Armley Survival Guide

20/12/2011

Urgh, if it isn't 'orrible Armley. You're not looking for houses to rent in Armley, are you? I jest, I jest!

Armley, the birthplace of Alan Bennett, does, however, tend to get overlooked by students and professionals alike, as if it's the poor kid at a posh school. More fool them, says I, and with this list I aim to show you why. Armley got a brief mention in our Hidden Gems article, but rest assured, there's more than just ghosts there to entice you.

1. Let's kick things off with a bit of fitness for a change. Armley Leisure Centre is a £33m state-of-the-art facility, opened in 2010, representing one of the largest investments in sport and leisure ever seen in Leeds. It includes a 25-metre swimming pool, a 10-metre learner pool, hydrotherapy pool, 100-station Bodyline gym, 4-court and 2-court sports halls, and a cafÉ. Not bad, eh?

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2. Gott's Park Golf Club, but not for the reason you'd think! Sure, if you like playing a round of golf then why go anywhere else? However, I'm more interested in the hidden World War II bunkers buried beneath the quiet greenery. Didn't know about that one? I'll bet you didn't know about the one lurking underneath Woodhouse Moor either, did you? Gott's Park has two, in fact. One the size of the Woodhouse Moor shelter, and one far larger one. An extremely interesting piece of history. The houseto rent in Armley are surrounded by hidden history such as this, and would be great for those who like to explore such things.

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3. For a fascinating insight into the city's industrial heritage, visit the award-winning Armley Mills Industrial Museum and explore its exhibits dating back to the 18th century that tell the history of manufacturing in Leeds. There's also the 'Optics Galleries' where you can find out about the history of cinema projections.

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4. Okay, here's one for the students. Admittedly, Armley isn't the drinkers paradise that Headingley is. You'll likely be making your travels up there for the classic Otley run at some point, so you'd better make the most of it and do it with more style than your complacent Headingley contemporaries. How? With the aid of the Otley Run Fancy Dress Costumes, that's how.

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5. Finally, let's round things off with another bit of history. H.M.P. Leeds, or (my preferred term) Armley Gaol, was completed in 1847, and is a grade II-listed building. It was designed by its architects to look grim and forbidding to act as a visual deterrent for potential criminals. For those of us on the outside, it is a spectacular landmark that much resembles a castle. See if you can spot the 'hangman's tunnel', through which condemned prisoners were led out for public execution. Even if you are looking for houses to rent in Armley, I hope this isn't your future home! Although the lack of rent and bills is tempting . . .

That's right, there are no restaurants or pubs in the top5; that's just not what Armley's all about. It's a mainly working class area of Leeds with a real historical feel to it. I hope this list provided you with some information that you didn't already know, and will assist in your choice of whether houses to rent in Armley are for you.

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