Whether you’re venturing out to discover new places, or you’re commuting around the area you have lived in for your whole life, often, travelling by bus can introduce you to some of the hidden gems dotted around that may have otherwise gone undiscovered.
On this specific journey to the city centre, we begin in the place that everyones grown to love, Horsforth. Connecting the neighbouring suburbs to the bustling city is what First Buses are for, and the number 50 is ideal for those of you wanting to explore and discover some hidden gems of your own. In this piece, we’ll be giving you a guided tour of some of our favourite stop-offs on the route, and introducing you to a new world of independents you can boast about to your friends and family.
Bus stop: Horsforth The Green
Cafe Yoga – A small sanctuary nestled under the trees can be found in the heart of Horsforth. Offering a wide range of yoga classes, award-winning specialty coffee, savoury bites and mouth watering sweet treats, you’ll quickly become a regular at this spot. Although Yoga classes have been paused for the month of August, but not to worry as they’ll be back and better than ever in September with new classes and evening classes due to high demand!
2 Back Ln, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 4RF
Morton’s of Horsforth – If you’re on the hunt to find your new favourite butcher, Morton’s of Horsforth on Town Street can offer you everything you need, in meat and knowledge. Established back in 1998, they have become one of Horsforth’s most respected butchers, supplying their customers and other businesses with the very best of British meat.
54 Town St, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 4AP
Trattoria il Forno – This family run Italian pizzeria and gelateria have established themselves as a dominant eatery in the suburb of Horsforth. All dishes are prepared for you by scratch by an experienced team of chefs, serving up a plate of authentic Italian taste and aroma through their wood-fired pizza oven. To complete the full Italian experience, you can indulge yourself in their guest artisan gelatos prepared by another local company.
85 Town St, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5BP
The Greenhouse – Plant-based café The Greenhouse presents their customers with nutritious food every day of the week. With sweet, savoury and gluten free options on their menu, seasonal menus, vegan afternoon tea and ever-changing freshly baked cakes, be prepared to be amazed. Their 2020 mission was to reduce the plastic waste they produce, and have already gone plastic-free with their coffee supplier, greengrocers as well as providing eco-friendly plant-based disposable cups.
85e Town St, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5BP
Bus stop: Horsforth School
Zoe’s Fancy Cakes – Only starting in 2014 and moving into Horsforth in 2017, Zoe’s Fancy Cakes has become the place to be for cake decorating tips, equipment and tutorials for when you fancy trying it out yourself. After the hit of COVID, Zoe’s bouncing back better than ever by growing an online store, new products, new online classes and new premises.
119 Town St, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5BL
Firefly Pottery – Pottery studio and cafe Firefly allows anyone to get their hands dirty and enjoy creating with clay on a potters wheel. Hand-sculpt your own designs and come back another day to paint masterpieces, or you can choose to decorate a previously made pottery item so get creative!
116 Town St, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 4AH
Bus stop: Morris Avenue
Kirkstall Abbey – Perhaps not so much a hidden gem, but most definitely somewhere you should stop off on your way to the city centre. Ruined Cistercian monastery was founded in 1152, then disestablished in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. A haven of greenery, wildlife and historic architecture can be the perfect pit-stop for kids or as a family. Being a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument, it is an oasis for historians, artists and visitors to Leeds. You can step back in time and absorb the wonderful ruins and history that surrounds you.
Abbey Rd, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3EH
Bus stop: Burley Medical Centre
POCO Sicilian Street Food – Casual street food eatery Poco is the first Sicilian street food location to open up in the city of Leeds. On Kirkstall Road just opposite Cardigan Fields and Vue Kirkstall, with customer favourites including Pizza Al Taglio, Arancini, Sicilian Roast Chicken and Pasta Boxes to settle the stomach grumbles.
360 Kirkstall Rd, Burley, Leeds LS4 2HQ
Meat is Dead – New vegan restaurant Meat is Dead, opening in June 2021, prides themselves on being a junk-free plant based bar and food location. The first of its kind in Leeds, this space is proud to be free of exploitation, harm and prejudice, being a place people can spoil themselves with great-tasting, fresh food.
231-239 Kirkstall Rd, Burley, Leeds LS4 2AS
Bus stop: Headrow J
Town Hall Tavern – On Westgate you’ll find Town Hall Tavern, a historic Leeds pub that dates back to 1926. Since relaunching in 2011, it quickly became a popular drinking and dining destination for punters. Not only do they serve delicious beers from their local suppliers, they have an amazing selection of award winning casks, Timothy Taylor’s. Alongside these traditional options, they have premium spirits and a carefully selected wine list available.
17 Westgate, Leeds LS1 2RA
Bus stop: Headrow G
North Bar – As part of the North Brewing Co organisation, North Bar has survived through the years since they opened back in 1997. So on New Briggate you can kick back and relax, tasting the flavours of North Brewing Co.
24 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU
Leeds Grand Theatre – The Grand is a theatre and opera house on new briggate, which has seen an array of performances since opening back in 1878. Since the theatre arts took the biggest hit from COVID, now’s the perfect time to support the industry and enjoy being back watching live performances.
Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU
Nam Song Cafe – Restaurant Nam Song is an all-day-all-night coffee shop, restaurant and bar serving up our favourite Vietnamese food, drinks and of course their legendary phin filter coffee. Their shops are famous for their orange walls, authentic food and buzzing atmosphere.
57-59 New Briggate, Merrion St, Leeds LS2 8JD