Lilac is situated in the Victoria Park area of Bramley / Kirkstall. This area connects with fascinating and diverse parts of Leeds and some great established communities in all directions. It offers access to both urban and green space and is fantastically well connected to take advantage of sustainable transport options. Click here to find the site on Google Maps
What does the area look like?
© Copyright Betty Longbottom and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Victoria Park area is well served by the wider Bramley and Kirkstall areas. All of the following are less than a mile away from the site:
- Library, children's centre, primary schools, and community centres.
- Supermarkets, fresh vegetables, Post Office, parcel office, banks, and many other shops at Bramley shopping centre.
- Pubs, cafes, social clubs, swimming pool, and several sports teams.
- Parks, river, canal, and allotment sites.
- Doctors and dentists.
BUSES: Less than three minutes walk from the site are regular buses to the city centre (four miles away), Pudsey, Morley, Headingly, Meanwood and many other places.
TRAINS: Bramley and Headingly train stations are both less than a mile away. This provides direct trains to Leeds, Harrogate, York, Bradford, Halifax, Manchester, Selby, Wakefield and other places in between.
CYCLING: The nearby canal towpath provides a direct, traffic free cycle and pedestrian route into the city centre.
ROAD: The A65 and A647 close by mean there are good road links to the city centre, Bradford, Ilkley, the ring road, motorways and beyond.
There is much information about the local schools is available by following the links:
- Hollybush Primary:
- Raynville Primary:
- Christ The King Primary:
- Whitecote Primary:
- Intake High School Arts College:
- Swallow Hill Community College:
- Abbey Grange High School:
- Leeds West Academy:
The Victoria Park area (bordered by Raynville Road and Outgang Lane/Broad Lane) has lower than average crime figures for Leeds. To find out more information put the postcode LS5 3DR into www.beatcrime.info to see the location of recorded crimes in the area, as well as the rest of Leeds.
As a residential area it is not over-run with pubs, clubs and restaurants. However, the excellent transport links mean that many parts of the city are within half an hour.
Bramley has several well established community groups, hosts an annual carnival, and is part of the wider West Leeds area which puts on the well-known ‘I Love West Leeds’ festival.
To get an idea of the many cultural activities in the Bramley area here and also in the left hand column of this page.
The old Wyther Park school site
Our plot is a large rectangular piece of land around 1.5 acres in size that is surrounded on all sides by well kept, inter-war semi-detached houses and older Victorian villas. The former brick Victorian school was demolished in 2006 and the site is now cleared; one corner (about one quarter of the area) has been developed by Leeds City Council for an independent living scheme, leaving an 'L' shaped site. The former school gardens still comprise the top of the 'L' shape today and are bordered by mature trees, which will be retained. The whole site is given a clear boundary by the original Victorian iron railings. This immediate neighbourhood is locally known as Victoria Park and has its own active and friendly residents group, which among other things has raised money to improve a local kids play area. There are foxes, bats and frogs living in the area.
The neighbouring areas
The site has faces south down the Aire valley looking out towards Raynville Road and then up towards the Wyther Park estate which rises steeply towards the main Leeds-Bradford dual carriageway. The surrounding estates have had some bad press historically but there is now a strong and vibrant community and plenty of neighbourliness, as well as developments of quality new townhouses and very active community groups, led by the Wyther Park Improvement Group.
To the east, the land also falls away quickly down towards the river, canal and train line, passing the Bridge Inn pub and the newly converted student halls of residence at Kirkstall Brewery. From the river, there is excellent access to the newly tarmac-ed cycle path which leads directly to the city centre in 20 minutes, as well as regular buses to the city centre. Across the A65, there is excellent access to Kirkstall Leisure Centre, supermarkets and great walks in the stunning Kirkstall Abbey and beyond up the beautiful Aire valley to Rodley Nature Reserve into surprisingly open countryside. If the Kirkstall Forge development progresses there should be a new train station constructed on the electrified Leeds-Skipton line. And up the other side of the Aire valley the main shops, pubs and cafés in Headingly are within walking distance.
To the north lies the Broadlea’s area which is another post-war council estate. The estate is improving with new housing, active community groups, and a new school. Finally to the west lies Bramley shopping centre and, over the hill, Bramley train station.