Whether you’re fighting a horrific hangover or starting the New Year with a clear head, the first day of the year can be tricky to navigate. Many shops, bars and restaurants are closed and it’s tricky to find something to do that isn’t staying indoors binging on Netflix. Here are ten suggestions for how you could spend the 1st of January in Leeds and the surrounding area.
Wander around Roundhay Park
Why not start out the New Year with a little light exercise and a burst of fresh air? If you’re not keen on embarking on a long hike (see below if you are!), head over to Roundhay Park for a slow and relaxing slow around one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Leeds. Spend your afternoon admiring the garden and follies, walking around the lake and enjoying being outside.
Hike on the moors
Roundhay Park a little tame for your New Year resolutions? If you’d rather start off the year with a challenging hike, head out to Ilkley Moor for a long walk that takes in the infamous Cow and Calf rocks as well as plenty of cliffs to scramble up to admire the views. Don’t forget to layer up and bring a thermos of tea to keep yourself warm.
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Leeds Welcome Art Trail
The museums and galleries may all be closed, but if you’re looking for culture, Leeds Welcome Art Trail offers free public art to admire every day of the year. Taking in everything from dramatic murals to contemporary sculpture, the trail begins at the train station before leading you through the city, discovering hidden art works that you may previously have walked straight past.
Continue the party
Can’t face your hangover from the night before? There’s always the option to carry on partying at Canal Mills, where their New Year’s Day celebrations start at 9pm and go on until 5am on the 2nd. Perhaps consider spending the day catching up on your sleep before heading down to dance to some of the region’s hottest DJs.
Watch the big game
Any local football fans will be thrilled to learn that Leeds United have their first game of the year at home on New Year’s Day! It’s bound to be busy, so buy your tickets now to ensure a seat at the big game against Nottingham Forest. The best news? Kick off isn’t until 3pm so you’ll have chance to sleep off your hangover first!
Visit the Magical Lantern Festival
Return to Roundhay Park in the evening for the last night of this year’s Magical Lantern Festival. The park will be illuminated with colourful, surreal lanterns of all shapes and sizes, including glowing dragons, polar bears and mushrooms to discover as you roam around. There’s also food stalls and a tipi bar for when you need to warm up and indulge in your first drink of the year.
Admire the views of the city centre
Anyone with a head for heights should take advantage of most people spending the day indoors and hop on the Leeds big wheel to admire the views of the city on the first day of the year. Open until 7pm, the wheel offers the very best views of the city and surrounding countryside – especially if you time your ride to coincide with the sun setting.
Take a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Everyone’s favourite day out in West Yorkshire, YSP is open on New Year’s Day, offering the opportunity to start your year with a relaxing stroll while admiring the many art works that are dotted around its extensive grounds. Alongside the permanent collection, there are current exhibits from Ai Weiwei, Zak Ove and Ed Kluz to discover.
Treat yourself to brunch
As part of their New Year festivities, Leeds Malmaison hotel are offering a decadent brunch menu that aims to cure your hangover and set you up to start 2018 with a clear head. For just £24.95, guests will be treated to a chef’s table with a selection of tempting brunch dishes, both traditional and contemporary. There’s also a complementary glass of Prosecco if you’d like to continue the celebrations.
Go out for lunch
Head to the cosy yet contemporary pub, The Deer Park for a relaxing and appetising New Year’s Day lunch menu that aims to clear away the cobwebs. With three courses from just £26.95, this is the perfect place to indulge in your final festive meal with Christmas favourites including roast turkey and gingerbread crème brulée on the menu.