Thinking of moving to Leeds and not sure which place to set up camp?
There’s Roundhay, with it’s park and fancy houses, if you happen to earn a six-figure income. Or Hyde Park, if you don’t mind living next door to nocturnal students from the Home Counties.
But if you’re looking for the perfect mixture of chill and vibrant, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better spot than Chapel Allerton.
Don’t believe me? The Sunday Times recently heralded CA as one the best places to live.
The guide, released in March, selected villages, towns and cities based on schools, transport, air quality and broadband speeds on top of green spaces and high streets. Judges also picked improving areas with strong, self-supporting communities.
And it turns out little old Chapel Allerton fit the criteria.
The guide said: “A well supported independent high street — with a fishmonger, bookshop, cheese shop and much more — and an inspiring and imaginative community group, CA Spaces, make this urban village our favourite corner of Leeds.”
The judges added they were, “particularly impressed with the efforts of CA Spaces — mostly run by young mums juggling work and homeschooling — to beautify the area, including street art, tree planting and creating pick-your-own veg beds and a ‘mud kitchen’ for children in a patch of neglected woodland.”
Three miles north of Leeds city centre, Chapel Allerton is an ideal place to live independently or raise a family.
That is, if you can afford it. Figures by Rightmove showed that in 2020, the average house price in Chapel Allerton was £262,839. For scale, the Leeds average is £216,392.
Why the hike? Real estate experts put it down to the demand brought on by a class reputation for community.
Mark Whincup, Territory Operator for Leeds at Purplebricks, said: “Chapel Allerton has a long list of desirable features.
“Its bustling centre boasts several boutique bars and restaurants, it is within commuting distance of Leeds and has good transport links too.
“It is family-friendly with excellent schools and is close to great local parks.
“But I think what truly sets Chapel Allerton apart is that it has a real community feel.”
Chapel Allerton is a bit of an anomaly in that it caters to both “big” shops like Aldi and independent ones and neither turfs out the other, unlike almost every town in the UK. The residents seem to distribute their custom to both sides and stop CA from becoming a vacant passing-visit supermarket spot.
“Alongside this,” Mark added, “you’ve got great sports facilities like the Tennis and Squash Club, which sits at the back of a fantastic pub called The Mustard Pot, one of many great bars and restaurants in the area.
“If you go to the other side you have the lovely walks of Gledhow Woods and it isn’t too far to get to Roundhay Park.
Chapel Allerton is, of course, also home to the annual Leeds West Indian Carnival. The longest-running of its sort in Europe. Even longer than London’s Notting Hill Carnival. I’m serious.
The pubs and restaurants are second to none, as are the schools. These are clichés you hear about every town under the sun but with Chapel Allerton, they really are true. If you somehow find yourself getting tired of the wholesomeness and banging amenities, the city centre is only a short journey away.
It’s this novel experience that keeps attracting people from all walks of life. Once everything fully fully opens, do yourself a favour and have a gander.