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Leeds Civic Trust announce its supper walks series for 2019



Leeds Civic Trust is pleased to announce its supper walks series for 2019.  These walks offer the opportunity to see Leeds City Centre in a new light. The walks are 1½-hour in length, and are preceded by supper in the interesting surroundings of the Trust’s Headquarters located in the Calls.*


This year, Leeds Civic Trust is offering six walks between April and June as follows:


  • Medieval Leeds (30 April)
  • Victorian and Edwardian Leeds (9 May)
  • *Mabgate: then and now (15 May) (starting from East Street Arts)
  • Waterfront East (6 June)
  • Waterfront West (11 June)
  • Leeds City Centre Blue Plaques Highlights (19 June)


The Trust will open its doors from 5.45pm onwards, and supper will be served at 6pm. Walkers need to be ready to set off from 6.30pm onwards (2 groups, with slightly staggered starts) for a 1 ½ hour walk led by our experienced and knowledgeable guides. The cost per person, per walk is £15.00 including supper and drinks. Booking information can be found at the Leeds Civic Trust website



Trust Director Martin Hamilton said:


“We have a fantastic range of supper walks on offer this year, including a completely new walk which tells the stories behind some of our city centre blue plaque recipients, a repeat of  last year’s very successful walks focusing on the historic areas of Mabgate and the waterfront, as well as the return of popular favourites focusing on our Medieval, Victorian and Edwardian past.”


*Note, East Street Arts is the meeting point for the Mabgate Walk


The Walks


6 p.m. Tuesday 30 April

Medieval Leeds

Today, Briggate (literally: gate to the bridge) is the one of the main shopping streets in Leeds, but more importantly it is a medieval survivor of the beginnings of the centre of Leeds, along with Kirkgate which leads to Leeds Minster (which had a presence on this site from very early times).  This walk will highlight the locations of the Manor House, Corn Mill and other vestiges of Medieval Leeds – including our medieval boundaries (marked by Bar Stones – and now a complete set of Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaques). A walk describing the earliest beginnings of Leeds.


6.00 p.m. Thursday, 09 May

Victorian & Edwardian Leeds

When Queen Victoria opened Leeds Town Hall in 1858, this was a royal acknowledgement that Leeds was going places.  Slums were cleared and roads widened to be replaced by statements of Victorian self-confidence. The Corn Exchange, Kirkgate Market, the arcades, City Square are all Victorian features that define Leeds City Centre to this day.  This walk visits these and other important city centre locations that emerged throughout the Victorian and Edwardian era and lifted Leeds to become a pre-eminent provincial city of the United Kingdom.


6.00 p.m. Wednesday 15 May

Mabgate Then & Now (Starting from East Street Arts)

Mabgate is a fascinating but often overlooked part of Leeds.  Just over the footbridge from a rapidly changing Quarry Hill, a stones throw from the glitz of the Victoria Quarter and adjoining the 60s tower blocks of Lincoln Green, Mabgate has its own distinctive identity and a long and interesting history. Connecting the present with the past, the walk takes in the site of St Mary’s Church and the cholera graveyard, tracks the route of the Mabgate Beck and its role in Leeds’ industrial expansion in the 19th century – a flour mill, an iron foundry, the growth of ready-made clothing, and reflects on Mabgate’s current uses and functions, and the future for this unusual and historic part of Leeds.


6.00 p.m. Thursday, 6 June

Waterfront East

Beginning at the Calls, and taking as its spine the Aire and Aire& Calder Navigation, and going beyond Crown Point Bridge and the Armouries and Leeds Dock, this walk tells the story of this important shipping intersection and the historical importance of Hunslet and its surroundings as a focus for trade and business. Today the area is the home of five educational establishments, a growing residential area, proposed location of a new city centre park, and a focus for the digital economy – the largest outside of London.  A fascinating area that has continued to innovate over the centuries.


6.00 p.m. Tuesday, 11 June
Waterfront West

Staying close to the river and canal basin and finishing in Holbeck, this walk shows how this area has had a vital role in shaping the city over the last 200 years, and how future developments will radically alter this part of Leeds once again.  It is the location of the first moving image and the cradle of the industrial revolution. , bur also home of an Egyptian Temple and Italian towers. In the future new skyscrapers are planned as are large scale demolitions to make way for HS2.  The walk will cover all of this and more.


6.00 p.m. Wednesday, 19 June
Leeds City Centre Blue Plaques Highlights

New for 2019, this walk will tell the stories behind some of our city blue plaques which highlight the personalities and places that have made Leeds the place it is today.  From world leading sculptors to Victorian self-help gurus via the oldest subscription library in the UK the former haunt of Chaplin and Houdini…and some of the best historical architecture Leeds has to offer, this tour tells you about this and more.


The cost is £15.00 per person per walk inclusive of food and drink.

Food served at 6pm; doors open at 5.45pm.



Images above include:

  • County Arcade, one of our Victorian gems
  • Leeds Minster – which has had a presence on this site since Medieval times
  • A New footbridge on the Aire and Calder Navigation – a sign of regeneration on the South Bank
  • Burmantofts pottery facade of the former City of Mabgate Pub

“Both Legs” – by celebrated Leeds sculptor and blue plaque recipient Kenneth Armitage

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