Horsforth has so much going for it that finding an appropriate starting point to sing its praises is no easy task.
With that in mind perhaps the most sensible place to begin is its location. Situated less than seven miles North West of Leeds city centre, Horsforth is perfectly placed for those requiring easy access to Leeds for business or pleasure. Take any number of alternative routes out of the town and you will soon be in Bradford, Harrogate, Ilkley or sampling the delights of the Yorkshire Dales. Add to that direct access to the outer ring road, linking easily to the wider road network, and you have Convenience with a capital ‘C’.
Just for good measure the town boasts its own train station with regular services to Leeds, York and Harrogate, is served by several bus routes and has Leeds Bradford International Airport on the doorstep. Impressed? You should be.
Now, back to the place itself. Horsforth is generally defined by two major roads, Town Street and New Road Side which are separated by the ring road. Both offer a wide choice of shops comprising major chain stores, a Morrison’s supermarket, Tesco Express and numerous independent local retailers. A Farmers’ Market is also held on the first Saturday of the month at St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School car park on Town Street, selling food fresh from local farmers and producers.
Meanwhile, for its size, Horsforth does have a disproportionately large number of pubs, bars and eateries which makes it a popular social destination for those shunning the bright lights of Leeds. Such a wide choice of restaurants makes offering recommendations a perilous business, but if pushed, Trattoria II Forno, La Bistro Mediterranean Kitchen and Instanbul Grill are certainly three worthy of closer inspection.
A further feature of the town is the abundance of green space, typified by Horsforth Hall Park. Here visitors will find a number of attractions and facilities including scenic walks, Japanese garden, trim trail and a spider’s web playground. The park is also home to the annual Horsforth Food and Drink Festival which attracts visitors from far and wide. A band stand staging concerts during the summer months and a cricket ground and clubhouse serving refreshments throughout the week complete the wide choice of things to enjoy.
Continuing the sporting theme Yarnbury RFC is one of the oldest rugby clubs in Yorkshire and runs up to five senior sides and a thriving junior section, and Horsforth Golf Club, an immaculately kept mixed parkland and moorland course, provides a stern examination for golfers of all abilities. The nearby Cookridge Hall Golf Club and Health and Fitness Centre is also an excellent facility to have within easy reach.
A different sort of pastime can be found on farm land off Calverley Lane, adjacent to the A6120, where families have hours of fun every year picking their own strawberries and raspberries during the main picking season which normally runs from early June until early August, dependant on the weather.
As befits a town popular with families, Horsforth definitely scores top marks for its choice of schools. Primary schools include Featherbank, Newlaithes, West End, Broadgate, Westbrook, St Mary’s Catholic, St Margaret’s Church of England. Secondary education is provided at Horsforth School. Independent schools in the area include The Frobelian, Bronte House and Woodhouse Grove.
The town is also home to Leeds Trinity University, a public university which was granted full university status in 2012 and offers foundation and undergraduate degrees, as well as post graduate qualifications.
When it comes to property, Horsforth provides a broad mix of different styles to suit all types of buyer including first timers, relocaters and downsizers. Many residents have stayed in the town for years, creating a real sense of community which is part of its enduring appeal.
Sarah Joseph, Manager of the local branch of Manning Stainton says: ‘Horsforth was once described as the largest village in England and has managed to retain some of this village identity and character, setting it apart from other similar places in the area. When you factor in great public transport links, an efficient road network, the excellent choice of schools and any number of amenities, it is easy to see why it remains a much sought-after place to live.’
If you would like to find out more about the history and heritage of Horsforth why not visit the town’s very own museum housed in former council chambers at the bottom of Town Street.