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Goth Travel Guide: Creepy Things to Do in Leeds

13 things to do in Leeds, UK, if you’re a goth.

February 25, 2024
6 min read

Beyond the bustling city streets and modern attractions of Leeds lies a tapestry of alternative experiences waiting to be unveiled. With its rich goth history and diverse cultural scene, Leeds offers more than meets the eye for those who appreciate the darker side of life. You might even be surprised to learn exactly how much Leeds has lots to offer in terms of goth history, with influential clubs and bands having got their start here back in the day. 

In this guide, we’ll delve into the shadows, uncovering the offbeat and unusual, as we explore the unique facets of Leeds that cater to the gothic soul. From hauntingly beautiful architecture to underground haunts and alternative events, join us as we discover 13 things to do in Leeds if you’re a goth.

Thackray Museum of Medicine

If you’re interested in the grimy and gruesome history of medicine, then the Thackray Museum of Medicine is the place to be. It’s great for kids and adults alike, with a Victorian style street to explore, a 19th-century operating theatre (where you can watch operations being performed as they were back then) and even a 70s-style sexual health clinic to discover. One of the great things about this museum is that your ticket gets you 12 months’ entry, so you can enjoy grisly details all year round. 

Kirkstall Abbey

Gothic architecture more your thing? Kirkstall Abbey in north west Leeds is one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in the country, but it’s still essentially a ruin. It’s incredibly picturesque, with vaulted arches and early Gothic mouldings. The abbey itself is situated in a public park, making it a perfect place to take a picnic and walk along the River Aire, particularly in the summer when the garden and trees are in full bloom. 

Global Tribe Shop

Image credit: Global Tribe Shop

For your crystals, jewellery, esoteric books and more, Global Tribe in Leeds city centre is a gorgeous shop and cafe for all your witchy needs. They’ve been around since the late nineties, sourcing high quality ethical items from around the world, so they know what they’re talking about – and can help you with any questions you might have about witchcraft or other practice. And, bonus! The cafe serves vegan cake and plant-based milk too. 

Leeds Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange is one of the best things to do in Leeds, especially if you have a love for independent shops and great architecture. It’s a famous Leeds landmark, oval-shaped with an incredible domed ceiling. You can shop for cute kawaii clothes, handmade artisan jewellery, records, local zines, and even get a new piercing, tattoo or a new plant baby (and more!). There’s bits to eat as well, including coffee and cake, pastries and more. It’s also where the goths used to hang out back in the day!

The Key Club

Image credit: The Key Club

A gig venue and club night, The Key Club is well worth checking out if you’re in Leeds for a night or two. While it’s not exclusively a goth club, they host alternative shows from bands like Cattle Decapitation, Cancer Bats and more,  as well as fun emo, indie and metal club nights.  

Howl Bar

Image credit: Trip Advisor

One of the last remaining rock dive bars in Leeds, Howl on Vicar Lane is perfect for a casual night or just a pint somewhere that feels like you’d meet other alt people. Everyone in the bar is super friendly, the drinks are good (and affordable!) and the music is always on point. 

The Maven

Image credit: The Maven

Fancy somewhere a little bit more upmarket? Then a cocktail bar is the place to be! Leeds has a few fancy bars that can be appreciated by the more darkly inclined. The Maven is a speakeasy style bar that you’ll find behind an unmarked door and up a staircase. It’s a moody space with interesting artwork and even better cocktails.  

Leeds City Museum 

Image credit: Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum is one of the best things to do in Leeds. It’s a small museum that houses six different galleries. If you’re anything like me, you love a natural history collection (it’s full of bones!), and the one at the city museum includes the skeleton of one of the biggest birds to roam the earth, a Moa bird!   

Morley Antiques Centre

Outside of the city centre, there lies a treasure trove of interesting oddities and antiques. Hunt for Victorian medical equipment, vintage rocking horses or religious iconography – and you’re likely to find it here. Perfect for a rainy afternoon!  

Goth City Promotions

Image credit: Goth City Promotions

Leeds has a rich history of goth stuff, and Goth City Promotions is continuing that heritage! Through their facebook page and other socials, they promote all the best goth events in the city, so if you’re visiting, take a look to see what might be on while you’re in the area.

Alternative Heritage of Leeds Mural

Image credit: Steve Riding

If you’re interested in that aforementioned history, one place that’s a must visit is the Alternative Heritage of Leeds Mural. You can find it in the Kirkgate Market, and it’s a perfect selfie opportunity as it’s a set of wings filled with all the influential alternative people from Leeds., including a wealth of goth bands

Leeds Festival of Gothica Events

Holding regular market events throughout the year, Leeds Festival of Gothica is one of the best things to do in Leeds if you’re a goth. Showcasing a wide range of alternative talent, you can find everything from goth vinyl records to macabre homeware and more. 

Lawnswood Cemetery

Image credit: Tim Green from Bradford

If you’re a bit of a cemetery wanderer, one of the best things to do in Leeds is visiting Lawnswood Cemetery if you’re a goth. It’s in a woodland setting, with lots of graves that have a historical significance to the city of Leeds. It was originally Victorian, and it has interesting monuments and buildings to check out too.

Been to Leeds recently? What did we miss?

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Hi, I’m Darcie.

Bound in Bone is my goth fashion and lifestyle blog. I like to write about dark outfits, spooky interiors and the goth lifestyle in general. You’ll find everything from alternative markets to what to wear to the gym, and more!

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