Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomecommentUnlocking Farsley: THE top summer hotspot in Leeds 2024

Unlocking Farsley: THE top summer hotspot in Leeds 2024

Community reporter Damon Cooper starts his personal look at what makes Farsley such a vibrant village – and THE summer hotspot of Leeds in 2024.

Farsley, featuring three big box gyms alongside clubs including Farsley Pacers to 3am yoga, is a haven for fitness enthusiasts, flourishing with its vibrant cultural and dining scene.

We have venture capitalist, wealth management, leisure and property magnet Charlie Mardon – with over two million Instagram followers – spearheading sports business Ultraflex, to Cafe Deli Margaux head chef Dale Spink, who is working his way to the top of the hospitality industry backed by a talented team who recently won best brunch at the 2024 Oliver Awards. It is all happening in this unassuming textile community with big dreams. 

Kickstart your day strong with an early morning workout at Ultraflex on Coal Hill. Open from 6am on weekdays and 8am on weekends to cater for early risers. Whether local or visiting, enjoy this gym’s £10 day passes for top-notch facilities and a lively atmosphere for pumping your muscles. Don’t forget to grab some free-range liquid egg whites, a versatile addition from the gym shop for your porridge.

Alternatively, Town Street is bursting with early morning fuel from old favourite Whiteheads Sandwich Shop offering traditional take-out options for the first meal of the day, last years newcomer CAF Farsley for Dutch pancakes or award winning brunch at Cafe Deli Margaux with stunning options from forest mushroom benedict to the head chef’s signature breakfast. It would be nice to top this all off with an Egg Cocktail but that’s no longer available and Test Bar doesn’t open till the afternoon. 

Brunch plate from Cafe Deli Margaux

Jasper’s Coffee Shop, Coopers Coffee Shop and others offer nearby options for an early bite to eat.

Walk off that morning calorie intake by taking a stroll around Westfield Park where the engines for Aston Martins used to be manufactured, followed by Hainsworth Park which was gifted to villagers from textile specialist AW Hainsworth that has links to royalty through Kate Middleton’s grandad.

If you want to give your legs that little bit more of a stretch then I would recommend a circular walk down to Rodley Canal, up to Calverley, across Woodhall whilst taking in its secretive lake, to Pudsey for Black Carr Woods, Greenside Greenway, Fulneck Moverian Settlement, Tong Valley and back to Farsley. 

Farsley Rehoboth Cemetery is also worth having a walk around if the gates are open and you really want to discover past residents who made this place home, from war heroes to prominent businessmen. The serene ambiance and beautifully kept grounds offer a peaceful space for reflection, adding a poignant touch to your exploration of this area’s rich history.

Farsley Rehoboth
Volunteers helping out at the Farsley Rehoboth Burial Ground.

Delve deeper into local history by visiting Springfield Commercial Centre, where you can uncover fascinating stories on the walls about Springfield Mills. While perhaps less renowned than its neighbour, Sunny Bank Mills, Springfield Mills boasts a history equally rich in intrigue and significance.

SunnyBank Mills Red lane Mills

However, The Sunny Bank Mills Archive stands as the jewel in the historical crown of this village, a unique window into over 180 years of cloth production and the lives of those who shaped it. Do visit. 

A more laid back option would be grabbing something to read from Truman Books, a cosy independent bookshop and cafe boasting a delightful array of new books for adults and children alike, complemented by exceptional coffee and delectable cakes.

They host amazing talks by authors throughout the year with storytimes for kids most Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also buy Sport and Fitness books for inspiration, motivation, education or all three! 

Now join the ranks of chiselled hunks, fit gym bunnies and everyone else for an unforgettable summer afternoon in Farsley. Picture this: after an invigorating workout at one of the village’s gyms, you step into the sun-drenched beer gardens of The Fleece, Farsley Working Men’s Club, Bay Horse, or The Village Wine Bar. Each of these charming spots offers the perfect setting for a refreshing post-workout pint, embodying the essence of Farsley’s vibrant and welcoming atmosphere to show off those gains! 

If you want to stay here longer than a day, Workhouse Fitness Club has a shape up for summer offer at £60 for six weeks, ProFit 28 membership plans are all no contract and you can train at Charlie Mardon’s Ultraflex gym with a day, week, month or whatever pass picks your fancy. Then there’s fit20, the “fine dining of fitness,” in Sunny Bank Mills offering science-backed, 20-minute weekly workouts. 

In fact, you can escape to Farsley for a staycation, gap year, or a refreshing change of scenery if you love it that much thanks to numerous residents offering their homes on Airbnb to find the perfect retreat for your needs. Imagine immersing yourself in the local culture, enjoy mornings at endearing cafes, afternoons exploring historic sites, and evenings socialising whilst getting your body into shape. 

The evening has fallen, It just doesn’t get any more laid back than cocktails in the last rays of the day at Saint Jude on the frontier of the Sunny Bank Mills complex where you can pace yourselves through an an extensive drinks lists featuring Banoffee Old Fashioned, a peanut-butter-washed bourbon with banana syrup and chocolate bitters to old classics like Aperol Spritz. You could just get sozzled in this lively bar and terrace alone but read on if you can handle your drink.

grumpys farsley sunny bank mills

Luckily for lightweights, Saint Jude is in a carb corner where you can buy pizza, bagels or comfort food at neighbouring Grumpy’s and Mill Kitchen to soak up all that alcohol. All three of these venues serve booze alongside their eclectic food offering so knock yourselves out but do drink sensibly and know your limits whilst embarking on alcoholic tendencies. By the way, every word from these five star TripAdvisor reviews on food at Grumpys is very much the truth: 

“The most gorgeous pizza we’ve ever tasted but this review is driven by the best customer service I’ve ever received.” – Jenny W 

“Grumpy’s is a fantastic restaurant. A wonderful, fun, relaxed and friendly vibe with really welcoming and attentive staff. The pizza toppings are delicious, with fab options for people wanting to try something a little different.” – kirstyleeds

Next stop on the booze voyage is Amity Brew Co, a must-visit craft brewpub celebrated for its innovative brewing techniques. One of my favourite sessions was sampling all their on-tap beers in thirds so dive into their world of fresh interpretations of classic styles and adventurous experimental brews, where each sip promises a journey of flavour and craftsmanship in the taproom or outside. 

Heading to the Test Bar by the Gin Company, John Robert’s Botanic Request, elevates the drinking experience in Farsley to new heights. With a periodically refreshed cocktail menu, the vibe resembles more of a trendy New York hideaway than a traditional mill room overlooking mill buildings instead of that jaw dropping cityscape we’ve all gasped from the movies. That’s the magic happening. 

Venue: The Old Woollen

Ending the night with a trip to The Old Woollen with its mix of music, comedy and theatre hits all the right spots from dancing the night away to tribute acts and laughing with Edinburgh fringe comedians. 

We’re only scratching the surface of this award-winning mill in Farsley which recently earned top honours in the Best Use of Heritage in Placemaking category at the 2024 Insider Yorkshire Placemaking Awards. If the mill’s current custodians maintain this momentum, Farsley could soon be installing turnstiles akin to Venice to handle the influx of visitors.

Do visit Farsley before it gets like that. Visit this summer. 

Find part two of Damon’s personal look around Farsley here.

1 COMMENT

  1. Very disappointed that we didn’t get a mention at number 33!

    Or profit didn’t get a mention either as that’s a fabulous gym!

    Cup19 too, yes further up the road but by far the best coffee shop!

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