The city of Leeds holds such a special place in my heart. It is where I went aged 18 when I left home. I still remember so vividly my Mum and her then boyfriend dropping me off with all my worldly possessions piled high in the car, ‘High’ by the Lighthouse Family was playing and I remember being so nervous I felt sick heading off to a strange city I knew nothing about. But that strange city soon became a city I loved very much, and a city I would spend six years of my life. I have a lot to thank Leeds for- it’s where I met and fell in love with Jon.
So when Holiday Inn got in touch asking if we would like to stay in one of their hotels for the evening to highlight and promote their fantastic Winter weekend offer (you can get 15% off selected winter stays at the moment) we of course said yes and decided that we would head on a trip down memory lane to Leeds for the weekend. We have only been back once or twice since we had the children and they are too young to remember it, so we thought it would be the perfect time to go and have a little reminisce.
We stayed in the Holiday Inn Leeds – Brighouse which was lovely. We have stayed in numerous Holiday Inn’s and I think the thing that I like about them is that you always know what to expect. They are quality and comfortable hotels, with little extra touches that help enhance your stay. For example the Leeds Brighouse property had an indoor pool which was the best thing ever for my swimming mad three, and across all the Holiday Inn properties they do a ‘Kids Eat Free’ offer which is always a bonus too.
Here is our weekend in pictures…
We arrived at the hotel late due to the fact we had a bit of car drama (we broke down on the A1 for almost four hours which was a bit of a nightmare). But once we finally made it we were pleased to see our room was comfortable and a good size for a family of 5.
As I mentioned above there was an indoor pool there so within about 5 minutes of arriving we were straight in our swimming costumes and in the pool. They had a great time splashing around.
Then we headed to the hotel’s restaurant ‘The Cow on the Hill’ for some dinner. This little one is always the first to get involved with the colouring at restaurants, bless her heart.
I can’t remember the last time I had Camembert, so yummy.
The food was actually really tasty, Jon had a burger and I had a Chicken Tikka Masala. As mentioned kids eat free which is a great offer.
All eating ice cream and looking so grown up.
We had a great night’s sleep, the bed was comfy and had a soft duvet (it’s my pet hate in hotels when you get a scratch sheet or duvet).
I love these photos I took of my babies, I have been terrible recently at taking photos with my ‘big camera’, preferring to use my phone or vlogging camera. But I have been trying to make more of an effort to take my big camera out and about. I love the shots I get with it.
Chilling in the open lobby before we headed into Leeds.
Like I said at the start you just sort of know with Holiday Inn that you are going to get a quality and comfortable stay. We had a lovely time and it was really nice to chill in the hotel for the evening rather than rush about going for dinner somewhere else. It was just easy going with the kids and it meant we could relax a bit too.
The first place we headed on our little trip down memory lane is the Clarence Dock area of Leeds. It is where Jon and I had a flat for six months, just me and him as friends, before we actually got together. It’s always been a cool place to take kids as the Royal Armouries are there, but they’ve developed it so much since we lived there and it’s now even better. The children loved running up and down these artificial grass blocks.
There are a few of these dotted about with a view of the canal, I can imagine it is a lovely place to sit and eat your lunch in the summer.
There’s also a cute little kids play area there now too. We stayed there a good couple of hours just walking around and reminiscing and letting the kids run about.
Then we headed for some lunch. I googled good pizza places in Leeds and we ended up in Archie’s Bar & Kitchen which was a perfect spot. The pizzas were good (not amazing though) and it was a nice place to chill out and relax for an hour or so and warm up (up North is definitely colder!). Mads had this child’s hot dog which was huge. I couldn’t imagine the adult one!
Leeds has always been good for shopping but it has got even better, it is a great shopping destination. There is a shopping centre called Trinity which didn’t even exist when I was there. It’s great and it was lovely seeing it all decked out for Christmas.
We then headed down to the canal as I wanted to go and see the spot where Jon and I first kissed. I am such a sentimental fool and I am definitely getting worse as I get bigger. The kids weren’t interested in the slightest (Maddie even made pretend sick noises), but it was lovely to see where we first kissed all those years ago.
After that we decided to go for a little walk in Roundhay Park (it is a beautiful spot to go if you are in Leeds, there is a lovely park, a large kids play area and also some great bars and restaurants), to let the kids blow off some steam and run about before our two hour journey back home. We arrived just as the sun was setting and I literally love these photos. I will never tire of the lovely golden light you get when the sun is setting.
After our walk we headed back into the city centre to do a little bit more shopping, before setting off on our journey home. We had the best time in Leeds, it is a city that will always be close to my heart and it was lovely to go back with the children and show them some of our old haunts. There’s something so exciting about going away for a weekend and exploring all that the UK has to offer. We will definitely go back soon.
NB: Thanks to Holiday Inn for kindly inviting us to stay and for working with us on this blog post. All content, photos, words and opinions are entirely my own.3