Home Tourist #8

Well, it’s been quite a while since I looked at my ‘places in Leeds that I want to go but still haven’t made it to yet’ list.

* Ice skating on Millenium Square (Roll on december ;) )

* City Library

* Royal Armouries

* Tropical World

* Lotherton Hall

* Temple Newsam House

* Abbey House Museum

* Golden Acre Park

* Walk the Meanwood Valley Trail (and visit Eccup Reservoir)

* Middleton Railway (as recommended by Alex)

* Thwaite Mills (also, as recommended by Alex)

* Leventhorpe Vineyard

(* … I’m pretty certain there are others! – suggestions taken in ‘Comments’ below!)


And whilst I have done some wonderful Home Tourist things this Summer (see here for an example) I should say that I have not managed to cross off anything from the above list with today’s antics.  Unless I do what I do with my To Do lists on unproductive days, and write it on just to cross it off (which I probably will do..)

However, today has been a particularly marvellous day of Tourism in Leeds, so here goes.


The day started with a delicious Veggie Breakfast from The Greedy Pig – well, you can’t be a successful city-explorer on an empty stomach, can you?!

Mmmm – homemade spicy corn bread. 🙂

Then, as Twitter had told me earlier (today’s whole Leeds-excitement has been only due to people’s tweets telling me what was on in town,) I headed to the Corn Exchange as there was a little gathering of wool enthusiasts teaching folk how to knit – apparently it’s Wool Week!

Having been showed the basics at Buns and Roses a couple of weeks ago, I instead bought myself some large needles and later had a mooch around the Market and local shops to find me some chunky wool.  Look how well I’m doing already:


The main plan of my day, however, was to partake in the Owl Trail which had 3 walks today (10am, 11:30am and 2pm) as part of the Leeds Heritage Weekend.  I was happy to begin my trail early however, and combine both the Heritage weekend and Leeds Loves Wool:


Off I headed, just before 2, to meet on the steps of the City Gallery to begin the Owl-hunt.  It didn’t take long to spot one.  And a rather dapper one at that..

The leaflet contained small photos of each of the 25 owl-locations to be spotted around Leeds, and whilst our guide kept us up in the Civic quarter, we still managed to see many of the Owls, and learn interesting facts about the buildings they adorned.

The war-memorial in front of the Gallery has 4 owls on it, and is topped by the Angel of Peace.  It was initially called ‘Winged Victory’ and was topped by another figure, but I think that got damaged and so was replaced with the angel.

Then we headed to the Town Hall, where there are more Owls to be seen (after we spotted some at the Library too!)

Our lovely Tour-Owl told us about how if ever the Town Hall bell (which, incidentally, weighs 4 tonnes and is made of brass 🙂 )was to chime for midnight, the Lions will come to life and the Owls will fly across the City for the time span of chiming, before they all return back and the bell falls silent again.  Awesome!

The trail then continued back towards Millennium Square, and passed some owls I already knew about.

These owls I noticed last October at Light Night because they all had beautiful little knitted hats and scarves.  It was magical.  Today, however, we all got to adopt and name one of these Owls.  Mine was called ‘Smithy’ and he was brilliant. 🙂

I think the Owls that I’ve always been aware of in Leeds are those on and in front of the Civic Hall.  Today, I learnt that the ones on the very top were made in 1933 to create jobs in the great depression.  And not only that, but they are 9 feet tall!

Across the Square, we paused in front of the City Museum – another Cuthbert Brodrick building (as well as the Town Hall and Corn Exchange) and I learned that it was a copy of Parisian style architecture.  I like learning. 🙂

Then onwards to see one more owl-sight.  And a secret one at that, so shhhhh!  But it’s near St Ann’s Catherdral, so here’s a photo of that instead. 😉

I would fully recommend the Owl Trail if you’re able to attend one.  The guide is both friendly, funny and knowledgeable, and it really is great fun for all ages.  We were wandering for about 40 minutes, and there wasn’t a great deal of pavement-pounding.

I had a great time!  Leeds remains a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. 🙂

There are more tours tomorrow (Sunday 11th September, 2011) at 11:30am and 2pm.

Tessa x


One thought on “Home Tourist #8

  1. Pingback: Owl City » Home Tourist #8 « Tessa Smith

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