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Meanwood – What’s Special About This Area?

20th April 2020

Meanwood’s popularity continues to grow from strength to strength and there’s no denying that the arrival of Waitrose helped to give the area a new lease of life. But there’s more to Meanwood than just one supermarket (in fact, there is a second supermarket, Aldi, also open in Meanwood) and the area has been popular with young families and professionals for many years now. There is a great mix of housing, particularly at Tannery Park and Woodlea Park, as well as highly regarded primary schools Meanwood Primary and St Urbans, with Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School across the road from St Urbans and Carr Manor Community School a stone’s throw away in Moortown.

In recent years the area has seen an influx of new bars; Junction, Boot and Rally and Terminus, join the bar scene alongside Alfred and East of Arcadia. If a traditional pub is more your scene, The Myrtle Tavern next to Meanwood cricket pitch is a popular choice. An array of restaurants include The Hungry Bear (British cuisine),  Zucco (Italian tapas), Via Verde (Italian), Culto (Italian) and Hana Matsuri (Sushi).

Once a village, the area is now larger than most people realise – stretching north from the bottom of Meanwood Road near Sheepscar to the top where Stonegate Road meets Parkside Road. Many developments either side of Meanwood Road and Stonegate Road are within Meanwood e.g. Bowood’s, Parkside’s, Farm Hill’s, Bentley’s etc and there are several modern developments (Woodlea Park, Cherry Court for instance) sitting alongside traditional family semi’s, listed buildings (Stone Mill Court dating back to the 1700’s), brick built terraces and local authority stock.

Of notable interest is Meanwood Park, north of the area and offering approximately 72 acres of open areas and mature trees. Meanwood Beck runs through it, crossed by many small footbridges, and there is a children’s playground and an area with picnic tables at the southern end. The park borders The Hollies, a separate park with sloping woodland containing many rhododendrons and azaleas.

The Meanwood Valley Trail passes through the park, a popular route for running as well as offering a walking route from Meanwood into Leeds City Centre. Famous connections to the park include Captain Lawrence Oates (of the ill fated Scott expedition to Antarctica) and John Grimshaw, who based some of his fairy paintings there. There is a monument to Oates’s bravery close to Holy Trinity Church and in 2012, on the 100th anniversary of his death, a blue plaque was unveiled in his honour in the park.

Each year Meanwood Valley Partnership (a group of local residents who work in conjunction with Leeds City Council to preserve and enhance the Meanwood area) organises Meanwood Festival.  The festival is held over the course of a week, culminating with a Family Fun Day.  The festival is designed for local businesses and residents to interact and unite with each other, with businesses hosting events/taster sessions etc.

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