Posts Tagged ‘leeds dock’

parkrun PB and Leeds Dock swimming

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 | Sport

Last Saturday, Leeds Dock opened up for open water swimming. Jp, Graeme and I completed Woodhouse Moor parkrun then headed down for a dip.

As it was only my third parkrun back, and I have got a lot speedier since I ran a 22:06 in 2018. So, without meaning to but simply trying to keep JP in sight ahead of me, I ran a PB of 21:05. I think I could go faster as I was held up at the start, but I don’t want to pretend I wasn’t working hard!

I would sum up the swim at Leeds Dock as cold. But nice. I am dubious of their self-admitted guesses that it was 17 degrees. I would have guessed at 15-16 but could be mistaken. Once I was swimming, though, it wasn’t too bad. It was mostly the initial getting in and warming up as it was jumping in or use the ladder: no gentle bay area like you get at the Blue Lagoon.

They have a 240-metre loop and there were only a few other swimmers in the water so no traffic to navigate. The water was clean and weed-free. You couldn’t see the bottom but that’s true of basically everywhere I have swum.

What is the fastest route across Leeds Dock?

Sunday, August 21st, 2016 | Science


If you work at Sky’s Leeds Dock offices, chances are you will walk in from the city centre. Once you get past the traffic lights on Crown Point bridge you can choose to go left, taking the steps down by the waterside, or go right and take the road round the back of Mumtaz. But which way is fatest?

To find out, I set about recording my walk time from the traffic lights to the post outside of Sky 2. I did six runs in total, trying to mix up the days randomly to get a representative average. Here are the raw times I recorded.

Run Steps Road
1 3:33 3:24
2 3:44 3:33
3 3:44 3:36

Here is the same data, in seconds, with averages.

Run Steps Road
1 213 204
2 224 213
3 224 216
Average time 220.33 211
Total variation 26.89 26
Mean variation 8.96 8.67

Based on the table, we can see that the road seems to be around 9 seconds faster than the steps (211 seconds compared with 220 seconds). However, the typical variation, 8.82 seconds, is almost as high as the difference. Therefore we can only have so much confidence the results are accurate. It also suggests that other factors such as weather and fatigue have as much impact as route selection.


On average, the road route seems to be slightly faster than the steps route. However the difference is small and so it seems a sensible choice to choose the steps instead if you prefer the more scenic route.

Sky Bake Off prep

Saturday, March 12th, 2016 | Food

Later this month Sky at Leeds Dock are holding their second bake off. The first was an open cake competition; this one is a cupcake challenge. Last time, Dave won it with a cake baked by his wife. This is dubious enough, even before you discover he made her get up at 4am, despite being heavily pregnant, to finish it. I’m not bitter about the whole experience, but I do want to up my game a little this time.

I made loads of variants: different cupcakes and different toppings on the cupcakes. In the end, these two won out.


The Sainsbury’s salted caramel cupcake boxset actually produces a really nice cupcake that is light and airy. However, my homemade golden caster sugar cupcakes with salted caramel frosting eventually bested them in the taste test. It produces a denser cupcake that is easier to eat.


This is a prototype of the blueberry cupcake. The actual ones will be different however. They will be more blue in colour, and use lemonade flavoured frosting that is a lighter blue, rather than the turquoise shade of this fudge-based frosting.


This stuff should be illegal. It is a jar of salted caramel that you would eat with a spoon. If heroin is banned, this definitely should be.

Leeds Dock water taxi

Monday, February 1st, 2016 | Thoughts


I was walking home recently when I noticed the two Leeds Dock water taxis, ee & Drie, tied up by the side of the canal. It gave me pause to think about the success of them.

Judging that depends on what you thought their purpose is/was. This in itself isn’t clear because I do not know whether the have been scrapped permanently, or whether they are just talking a very long holiday. As things stand though, they do not seem to have been running for over a month.

The new owners of Leeds Dock, Allied London (not a name that would endear yourself to Northerns), made a big slash about them. Pun intended of course. They put together videos of all the ways you could get from the city centre to the dock, including taking the water taxi.

Nobody did though. Unless you had guests visiting from Finland. This is not at all surprising. It is not any faster than walking. You would have to get to the station, then wait for the boat, then take a slow cruise down the canal.

This was not the fatal flaw though. The problem is inconsistently. They often didn’t run. How would you know if they were running or not? That is unclear. Certainly unclear enough that you wouldn’t make plans around them running. On one occasion I walked in the office to find an email telling me they were not running today. A bit late. People are put off by buses because they are sometimes late. But they run every day, to a timetable, and have done for decades. There is no such faith to be had in the water taxis.

Secondly, and here is the hilarious part, they don’t run when it is too wet. When there is ‘appalling weather’ such as a lot of rain (not flooding, which is perhaps more understandable – though it is a boat!) they stop running. Surely that is the one time you would want to use them in an attempt to stay dry?

I hedged at the start of this post by asking about the intent. It could be that the water taxis are designed as a promotional item. An attempt to provide the dock with some glamour and convince companies to move down there. If so, it has been successful. Sky are now down there with other companies likely to follow.

However, as a method of transportation, if it hasn’t already been scrapped, it seems only a matter of time. The only way I think they are likely to be a success is if at very least they run every day, come rain, come shine. With an emphasis on the rain, that does come most days.

Sky at Leeds Dock

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 | Life


I am working with Sky Sports at the moment, who recently relocated their office to Leeds Dock. They are encouraging everyone to talk about how good it is, so here is my contribution.

It was a smooth transition and everything is up and running. It was only a few months between signing the lease and moving in, so there is still plenty to do. It will be great when we get the other buildings up-and-running to give us additional meeting space.

It is a nice location and you get a good view of the dock.


That floor is as slippy as it looks. You can pick up a huge amount of speed on the new chairs: great for chair racing. You can also see that there is no roof. This is the same across the entire building. Everything has been left exposed, which is a design feature. There are screens everywhere, so you feel like you are in the future.


Noise levels were quite high initially but it seems to be calming down now. There is also a cafe that Sky subsidise. So for example, I can of pop that would be £2.50 on the high street is £1.00 in the cafe.

Whether it quite puts us up there with Google and Facebook as one of the best campuses in the world, I suspect probably not. But it is a cool place to work. And ultimately it is the people that make Sky a great place to be.

Water taxi

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 | Photos


In an attempt to get people using Leeds Dock, they are now running a free water taxi from just outside the Armouries to just below the station. Nobody is actually using it yet so we had the boat to ourselves.