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Kirkstall Abbey
Holiday Travel Guide

Wander the grounds of a beautifully preserved medieval abbey set on the grassy banks of the River Aire and uncover the history within the complex’s grand ruins.

Kirkstall Abbey is a breathtaking monastic monument and one of the best-preserved examples of an abbey of its type in Britain. The Cistercian abbey was established in 1152 and its magnificent stone church, chapels and cloister remained in use for nearly 400 years. Today, you can walk amid the quiet ruins set in a grassy parkland and trace the history of the monastery complex through interactive exhibitions and an informative visitor center.

Begin your visit to Kirkstall Abbey by checking out the comprehensive visitor center. Find out about the abbey’s English Cistercian layout, which was founded by Cistercian monks from Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire. Learn about the complex’s nave, presbytery, transepts and refectory, as well as the lodgings of the monks and the abbot. The visitor center illustrates the daily lives of the medieval Cistercian monks through interactive exhibits and interpretive displays.

Stroll along gravel pathways that lead through the atmospheric ruins and imagine the history contained within these tall stone walls. Gaze up at the stone archways of the nave and vaulted ceilings of the chapter house. Peer through gaping windows that would have once been adorned with rich carved stone embellishments.

Across the road, you can see the Abbey House Museum. This informative museum is housed within the abbey’s former gatehouse. The museum contains fascinating reconstructions of Victorian-era shops and homes. Be sure to spend some time exploring the parkland around Kirkstall Abbey and capture photographs of the setting sun casting a beautiful orange glow on the ancient stone façade. The expansive park has a network of pretty walking paths, sports fields and a children’s playground.

Access the Kirkstall Abbey ruins via the visitor center. Both are free to visit. The abbey also hosts a fun-filled local craft and produce market on weekends between March and November. Free parking is available at the Abbey House Museum. You can also reach the abbey with a 25-minute bus ride from the city center to Kirkstall Road or by train to nearby Headingley Station.

Top things to do in Kirkstall Abbey

Top Trending Hotels Near Kirkstall Abbey

StayHere 5
StayHere 5
3.5 out of 5
2 De Lacy Mount, Leeds, England
The price is £570 per night from 6 Dec to 7 Dec

Situated in Leeds, this holiday home is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Kirkstall Abbey and within 3 miles (5 km) of University of Leeds and Leeds General Infirmary. O2 ...

StayHere 5
Dakota Leeds
Dakota Leeds
4 out of 5
8 Russell Street, Leeds, England
The price is £97 per night from 4 Dec to 5 Dec

Located in Leeds City Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Leeds City Square, O2 Academy Leeds and Leeds General Infirmary. First Direct Arena and ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (542 reviews)

"Amazing hotel, great stay. Very modern inside and out"…"

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2020

Dakota Leeds
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 22
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 22
3.5 out of 5
Rivermill Court, 1 Sandford Place, Leeds, England
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Situated near the airport, this apartment building is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Kirkstall Abbey and within 3 miles (5 km) of University of Leeds and Leeds General Infirmary. ...

Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 22
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Kirkstall Abbey

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Top Hotel Deals

StayHere 5
StayHere 5
3.5 out of 5
2 De Lacy Mount, Leeds, England
The price is £570 per night from 6 Dec to 7 Dec
StayHere 5
Dakota Leeds
Dakota Leeds
4 out of 5
8 Russell Street, Leeds, England
The price is £97 per night from 4 Dec to 5 Dec
Dakota Leeds
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 22
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 22
3.5 out of 5
Rivermill Court, 1 Sandford Place, Leeds, England
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 22
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 26
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 26
3.5 out of 5
Rivermill Court, 1 Sandford Place, Leeds, England
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 26
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 23
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 23
3.5 out of 5
Rivermill Court, 1 Sandford Place, Leeds, England
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 23
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 25
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 25
3.5 out of 5
Rivermill Court, 1 Sandford Place, Leeds, England
Kirkstall Bridge Apartments - 25
Village Hotel Leeds North
Village Hotel Leeds North
3.5 out of 5
186 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, England
The price is £38 per night from 1 Jan to 2 Jan
Village Hotel Leeds North
Kirkstall Serviced Apartments Leeds
Kirkstall Serviced Apartments Leeds
3.5 out of 5
54 Raynville Road, Leeds, England
Kirkstall Serviced Apartments Leeds
Kirkstall House
Kirkstall House
3 out of 5
Raynville Road, Leeds, England
Kirkstall House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.