The other weekend, my husband and I had a rare day off together and decided to go for a walk to see what we could find beyond Town Street. We often walk into the centre of town to grab a coffee at Armley Junktion and do a bit of shopping, but we don't often go off down the beaten track or take any of the million side roads. This time round, we just decided to follow our feet and really take in the place we live.
An undeserved bad rep
In fact, Armley has become a lot nicer in the time that we've lived here and the street we live on has become more friendly - after a few police raids about three years ago, families have now moved in and they are all lovely. When we moved in, you would never get kids playing in the street, but now all the neighbourhood kids kick a ball around and make our street sound happy.
Even before these changes took place, you could be guaranteed that the locals would be happy to chat to you, people in the shops were friendly and generally happy. So in short, Armley is a lot nicer than people joke about, in fact, we were looking to move elsewhere in Leeds a year ago, but now we want to stay in this area.
Plenty of green
Then, of course, you have Armley Moor, which is usually home to a couple of ponies, and Gotts Park, which is stunning and is home to listed features. We headed to Armley Moor as it is a good place to start exploring due to the fact that it has several paths that connect you to several areas of the borough. Plus it meant the husband could say hi to the ponies.
However, it is the churches in Armley that are truly beautiful. Some of them are really hidden so you stumble on them all of a sudden, while others are surrounded by really atmospheric graveyards. We found one that I hadn't seen before, which was surrounded by a lovely green park that seemed to be the place to go for the local children. It was quite nice to explore such a sombre looking place while it was ringing with laughter.
Feeling at home
Other than that, we've made Armley our home and feel perfectly comfortable here. I still want to move house but I'm not rushing just yet - learning to drive is taking precedence - and I'm happy to stay in the area we live in now as it is close to everything. We can be in the city in 15 minutes by bus and there are plenty of great walks close by.
Walking around on a sunny Sunday afternoon helped me remember how much I like where we are and what we have just a couple of minutes away, while stopping at the local pub reminded me how lovely the people are - and how cheap the drinks are! We may have moved here with no idea about the area, but I'm glad we did.