Considering moving to a new city but not sure where’s best for you and your family? With good schools, tonnes of things to do with the kids and a friendly vibe, Leeds could be ideal.
Located in West Yorkshire, Leeds is the UK’s third largest city, with a bustling centre and a host of suburbs and nearby commuter towns to explore. Unemployment is low and businesses from all sectors call the city home, providing great career opportunities for working residents.
Sound good? Keep reading to learn more about why Leeds is perfect for families looking to relocate. We’ll also share some of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods for inspiration.
Why Leeds is one of the UK’s most family-friendly cities
1. The Child Friendly Leeds Initiative
Inspired by UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities scheme, Leeds’s own initiative was launched more than a decade ago. Run by the city council alongside schools, children’s centres and other local organisations, its aim is to make Leeds a great place to raise a family.
This includes providing access to relevant support services to help prevent child poverty and reduce the number of look after children in the city. In addition, the Child Friendly Leeds Initiative aims to boost school attendance, provide safe spaces and aid healthy lifestyles.
In practice, the scheme funds school holiday meals and activities, plus an array of art projects, play schemes, learning resources and enrichment events. As such, all children are able to take part in fun and beneficial activities, without parents having to worry about the cost. So, if you want your children to get the best start in life, Leeds is definitely a city worth considering.
2. Multiple Top-Rate Schools And Universities
Wondering what the schools in Leeds are like? The city and its suburbs boasts almost 250 primary schools and 70 secondary schools. This includes a mix of state, private and independent settings, with the vast majority rated either Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.
Moreover, The Sunday Times’ Schools Guide for 2023 named 8 Leeds secondary schools amongst the best performing schools in the country. Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley was one of the top picks, with 70% of students achieving A*/A GCSE grades.
In fact, exam results across the city are steadily improving, with numerous schools across Horsforth, Headingley and Moortown having recently surpassed the national average. And for families with older teens, Leeds also has several good colleges and 5 universities, including a Russell Group institution. Not to mention specialist arts and music education providers too.
3. Safe Residential Area For Families
As the most populous city in Yorkshire, Leeds often gets a bad rap for its crime rates versus neighbouring areas. However, many crimes are confined to the city centre’s late night party district and robberies are on the decline thanks to improved security systems.
Furthermore, a recent Confused.com residents survey placed Leeds very much in the middle when it comes to safe UK postcodes, so it’s definitely not all bad. As with any city, it’s about using your common sense, such as not going out alone at night. And if you have a young family, you may want to avoid areas known for higher crime rates like Beeston and Seacroft.
However, the city also has its fair share of safe neighbourhoods with good schools and low crime levels. These include family friendly suburbs such as Horsforth, Alwoodley, Morley, Garforth East, Scarcroft, Guiseley and more. The city centre is also generally safe during the daytime given the many shoppers, workers, tourists and regular police patrols in the vicinity.
4. Lots of Activities to Keep the Kids Entertained
Whether you’re after rainy day ideas or ways to get your kids outdoors more, Leeds has a plethora of family activities to choose from. Some of the city’s best indoor attractions include The Royal Armouries, Leeds City Museum and MathsCity. Educational and fun, kids will have the opportunity to play dress up, explore interactive displays and more, all while learning.
If the weather’s good, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm offers hands-on animal experiences with everything from alpacas to bunnies. Alternatively, Roundhay Park’s lakeside playgrounds are a local favourite, or you could test your nerves at Temple Newsham’s new Go Ape course.
Other sporty activities in Leeds include trampolining at Gravity, go-karting at Team Sport and indoor climbing at Clip ‘n’ Climb. In short, there is no shortage of ways to help the kids blow off steam in this lively, family friendly city. And certainly no excuse to be bored on a weekend!
Last but not least, one of the key reasons families love Leeds is the affordable housing. As of December 2022, the average UK house price sat at around £294,329 – that’s almost 10% more than the year before! In Leeds, on the other hand, the average semi-detached home cost £254,841, and more compact terraces came in at a reasonable £181,217.
Plus, you can save even more by sticking to the city’s most affordable areas, like Holbeck, Osmondthorpe and Bramley. Morley is also a good choice for families, as is Chapel Allerton’s increasingly popular and significantly cheaper neighbour, Meanwood. And whichever you go for, you’ll never be far from the heart of the action thanks to Leeds’s great transport links.
How to sell your house fast and move to Leeds
If you’re ready to make the move to Leeds but your current home is holding you back, We Buy Any Home can help. As established cash house buyers, we are ready and waiting to buy any kind of property – even if it’s been on the market for months or it’s in a less than ideal area.
In addition, our process is much quicker than the average home sale. You won’t have to wait for a buyer to secure a mortgage or sell their own home first. Instead, we can purchase your house outright and have the funds sent over within 7 days, so you can move into your new place faster. Apply for a free cash offer online to learn how much your home could be worth.