Roundhay Area Guide
History of Roundhay
Roundhay was formerly a hunting park for the De Lacy family of Pontefract Castle. Coal and iron were once smelted here, however the area turned to farming after the coal was exhausted.
Roundhay was just a small hamlet up until the early 1900’s when the park was bought by James Nicholson who started a period of landscaping, and built the Roundhay Mansion. A program of housing construction then steadily began.
Roundhay Park was bought by Leeds City Council in 1872 and opened as a public park by Prince Arthur. At this time the park was largely inaccessible to the majority of Leeds inhabitants due to the distance and poor access from the main suburbs. Due to this there was much opposition as many considered the park was too far out of Leeds and having just one access road, led to it being dubbed a 'white elephant' in its early years.
The horse-drawn public ominbus, then later the horse-drawn tram, began to change this and interest in the area grew. The addition of a Post Office, three more churches and a lido shortly after the turn of the 20th century, bolstered the areas desirability further. Brick built detached and semi detached housing sprang up around this time, following a lift on Council restrictions that stipulated only stone may be used for building. Roundhay was officially incorporated into Leeds in 1912.
During the First World War, Roundhay was used as a gathering place for soldiers, hence the land by Prince's Avenue being known as “Soldiers Field”. After the war, new estates were built to the south and west of the park. Two schools were added in 1926 and in 1932, and after the Second World War a great number of houses filled the spaces, and many of the larger properties were converted to flats.
Roundhay Park itself is the second largest in Europe (after Munich’s Englischer Gardens) spanning an area of 700 acres of parkland, woodland, and lakes. The park incorporates the Monet and Alhambra Gardens, National Plant Collections, scented gardens for the blind, Canal Gardens, Friends Garden, the Rainbow Garden.
The park is a particularly popular Sunday outing for families and dog walkers. There is a flourishing wildlife area; home to woodpeckers, swans, grebes and herons as well as various types of visiting and migrating birds. The larger Waterloo Lake is also used for fishing and boating.
Tropical World is located to the west of the park and contains many rare birds and butterflies. This rare paradise offers Leeds residents’ and tourists the opportunity to experience different zones around the world including tropical and desert areas with native flora and fauna as well as small animals and birds.
Roundhay Park is a well-known venue for a number of events including the largest annual bonfire and firework display in Leeds, as well as music festivals, flower and animal shows. There are a number of sporting facilities around the park including tennis courts, a golf course, bowling greens, and skateboard ramps.
Just to the west of Roundhay is the attractive, leafy residential area of Gledhow. Gledhow Valley is home to a beautiful strip of mixed deciduous woodland with a beck and lake.
Leeds Carnegie RUFC, were founded after the merger of the Headingley and Roundhay Rugby Union clubs. The Roundhegians RFC were the old boys association of Roundhay School but now operate as a Rugby club for the whole of Roundhay. The club plays at Chelwood Drive at the west end of Roundhay, near Moortown
Entertaining and eating out in Meanwood
Street lane is the main road through Roundhay,where there you’ll find a parade of exclusive shops, bars, restaurants and deli's where you can eat and drink alongside the designer brands.
There are also a selection of traditional and gastro pubs….and why not take a trip to The Roundhay Park Mansion, nestled in beautiful surroundings, it's very popular for a spot of afternoon tea!
Housing in Roundhay
Roundhay is an affluent residential area popular with families and professionals, where you can find a mixture of large detached properties, semi-detached as well as many flats to rent in Leeds.
Since building has been staggered over different periods, there is no consistent style of housing in Roundhay so this has led to a mix of brick and stone built Victorian terraced houses, villas, semi-detached and detached housing.
There are also desirable flats adjacent to the park and along the northern edge of Roundhay, great for renting in Leeds.
How to get there
Buses: Buses to and from Leeds City Centre are operated by First Leeds on the number 2 & 12 line.
Train: The nearest train station is in Headingley or Leeds City Centre
Car: Roundhay is situated approximately 3 miles North of Leeds City Centre off the A58 Wetherby Road at Oakwood. Alternatively, Roundhay is accessible from the A6120 Leeds Ring Road.
Today Roundhay is generally regarded as one of the most attractive and desirable of Leeds’ suburbs. Its open spaces and greenery mixed with an excellent range of amenities, facilities, good schools, and the short commute to the City Centre (as well as proximity to many large local employers) make it a real Leeds hotspot for those looking for property to buy in Leeds.
*Area guide images are from Wikipedia and can be used under the Creative Commons Licence.