Travellers in Leeds

Traveller Communities in Leeds and Yorkshire

Leeds and Yorkshire has a history rich with the presence of Traveller and Gypsies.

Travelling communities live across the city. Some families still live in caravans on the official site at Cottingley, on privately owned sites, or on the roadside. Most families have moved into housing across the city.

The majority of these adults never had the opportunity to complete their schooling and many are still non-literate. 

Roadside Families - These families have no where to stop and are constantly being evicted and moved on. They live without water, sanitation, rubbish collection, postal delivery, hard standing, electricity and security of tenure. The places they are forced to camp on are invariably very dangerous near main roads, derelict buildings or other hazards such as industrially polluted land or dangerous water – canals, rivers, ponds.

Dance champion

Read about young Traveller Megan who has won a place for the second year running in the super-successful Dazl Diamonds cheerleading troupe from south Leeds.

Read about Megan's success


A Rich Tapestry of Cultures

The Traveller communities include Gypsy, Roma and Travellers of Irish Heritage, who are the largest ethnic minority group in Europe numbering over 12 million people. But there are other Traveller communities as well.


Other stories



The Cottingley Springs Caravan Sites are the only permanent sites in Leeds.

The original Cottingley Springs Caravan Site was the first 'Official' site for Travellers built by Leeds City Council in 1969.

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Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange

Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (GATE) is a community members association for Gypsies and Travellers who live in, or resort to, Leeds.

Find out more

Also read about

Lee Gap Fair

Lee Gap FairLee Fair is the oldest chartered fair in the country dating from 1136. Gypsies first went to the fair in the 1540's and have been supporting it ever since.

Read more


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