It’s been a while since I visited my ‘Places I Should Have Been In Leeds, Seeing As I’ve Been Here 7 Years Now – How Embarrassing!’ list and knocked something off..
Here’s how it currently stands:
* Ice skating on Millenium Square (Missed that again this year! How pitiful!)
* Lotherton Hall
* Temple Newsam House
* Abbey House Museum
* Golden Acre Park
* Middleton Railway (as recommended by Alex)
* Thwaite Mills (also, as recommended by Alex)
(* … I’m pretty certain there are others! – suggestions taken in ‘Comments’ below!)
So, the initial plan was to walk what I believe is called ‘The Meanwood Trail’ from The Hollies up to Golden Acre Park. It was a Saturday, and the weather was set to be glorious. But (as I well know) planning is for fools, and no sooner than I had said “Yes, I’m free on Saturday” did I get a gig in. Certainly not complaining mind – I very much enjoyed playing at HN with Gav that evening.
So instead, the idea modified somewhat, and much less walking involved. And breakfast was included. 🙂
Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed I have been excessively promoting Leeds Cafe, ‘The Greedy Pig’. (Which has, annoyingly, left me being followed by many Hog Roast companies..!)
Let me take this moment to explain briefly: After I finished my Degree at LCM, I got a job at Betty’s in Harlow Carr. I very much enjoy working in Hospitality, but did not enjoy this job. I managed to stick at it for 6 months, then I got a job waitressing at Harvey Nichols – which was one of the best things that could have happened to me. 🙂
Joining a busy restaurant in December, and having no real station-waiter experience, I ended up on ‘food-pass’ for a long time; running food and polishing plates for the chef on the other side of the ‘pass. This chef was almost always Stuart, who I soon found to be extremely talented, wonderfully friendly, and (unlike many Chefs in that style of restaurant) quite ok with the fact that I am vegetarian. 🙂
Eventually, Stuart moved on from Harvey Nichols, which left me without an ‘allie’ in the kitchen and a maker of tasty lunches on my long shifts. 😦 However, we kept in touch and whenever he and Jo were in need of a ‘baby’-sitter, I’d offer my services in exchange for an exciting Stu-made dinner.
Now, Jo and Stu have started a new venture on North Street, and I whole-heartedly believe in what they are doing. I enjoy supporting people and organisations in Leeds that I believe in (Please see my LINKS page) and hope that perhaps my little amount of tweeting/blogging helps to bring someone, somewhere, to something I have found and love.
Anyway… Back to my sunny Home Tourist Saturday.
We headed to The Greedy Pig to sample the breakfasts. Veggie breakfast for me, and meat-filled breakfasts for my two guests – complete with homemade cornbread. 🙂 I would have taken a photo, but I’m afraid I was too hungry! It was lovely though, and very inexpensive! – Go! Visit now! Do it! hehe.
After breakfast, we headed to the park..
I had heard different opinions about Golden Acre Park. Some people say it’s a little ‘boring’, some rave about it, and there are some less-than-reputable stories surrounding it, post-sunset.. Still, I used to drive past it every day on my way to Betty’s and always wanted to stop and make up my own mind (in daylight!).
We arrived, and were too tempted by the ice cream van to resist spending faaar too much money on a ’99’ each. It’s good quality ice cream, yes, but very overpriced..
Still, ice creams in hand, I tried to avoid too many paths (I like to feel like an explorer sometimes..) and headed to the excitingly named ‘Paul’s Pond’.
To be honest, I think Paul is being a little modest, as I would consider it more of a small lake, but I didn’t see him to tell him so, so after walking the circumference of his pond/lake, we returned to the car park and crossed under the road to see the ‘real’ Golden Acre Park.
Unsurprisingly, given the glorious sunshine, the park was buzzing with people – couples taking walks, children riding bikes and feeding ducks, parents enjoying the last of the Easter Holidays. I hadn’t realised quite how large the park was going to be, and I’m afraid we didn’t leave a great deal of time to fully explore, but we wandered past the duck house and up to the meadow..
I enjoyed the fact that many benches are placed around for quiet observation of the beauty of the world – it makes me smile that simple pleasures have been considered.
We found a quiet spot where, if it wasn’t for the gentle hum of traffic from the A66o below, the birdsong would have been all we heard. Then there was time for a little more of a wander – including a dance or two – before we had to head home so I could prepare for my gig.
I feel that Golden Acre Park may have been undersold by people in the past, and I very much intend to go again and find the Gardens which we unfortunately missed. The trick, for me, is to avoid the masses of people, and pick my way through the woods – something G.A.P does offer, though admittedly not as much as Roundhay, or possibly even Armley/Gotts. But the Meanwood Trail would suffice me for that I think.. And it’s now being added to the list, as I didn’t know it existed before now!
Any other suggestions, please comment below. And, if you fancy joining me on any other trips, get in touch too! Let’s all be Home Tourists – it’s great fun! 🙂