City break: Leeds, EnglandJanuary 8, 2019 Courses and Travel
The West Yorkshire city is where one of the great architects started out and is home to Britain’s first Ryder Cup host, writes Chris Bertram
The golf courses in Leeds you must play
The spiritual home of Augusta’s creator Dr Alister Mackenzie, The Alwoodley is one of England’s finest inland courses and would fit seamlessly among the superstar heathlands of Surrey and Berkshire.
Also designed by Mackenzie, it has undergone a successful renovation – notably in vigorous tree removal and bunker restoration – by Ken Moodie to return it to the open heathland the original architect intended. A GB&I Top 100 fixture, it was the first British Ryder Cup host.
Founded in 1892, this is the oldest golf club in Leeds. It’s not in Headingley though, instead a few miles north in Adel. MacKenzie as well as Harry Colt had in shaping this woodland-heathland.
Sits close to Moortown and Alwoodley and was also designed by Mackenzie but is less heathland in nature. It is characterised by 11 strong par 4s but especially by its quartet of Mackenzie-designed short holes.
Designed by American Karl Litten, the man behind the Emirates (Majlis) in Dubai, water hazards populate the front nine while the back is more open and but climaxes on a lakeside green.
Designed by another American, the illustrious Robert Trent Jones Snr, it is set on 220 acres of rolling land, and is characterised by its prominent bunkering and water hazards.
Five more to consider: Cobble Hall, Scarcroft, Horsforth and two nine-holers Rawdon and at Roundhay are fine alternatives.
What else is there to do in Leeds?
Sightseeing: Explore the acres of space in Roundhay Park or Kirkstall Abbey, visit Thackray Medical Museum or the Royal Armouries, or shop in the bustling city centre – including a Harvey Nicholls.
Sports events: Leeds can offer county cricket – and England games – at iconic Headingley as well as rugby league with the Rhinos at the adjacent stadium. And at Elland Road on the southern outskirts of the city you can watch Leeds United.
Nightlife: Stay at the Weetwood and you are just five minutes away from a lively night out in the pubs and bars in famed student area Headingley. The town centre is 15 minutes away with as good a range of restaurants as you will find anywhere outside of London.
Where to stay in Leeds
Oulton Hall: If you want a play-and-stay option, this QHotel is a great choice. It is south of the city but via the M1 and A6120 ring road you can be at the courses we mention within 20 minutes. Oulton has a strong, recently renovated parkland course but its biggest attraction is the hotel. Set within a Grade II listed building, it has bags of character, excellent leisure facilities and good food.
Weetwood Hall Estate: Set within nine acres of beautiful woodlands and gardens, this four-star hotel is built around a 17th Century Jacobean Manor. You have free access to nearby David Lloyd Leisure Club and there are excellent dining options, from ‘Convive’ Mediterranean restaurant to English pub food in Stables.