Family friendly places you can visit by bus around North Leeds
Over the last week, we have been undertaking a challenge for First Leeds discovering which family-friendly places we can easily access by the First bus network.
I have to say I was initially a little apprehensive, as being a car driver and not a frequent bus user I was not sure how I would find not having my car to rely on. I need not have worried, we had a lot less stressful week without the car! By downloading the First Bus App we could plan our journeys and buy tickets all in one place. The kids have also loved using the App to check the live updates on when the bus would be arriving. The contactless mTicket meant it has been totally hassle-free getting on the bus and I have not had to worry about having money for a car park!
I also found I was able to do more with the kids on the journeys, spotting local points of interest – thankfully they have next stop announcements on the new Leeds City buses or we could have missed our stop a few times!
Having just returned from a weeks holiday we have used the challenge for free activities locally as expenditure this summer is hitting the red!
Monday: We took the No.51 to Meanwood Park and had a lovely few hours climbing trees and playing in the park and playground. We also treated ourselves to a cake and drink at The Cafe Bar. The bus stop was only a 5 minute walk to the park.
Tuesday: Was a job day so we took the No.2 to Chapel Allerton and got the kids feet measured for back-to-school at Hopscotch Shoes. We also swapped library books so we could complete the #summerreadingchallenge and had a play in the park.
Wednesday: We took the No.12 to Leeds City Centre and had a BRILLIANT day completing the Leeds Jurassic Trail and all the other child-friendly activities. We made Lego dinosaurs, fossils, played giant games in Leeds Markets (for a long time 😏), coloured and lots more – all for FREE! Getting the bus to town really was hassle-free, it took less time than driving does and given we were out all day was a lot cheaper than parking would have been.
Thursday: We took the No.28 to Leeds Dock to visit the Royal Armouries and had a fun morning running through the hedge maze, colouring in Monarchs and playing dress-up. We also spotted a fun little play area in Leeds Dock, just next to Tesco’s Express and spent quite some time sitting on ladybirds and walking over stepping stones!
Friday: With the sudden glorious weather, we hopped on the No.1 for a ‘short and sweet’ trip into town to sample Leeds City Beach in Victoria Gardens and all its attractions!
Saturday: We had a family trip to the Park! We took the X84 up to West Park and then took a leisurely stroll back through Beckett Park Woods, where we visited the playground, and managed to forage a few berries too!
The Advantages of Travelling by First Bus as a Family
Hassle Free: Hopping on and off the bus is so much easier these days with the mTicket App; you can buy digital tickets in advance, check for up-to-date bus services, find the best route for your journey and once the bus arrives, you can just scan and go with no worries about having the right change (so different from my teenage years!) or finding somewhere to park. (The App can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play store.)
Convenient: I was pleasantly surprised how convenient it was to use the bus with the kids. By using the App we planned journeys ahead so we didn’t have to stand for long periods waiting at bus stops. The kids loved the interactive screens at a lot of the stops which told us when the next bus would be arriving and on the new Leeds City buses they had next stop announcements. All the buses we took over the 6 days were on time.
Family-Friendly Features: If travelling with a pushchair the Leeds City buses have entrances which lower to allow easy access, there are also designated seats for families travelling with pushchairs. There is also free wi-fi and USB charging points on Leeds City buses. We found the drivers really helpful, I wasn’t sure if I might need to change bus on one of our outings and the driver told me exactly what I needed to do and confirmed the bus number I needed.
Quality Family Time: I found that taking the bus allowed me to spend quality time with the kids, they had my full attention without me having to worry about where we could park or if we had time to do one more ‘job’ on route! There was also less bickering than we seem to get in the back of the car on journeys!!
We have had a few day trips out and about over the holidays but I am sure if you were to ask the kids the best part of the school holidays it would be getting the bus! They loved hopping on and off and getting the front seat upstairs, their little faces really did light up and we had a lovely cheap week exploring in and around North Leeds. I definitely would be more inclined to take the bus to go places with the kids in the future.
For more details on First Leeds buses and routes visit www.firstgroup.com/leeds or follow on Facebook and Instagram @busleedscity.
This blog post has been sponsored by First Leeds but as always all my views are my open and honest opinion.