Since its first Test match in 1899, Headingley Stadium has been the setting for some true milestones of international cricket – from Don Bradman’s record 309 runs in a single day to England’s against-all-odds victory in the 1981 Ashes. This year, it will host four ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures, including England v Sri Lanka on 6 June.
Headingley is located in the laid-back Leeds suburb of the same name. Here’s a hand-picked selection of the area’s best spots.
What to do
On sunny days, Kirkstall Abbey’s grounds are a lovely place for a walk
Sitting on the banks of the River Aire is Kirkstall Abbey, the remains of a 12th-century Cistercian monastery. Today its atmospheric ruins and surrounding parkland are free for public use, and make for an attractive stroll if the weather’s good. The cloister hosts monthly craft and produce markets – including one that coincides with the Pakistan v Afghanistan match on 29 June. In the monastery’s old gatehouse you’ll find the Abbey House Museum, which tells the story of the monastery from founding to dissolution and offers the chance to explore a reconstructed 19th-century high street, to get a feel for what Leeds was like in Victorian times.
Brudenell Social Club
Brudenell Social Club is one of Leeds’ best spots for live music
Brudenell Social Club is a Leeds institution. Founded as a working men’s club in 1913, today it’s a community-run nonprofit and one of the city’s best live music venues. There’s an ever-changing line-up of both up-and-coming artists and old favourites, including some surprisingly big names. Check the schedule in advance to time your visit to Headingley for the cricket with a gig or two. But even if you’re not staying for a show, it’s worth calling into the Brudenell for a post-game pint of local craft beer. Inside the social room, the décor has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s – and the prices are pleasingly old-fashioned, too.
Where to eat
Heaney & Mill
Start your day with Heaney & Mill’s light-as-air pancakes
This smart bistro is a recent addition to Otley Road’s thriving restaurant scene. Open all day, Heaney & Mill has earned rave reviews for its sophisticated à la carte and set menus. Stop in for an indulgent pre-match breakfast – think light-as-air pancakes with blueberry compote, honeycomb and greek yoghurt – or head there for dinner after close of play. Stand-out dishes include crisp ham hock croquettes, butter-roasted sirloin and a vibrant watercress and spinach risotto topped with a soft poached egg. If you’re in town all weekend, book ahead to experience their lavish Sunday roast.
I am Döner
I am Döner serves up top-quality kebabs with fresh ingredients
Before setting out to turn the humble döner into much more than a late-night snack, chef Paul Baron worked his way up through Michelin-starred kitchens. Today his Otley Road shop serves kebabs from lunchtime until midnight, with a focus on top-quality ingredients made from scratch. Choose between I am Döner’s juicy slow-roasted lamb, grilled chicken, halloumi or falafel – or go for the house special to get all four. Vegans are catered for too, with a mouthwatering seitan döner. Whichever filling you pick, it’ll be stuffed inside a freshly baked pitta and loaded with homemade sauces, roasted veggies and pickled pink cabbage. I am Döner’s commitment to plastic-free packaging and funding local youth projects make it even easier to tuck in with a clear conscience.
Where to stay
Your very own four-poster bed, 8 minutes’ walk from the cricket ground
Haley’s Hotel is housed in a turreted villa that dates back to the 1880s. Rooms blend period charm with all the comforts you’d expect, including free WiFi, TVs and kettles. Downstairs there’s a bar with an open fireplace and a dining room where breakfast is served – don’t miss the hearty full English, cooked to order. You can leave your car outside for free, and it’s just an 8-minute stroll to Headingley Stadium, crossing the bar-lined Otley Road en route.
Roomzzz Leeds Headingley
Roomzzz’s apartments come with modern kitchens and plenty of light
A 15-minute walk from Headingley Stadium, Roomzzz Leeds Headingley offers modern apartments that sleep up to four. Each one has ultra-comfy beds and a well-equipped kitchen. Essentials like tea and coffee are provided, and you’ll even find a bag of breakfast goodies waiting when you arrive. The quiet residential location in Burley means it’s easy to reach from both Headingley and Burley Park train stations. There’s also free garage parking if you’re coming by car.