Kirkstall Abbey
Kirkstall Abbey
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
Read more
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Write a review
About
Uncover the history of one of the best preserved medieval Cistercian abbeys in Britain. With its beautiful and iconic ruins, award-winning Park and interactive visitor centre Kirkstall Abbey is a place that visitors of all ages can enjoy. The ruins are a unique example of early Christian architecture. From the majesty of the church to the peace of the cloisters enjoy exploring this iconic Leeds landmark. The story of the abbey and its community is explored in the Visitor Centre. Founded over 800 years ago in 1152 discover more about what life was like for the Cistercian monks who lived here for nearly 400 years. Enjoy the abbey's parkland setting next to the River Aire. Take a walk along the river or enjoy a picnic in our spacious grounds. There is also a small playground near to the car park for the little ones to enjoy. The ruins of the abbey provide a breath-taking background to your wedding photography, blessings, vow renewals and baby naming ceremonies.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,206 reviews
Excellent
685
Very good
417
Average
86
Poor
13
Terrible
5

Jonathan C
13 contributions
May 2022
I have visited Kirkstall Abbey many times in the last 67 years.Today however I went on a guided tour of the abbey led by volunteer guide Ian. I was amazed at how little I knew about the building and its occupants. Ian was a most enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. There is now a charge of £5 for adults to visit the abbey but it is free to Leeds residents. Strongly recommend doing the guided tour which lasts about 40 minutes.
Written May 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Jonathan Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of your latest visit to the abbey. I'm so pleased you enjoyed your tour with Ian and have let him know how much you enjoyed it. We hope to welcome you back to the abbey soon. Best wishes from all at Kirkstall Abbey
Written June 20, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

he_man_o
Bellevue, WA27 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
we took a 2 pound 20 minute direct bus from the city center and arrived around 10am. the abbey grounds were 100% empty which made for a very excellent and moody visit. around 15 mins after, a guide walked up and asked if we'd like a free tour. it was just us and the guide and he did a fantastic job describing the architecture and history behind it; the tour took about 45 minutes and was worth it. by the end of the tour a few more people were trickling in and awaiting the guide to give them a tour. the guide did not accept tips so we donated to the abbey instead.
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joanna H
Windsor and Maidenhead, UK81 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
This beautiful and atmospheric abbey leaves the impression that it could still be in use… the footsteps of past monks seem to linger in its ancient halls, built from stone the colour of honey-mead. Like many Norman buildings, it has a French feel. The remnants of the power and wealth of an earlier time remain defiantly evident. The entrance fee is a reasonable £11.25 for a family of 4, and it appears that work is gradually underway to reroof the building, which would be an excellent idea. It would be a fabulous venue for weddings, banquets, concerts etc and appears to already be used for theatrical performances. Impressive and set in a pleasant park - well worth a visit.
Written October 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nelson111111
Leeds19 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
So myself and my family attended a Sneaky Experience hocus pocus event at Kirkstall Abbey. There was a competition for best dressed and we were thrilled to win. The prize total for refund of tickets and food and drink came to £160. However thus began an epic battle to secure the prize money. Sneaky Experience blatantly refused to pay my Daughter the prize money.This continued until until February when I decided we needed to take alternative action. So I began to contact future Sneaky Experience venues to warn them of our experience. Needless to say my intervention had the desired effect and this week my Daughter was finally paid.
Shame on Sneaky Experience and shame for Kirkstall Abbey's reputation through no fault of their own.
Written February 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AliAl-Aswad
Leeds, UK1,165 contributions
Jul 2021
The dramatic and imposing ruins of one of the best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in the country are a Grade 1 listed building and a scheduled ancient monument of international importance. They were gifted to the city of Leeds, and opened to the public in the 19th century. But that was then! Today, you'll be lucky to get inside the fence to have a look at the ancient abbey unless you're rich enough to pay for a private event, or you want to pay for the privilege of buying some pick 'n' mix, or eating a hotdog, while some talentless hired act turns out the sort of muzak that would have a lift blushing with embarrassment. On several occasions now, I have turned up at Kirkstall Abbey (after checking their website beforehand), only to find that the public are not being admitted, because the grasping city council are renting out the place to private companies. Kirkstall Abbey is supposed to belong to the people of Leeds, and it is despicable that this ancient monument is being despoiled in the way it is. If Leeds Museums & Galleries feel their role is organising kids birthday parties or tawdry 'markets', there is plenty of space within the extensive grounds to do so, but closing off access to the abbey itself is reprehensible. Hang your heads in shame!
Written July 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to write about your experience of the abbey ruins. However, I'm slightly puzzled by your perception that the ruins are almost exclusively closed to the public for private or ticketed events. The abbey ruins are open to the public free of charge Tuesday to Sunday plus Bank Holiday Mondays throughout the year. We do host a monthly market in the Cloister which features hand-made crafts and local produce from across Yorkshire but the markets are free to enter and everyone is welcome. We also facilitate talks, guided tours, meditative walks, mindfulness sessions, family trails and activities entirely free of charge throughout the year. Like many heritage attractions we do offer limited opportunities for private hire. We host weddings and baby naming ceremonies in the nave of the church, which I hope you would agree is a fitting use of the building and entirely within the spirit of the place, but the remainder of the ruins are open to the public whilst these ceremonies are conducted. We didn't have any commercial hires in the abbey during 2020 due to the pandemic but I have been through our records for 2019 and there were two instances in that year of the abbey ruins being hired out to a commercial event company and one to a local community group who ran ticketed events. In 2021 there has been one commercial hire. I can only apologise if every time you have tried to visit the abbey it has been on one of these few occasions. Once again, thank you for taking the time to leave feedback of your experience of visiting the ruins. I hope I have assured you that Leeds Museums and Galleries are committed to preserving the abbey ruins and providing free access and experiences for the people of Leeds and beyond. Best wishes from all the staff and volunteers at Kirkstall Abbey
Written August 5, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

StotheN
Stockholm, Sweden484 contributions
Sep 2020
It was a melancholy afternoon and the sun hadnt yet set when I decided to pay this spot a visit. I decided to walk from Leeds Town Centre all the way to Kirkstall Abbey to take in all the sights along the way - it was a long one!

i reached here a little later in the day, almost sunset. The outside sight was beautiful, lightly tempered by the setting sun. The inside of the abbey itself was closed for visitors and I had to make do with walking rounds about it on the outside. There were many older couples doing the same and some joggers with their dogs too. There were plenty of birds roosting in the abbey as I could see from the outside. The grass outside was very green and the proximity to water makes it a good picnic spot too. There are some tourist shop/convenience stores just outside that one could use but it was also closed by the time i reached there.

If you are in Leeds, I highly recommend visiting this place at least once. This is a very historic place and well worth your time.
Written August 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bread2011
Hong Kong, China45 contributions
Feb 2023 • Couples
Little flowers nearby the entrance of the site is perfect for photo. The Kirkstall Abbey worth for a visit if you have extra time on your journey though it’s less than half an hour by bus from city centre. Outside environment is nice with a large area of green, very relax for a walk around.
Written February 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ana G
1 contribution
Aug 2020 • Family
Don't go to the gift shop, I went to buy an ice cream for my 18 month old on a hot day, had her in my arms so not to touch anything and a very snobby woman refused me entry and sale of an ice cream because I didn't use any hand sanitizer... Yet proceeded to serve a woman at the door who forgot a mask and took money from her. Double standards and clearly using the excuse. Pathetic. Having a smirk look at someone who clearly can't just drop a child in a gift shop to wash her hands.
Anyway the ice cream man up the road was nice and handed me an ice cream without asking me to disinfect me and my child.
Written August 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sophie
York, UK56 contributions
Aug 2019
It was great to see Kirkstall Abbey for the first time. A great place to visit if you are studying. An art student, or even history student, maybe. Good for inspiration to draw/write about. There isn't much else to do except enjoy the surrounding greenery in the heart of this City. So maybe take a picnic or plan your trip to Kirkstall Abbey around the markets. This is something you would have to look into in advance as they are held on the last weekend of the month, however, not all year round. The food markets are great!! You'll be spoilt for choice. Another thing to consider whilst planning your trip here would be the weather - a nice, dry day is needed!
Written July 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brad3105
Barnsley, UK57 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
Beautiful, well preserved ruins in beautiful surroundings, it’s a very interesting walk round the Abbey, set on the banks of the river, which is a nice walk too and on the day we went there was a lovely little craft market. The Abbey also houses a craft centre which is ideal for kids and it is also dog friendly so was ideal for us, our little dog thoroughly enjoyed his walk round. The cafe across the road serve an good selection of food and cakes which we felt we must sample. A good few hours well spent,
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,124
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

Frequently Asked Questions about Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey is open:
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Kirkstall Abbey tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Kirkstall Abbey tours on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near Kirkstall Abbey: View all restaurants near Kirkstall Abbey on Tripadvisor