despite its derelict status. You may have driven past it a number of times on your busy way somewhere (we're always going *somewhere* aren't we?) and never thought to have stopped to check it out. Well, my advice is take the time to do so, it is so much more of an experience when you actually look first hand and close up.
All around is beautiful green grassland, park area and such so you won't be short of a picnic space or two. It's really near to the canal so you can always take a decent walk afterwards too. There's even a lovely cafe nearby where you can stop for a coffee and some light bites in the afternoon. My advice? Dig out some plain paper and a pencil, go to Kirkstall Abbey and give it a whirl - even if you can't draw it's a fun, stimulating and relaxing way to spend an afternoon!
When you think of Kirkstall you think of takeaways, sun bed shops, family run businesses, Netto and the cinema! However hidden behind all this man-made madness is something very beautiful. Kirkstall Abbey!
As a busy little lady I will put my hands up now and admit I don't pay enough to attention to English culture and heritage! I had driven past Kirkstall's medieval abbey ruins so many times and said "woah thats gorge!" before I visited! If you are guilty of just driving/walking past also, I would really suggest a wonder around on a non-rainy day!
The abbey itself is the most complete abbey that still stands in Britain and is breathtakingly beautiful, especially in the sun! The abbey was used as a monastery in medieval times. Leaflets in the visitor centre and information posts inform you of historical aspects and the lives of the monks that lived there!
Kirkstall Abbey is a really nice contrast from the rush of city life. One can stand back and admire times of past!
If your not as melodramatic as me, or you have no interest in history or ruins, this isn't the day out for you! But if your bored in the summer check it out anyway! The area around the abbey is lovely to literally sit and enjoy the view if you have some spare time on your hands.
Kirkstall Abbey is a beautiful relic of a very different Kirkstall, when medieval monks chanted in contemplation among its towering archways. The perfect approach to Kirkstall Abbey is along the canal, which in pleasant weather can also give the sense of being far from the city. Crossing the river you approach the Abbey, surrounded by grass and trees, where couples and families picnic on sunny days and an ice cream van is never far away. What a perfect place to go to escape the city...yet so close!
The visitor's centre provides a closer look at the history of the abbey, with educational presentations and various events. It is amazing how much of the abbey is still standing, and upon reading information noticeboards dotted around the abbey providing further details about the day to day lives of the medieval monks, you can almost feel the past is still ingering.
With a cafe and a pub just up the hill, Kirkstall Abbey provides a focal point for a day out anyone would enjoy!
I live within two minutes' walk of the Abbey and it really is lovely. In the summer months it's ideal for picnics and lazy afternoons snoozing by the river. Although it is situated close to a main road, once you walk a little way you can almost imagine you're nowehere near the city.
Kirkstall Abbey is home to the Kirkstall Festival, which is held in July every year, and the Shakespeare Festival, held each August. September usually includes some kind of classical music event, with an impressive fireworks display to boot. Which is ace for me because I can see it from my house : )
One thing though - if you do visit the Abbey, please don't park on De Lacy Mount. It makes me proper grumpy when there are no spaces
Kirkstall Abbey is a great place to go for a walk on the weekend. If the weather is good its great for picnics, if not go across the road to Abbey house where they serve up some great home cooked food (I recommend the roast).
In the summer months they usually put on Shakespeare in the Park and Comedy in the Park. These take place inside the abbey grounds and are a fantastic night out. The comedy for the past few years has been especially great with 4 acts each night for about £15. Bargain!
Kirkstall Abbey is a lovely place fora walk with a recently opened Visitor Centre. You can get inside some of the riuns of the abbey, like the cloisters and walk along the river too. At one end there sometimes runs the Kirkstall Abbey Railway, which is a small train and great for kids to go on. It hosts Shakespear in the Park and the Kirkstall Festival in the summer, and later in September, the Classical Fantasia which is a classical music concert with fireworks. All events are definitely worth popping along to if you can get tickets.
The abbey is a great spot for picnics in the sun, and if it's raining and you still fancy a picnic you can always pop into the Cloisters.
Be sure to visit the Abbey House Museum over the road if you have chance, a lovely museum of the Victorian age, including a mock Victorian street.
Beautiful ruins, opened in recent years to the public. Loads of space and grass. Nice big trees. Lovely path to perambulate.
Great place for a picnic, game of frisbee or rounders, stroll, basking in the sun ... when the sun's shining.
The carpark is on the other (i.e., north) side of Kirkstall Road by Abbey House (which has a cafe). The Mr Whippy van seems permanently stationed in that carpark.
Not an ideal place to visit for anyone who has very limited mobility.
Despite its proximity to the centre of Leeds - just a short bus ride or a long walk alongside the canal - I'm constantly amazed by how few of my peers have visited this amazing building, one of the best remaining examples of a medieval abbey in Britain. On a sunny day, a stroll through the beautiful parkland around the ruins is hard to beat, and the sprawling, litter-free stretches of grass and woodland are a stark contrast to the packed parks of the city centre. The new Visitors' Centre is genuinely interesting, with interactive displays and presentations exploring the history of the abbey, and a year-round programme of special events brings features everything from ghost walks to a Shakespeare Festival. Keep an eye on the website to find out how to bag a ticket to the annual open-air concert - the combination of a floodlit abbey, classical music and spectacular fireworks make for a genuinely unforgettable experience.
n.b. the opening times featured above are for the visitors' centre, the park itself is open all the time.
Kirkstall abbey is as the name suggest located in Kirkstall a suburb of Leeds, West Yorkshire,it is located next to the River Aire. Kirkstall is a pleasant area of Leeds, around 2 miles out of the city centre.
The Abbey itself is full of history it was founded in the 12Th century by Cistercian monks. If your interested in the history of the Abbey the Abbey House Museum opposite the Abbey itself tells the story of the community and the town. Henry De Lacey, Baron of Pontefract, gave the land for the foundation of the Abbey, and Kirkstall has a few roads named in his memory.
Firstly getting there there is a bus stop right outside the Abbey so public transport is an option buses regularly leave Leeds city centre but I would suggest checking times and bus numbers before departing. By road from Leeds simple follow the Kirkstall until you see the Abbey, you can miss the Abbey is huge then take the next right into the Abbey car park located across the road from the Abbey. Parking is free which is always a bonus. The Abbey House is located next to the car park. Also next to the car park is a delightful little play ground for the kids. There is an area for toddles with baby swings and smaller climbing frame and slide then for older kids larger swings and a huge climbing frame and slide so kids big and small will enjoy it.
The Abbey itself is across a the main road from the Car park I would suggest taking extra care when crossing with children as this is a very busy main road but there is a pedestrian crossing to use.
The Abbey is marvellous to look at even in its ruined state it is a pretty impressive building. All the attractions are clearly signed posted including the Kirkstall light railway and the beautiful river side walk.
At the moment the grounds are covered in beautiful daffodil's and it looks wonderful even if it is a bit chilly for a picnic at the moment when the warmer water comes it is perfect for taking a packed lunch. The is plenty of benches to sit on so it perfect for anyone who can't manage to walk too far in one go.
The riverside walks are popular with dog owners and the river Aire is also attracts people for fishing.
Abbey Road, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3EH - England, UK
Phone: +44 (0)113 230 5492 - Fax: +44 (0)113 247 8397
If you are looking for something to do with your kids in the school holidays then this is a great place to go.
The Abbey is a large monestry which was recently restored to a great standard. There is also the museum which homes a variety of sections such as Town Street which is full of old shops and really gives a feeling of being back in the olden days, a toy section, and also a section dedicated to clothing of the day which includes a dressing up box for children. There are various activities dotted around the museum, such as arts and craft tables where children can make masks, play with modelling clay and much more.
If that wasn't enough there is a cafe, a gift shop and a small play park.
A brilliant day out for everyone.
you cant beat a lil bit o' history. and what a place to do it. its a nice scenic place. and they often have fairs on. tis a awesome place to just chill. had my first date their, with a lil picnic.. xD
This is a great location for a film or photo shoot and even better for outdoor theatre. Set amongst the ruins you have the audience enjoying the plays whilst having a picnic with friend's and family. The only challenge is with the weather .
a most beautiful building and grounds, lovely to have a picnic by the canal, free to visit. staff at visitor centre are very friendly and full of interesting facts about the abbey. get some food from morrisons down the road and enjoy a great afternoon, playground next to the carpark near abbey house museum is fab for kids, they could spend hours there
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