Founded over 800 years ago in 1152, Kirkstall Abbey is a feat of historic architecture set amid a haven of wildlife and greenery.
Explore one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian abbey where historic architecture and beautiful parkland meet alongside the River Aire. Discover the story of the abbey and its community in the Visitor Centre and find out what life was like for the Cistercian monks.
Enjoy food from around the world at Yorkshire’s most scenic deli markets on the last weekend of every month (March – November). Take part in a range of family activities and roam the ruins with our trails.
The 12th century abbey is both magnificent in stature and inspiring in its detail, situated just a short drive from Leeds city centre it is a site of cultural importance and history.
Feel a true sense of the past as you stroll through its tranquil grounds, surrounded by stunning tree-filled parkland on the banks of the River Aire. One of the most complete Cistercian monasteries in Britain, the abbey is a marvel to behold with its dramatic architecture. Visitors can explore the history of Kirkstall Abbey at our interactive Visitor Centre; it sits on the site of the Reredorter, the name given to the toilets used by the laybrothers who carried out agricultural and manual tasks at the abbey!
Family activities and trails are run throughout the year from the Visitor Centre, along with a series of outdoor markets with over 40 unique stalls every month between March and November. Outdoor cinema experiences run throughout the summer months and provide the opportunity to experience a classic film in a spectacular setting.
Programmes for young people including informal groups and creative workshops take place regularly, whilst the 1152 Club is a free, friendly local history and special interest group for people aged 55+.
Don’t forget to visit the shop to purchase unique gifts and bespoke products made by local craftspeople. Kirkstall Abbey is directly across the road from Abbey House Museum, this is a great opportunity to make a day out for all the family.