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What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Leeds

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  • Jan-Peter van Tijk

    I wish I'd found InterNations sooner: It would have made my first few month as an expat in London much less overwhelming.

Relocating to Leeds

Because it is the biggest financial city outside of London, Leeds attracts a variety of start-up businesses and skilled expatriates each year. With many diverse neighborhoods and much to see and do, Leeds has something for everyone. In terms of housing, every spectrum is covered, with spacious modern apartments littered around the city center, terraced and local authority properties available in other urban regions, and large detached properties commonplace in the suburbs and rural areas.

About Leeds

While it is in the north of England, Leeds is actually very centrally located and is a similar distance away from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh as it is from London. Its location also means that the large northern cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Hull are easily commutable using the M62 motorway, while Sheffield is only around 30 minutes south, down the M1.

With a population of around 780,000, the Leeds metropolitan district is the second largest in England and the 2011 census shows that it is home to 71 different ethnic groups. The largest demographic identify themselves as white (81%), while the biggest minority are Asian at 7.7%. Some 3.5% are of African or Afro-Caribbean descent and 0.5% are from the Arabian Peninsula.

In religious terms, the majority of Leeds residents are Christians but 3% are Muslims and the city also has the third biggest Jewish population in the UK. 16.8% of inhabitants consider themselves as atheist/non-religious.

Finding Accommodation in Leeds

Due to the size of the city, Leeds has every kind of accommodation imaginable. People working in or close to the city center may be drawn to the flats and apartments that have sprung up in recent years. People who are studying typically move into purpose built halls of residence or to areas such as Headingley and Hyde Park, where large terraced houses serve as multiple occupancy premises.

If money is no object, there are many large mansions in the north of the city, where there is a rural area known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ due its affluence.

Both the Yorkshire Evening Post and Yorkshire Post publish a weekly property pull-out that lists homes for sale and rent. Sites such as,, and are also worth exploring as they have a large number of listings and give you the ability to look at multiple photographs of the properties available.

The Climate in Leeds

The climate of Leeds is heavily influenced by its proximity to the Pennines mountain range and easterly fronts from the Atlantic Ocean. Summers are typically mild with highs between 18.2°C (64.8°F) and 19.9°C (67.8°F), while winters range between cool and bitterly cold. January is usually the coldest month with an average high of 5.8°C and lows of 0.3°C.

Leeds’s highest temperature came in the summer of 1990 when a heatwave brought a record 34.4°C (94°F). In December 2010, a low temperature of -12.6°C (9.3°F) was felt at Leeds Bradford Airport.

Average annual rainfall is just 660 mm (25.98 in), making it one of the driest cities in the whole of the country.

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