Updated: Jan 16
by Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels
"But there is no rink, so there is no point getting a pair of roller skates!"
True, for now. There is currently no roller rink in Leeds. Over the last century though, there have been! Read about the history of roller rinks in Leeds here!
Indoor skate spaces
We hold classes and sessions for adults at the Ramgarhia Sikh Sports centre - these are weekly and we suggest you book ahead to avoid disappointment. We have different capacities for the various sessions we run, and many do sell out in advance.
We have sessions on some Monday evenings, every Friday and Sunday afternoons.
Can't make our classes? You can get our new on-demand video classes here.
We also host very occasional roller skate events in Leeds Corn Exchange. At these events, we skate around the shopping centre in the evening. It's a magical experience!
We are proud to offer sessions and classes that our participants tell us they feel safe to learn in. We have recruited a brilliant team of instructors to support you - they know how it feels to learn as an adult - and we have a fabulous crew of volunteer skate marshalls too, to look after your wellbeing at events.
Other indoor spaces:
Consider hiring a badminton court to skate on at your local sports hall. It will be for private use - you won't be able to invite all your pals!
Some dance studios will allow you to roller skate.
Indoor roller skating is also provided by Leeds Roller Derby. They use Rothwell Leisure Centre to train for this competitive sport. Check out their website for the latest information about recruitment and training.
The best way to meet other roller skaters is to carry your skates.
Outdoor Skate Spaces
Spaces that are accessible to you will depend on how confident you are.
Beginners look for quiet, flat, smooth spaces - these are the holy grail of skate spots, and you will usually need to compromise on something! We recommend taking a broom to sweep debris before you skate in Autumn, and avoid wet days outside, or you will need to quickly clean, dry and re-lubricate your bearings.
Bodington Fields Cycle Track offers traffic-free smooth skating. Check their timetable for a session called 'The Coffee Run' which is suitable for all non-cyclists. All track users must wear a helmet. We held weekly lessons here in 2021, and hold an annual Summer Skate Picnic here now.
Outdoor skate parks can offer smooth, flat ground, but be sure to stick to quieter times and folks don't enjoy you skating around the flat ground only if they are using the ramps. Be sure to read up about skate park etiquette before you go if you plan to use these spaces when it is busy. @cibyorkshire (IG) offer meet-ups. The page is run entirely by skaters and volunteers, so is subject to when folks are available.
Not all skate parks offer the smoothest ground either - this depends on their age. Concrete skate parks offer the best choice - metal ramps sited on tarmac are better for larger wheels of bikes - our small wheels tend to get stuck - AVOID!
Skate parks in Leeds
Micklefield (our choice!)
Parks and Public Spaces
People will skate anywhere they can! Tennis courts are a good bet, just make sure you are not on private tennis club grounds. Roundhay Park, Potternewton Park and Middleton Park have tennis courts that have been upgraded in recent years. If folks do turn up to play tennis, make sure you share!
There are plenty of lovely cycle lanes around Leeds now that offer smooth ways to navigate the city. We suggest these are for more confident skaters, who are skilled at controlling their speed. If you are wanting to build up your confidence with hill skating, choose a time when the space is quieter and start at the bottom of the hill. Take shoes in a backpack so you can never be 'stuck'. (Or use SLADES, and just unclip if the hill gets too steep for you.)
City centre - we like Sovereign Square and the wide pavement near Leeds College of Building at Sheaf Street, as well as parts of Leeds Dock and along the canal towards Kirkstall.
Please take care of yourself and your belongings if you are skating in public spaces. Bike couriers come fast around corners in bike lanes and will not be expecting you, so be aware, particularly if you are wearing headphones.
We encourage roller skaters to be respectful of others in public spaces. This may be common sense you think, but we have seen plenty of roller skaters scaring members of the public, dogs or horses because they are screaming and out of control. Help us give roller skaters a good name!
Roller Skate Map
We are building a skate map for roller skaters in the UK!
We need this resource, as cycle tracks are not always smooth tarmac, sometimes they are gravel! Help skaters looking for spaces near you and visiting skaters find decent places to skate.
You can view the map and submit a spot by following the link here.
Other Skate Groups in Leeds
There are plenty of other groups that offer indoor roller skate sessions in Leeds too. Please check their social media for up-to-date information and sessions. There are plenty of offering for families and children, and new groups popping up all the time offering spaces close to you - these are just the ones we know about.
LS-TEN Skatepark is the only indoor skate park in Leeds.
The Skate Scholarship work in partnership with the skate park and some community groups to provide roller skating.
We hope you can see that Leeds has a thriving roller skate community - and that you will join us!
It is our dream to one day open a roller rink. By supporting our classes, sessions and shop, you are helping to make this a reality. (On the other hand, if someone opens a rink before we do, that would be ace, as we can all just go and enjoy it!)
Are you looking for roller skating near you, but you're not based in Leeds? We suggest looking up your local roller derby team.