Moving to Leeds Waterfront: Area Guide

Leeds is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities; its incredibly diverse economy makes the city a hotspot for young professionals and fun seekers in the North.

And as a popular, up and coming urban neighborhood, Leeds Waterfront has a lot to offer its occupants, with a powerful industrial past and a thriving residential present.

Thinking of moving to Leeds Waterfront? Then read on for everything you need to know about this busy and exciting area.

Where is Leeds Waterfront?

Leeds Waterfront is the unofficial name of the area that surrounds the River Aire, just south of Leeds City Centre.

The majority of the buildings in and around Leeds Waterfront are property developments, such as Leeds Dock, Granary Wharf or Brewery Wharf.

leeds city centre lit up at night

A brief history of Leeds Waterfront

As with many major rivers around the world, the River Aire was instrumental in creating many of Leeds’s crucial industries, attracting laborers who eventually settled in the area to stay near to their place of work.

The River Aire was particularly important for the growth of the textile industry in this part of the country, powering its fulling mills (necessary for the production of woolen cloth).

The river itself spans a distance of almost 150km and was historically vital for the movement of goods.

Many of the impressive buildings flanking the River Aire today were erected during the busy period of waterfront development in the 1980s.

Fast forward a few decades and the waterfront is now a thriving business and residential hotspot, adorned with student accommodation, condominium complexes, office spaces, shops, bars and restaurants.

An in-depth look at Leeds Waterfront

Who lives there?

You’ll always find young professionals living the high life in bustling cities like Leeds, but the Waterfront is also popular with older people looking to down-size.

Types of property in Leeds Waterfront

This area is becoming increasingly popular as developers redesign parts of the Waterfront.

The vast majority of properties in Leeds Waterfront are flats, which can start as low as £750 per month for a one-bedroom property in areas like Leeds Dock or Brewery Wharf.

Two-bedroom flats average at £1,000 per month, and three-bedrooms go up to an average of £1,450 per month.

If you’re looking for something luxurious, there are also penthouse suites and flats on offer, with floor to ceiling windows and 5-star views overlooking the Waterfront.

leeds waterfront lit up at night

Leeds Waterfront transport

Leeds Waterfront has good transport links; the area is very walkable, although it also has great connections by road, rail and even by water.

The west side of Leeds Waterfront is close to Leeds Station. Getting from one side of the River to the other is easily done by water taxi. For drivers, the Waterfront is near plenty of car parks.

Restaurants and shops

Leeds Waterfront has a whole host of restaurants and shops to keep you busy.

Water Lane Boathouse

This riverside beer garden is the perfect place to grab a drink with friends or sample a burger or pizza. If you’re looking for a daytime hangout by the water, Water Lane Boathouse has a very relaxed atmosphere by day, great for business meetings or study sessions.


Step inside the dramatic leather and wood interior of Fazenda and be dazzled by the excellent service and mouthwatering menu of sizzling skewered meat.

Colours May Vary

This gem of a bookstore collects independent design, illustration, photography and lifestyle books. The shop even doubles as a gallery and event space.

Aire Bar

This buzzing bar is a firm favourite with locals, offering a great menu of food and drink, including a range of local breweries on tap. They even have an overhanging terrace for views over the waterfront.

Livin’ Italy

Livin’ Italy specialises in authentic Italian food, offering an informal, unpretentious dining experience that’s open to everyone. Don’t miss their weeknight Aperitivo hour with wine and nibbles, perfect for catching up with friends.

aerial shot of leeds waterfront at night

Socialising in Leeds Waterfront

The Waterfront offers easy access to a wide variety of entertainment venues, with some of the nation’s biggest museums just a stone’s throw away.

Moving to Leeds Waterfront

If you love new developments, riverside views and the excitement of a busy city on your doorstep, Leeds Waterfront might be the perfect place for your next home.


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