Pudsey constitutes the areas of Fartown, Troydale, Littlemoor, Lowtown, Uppermoor and Chapeltown. There is also the village of Fulneck, the district of Stanningley and part of the district of Tyersal.
Pudsey has given its name to "Pudsey Bear", the mascot of the BBC's annual fundraising marathon Children in Need. It also lends its name to the local parliamentary constituency of Pudsey, of which it is a part.
The name Pudsey occurs in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Podechesaie" and "Podechesai", but in the early 6th century Pudsey and the neighbourhood appear to have been the centre of the considerable Kingdom of Elmet, which retained its independence for more than 200 years after other more petty kingdoms had been subdued by the Angles.
The town was famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for its wool manufacture, and, from the 19th century, for cricket. Yorkshire and England cricketers Sir Len Hutton, Herbert Sutcliffe, Ray Illingworth and Matthew Hoggard all learned to play in Pudsey. One of the 19th century Yorkshire cricketers John Tunnicliffe was born in Lowtown.
During the Industrial Revolution Pudsey was said to be one of the most polluted areas of the UK due to its position within a slight valley and between the two industrial cities of Leeds and Bradford. As a result whichever way the wind blew Pudsey would become covered in thick soot. The temperature inversion created by being in a valley led to the soot becoming trapped leading to dense smogs in the area. This is believed to have led to jokes that Pigeons in Pudsey park flew backwords in order to keep the soot out of their eyes.
Pudsey's market operates on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and has recently been refurbished. Pudsey has also seen the introduction of a monthly farmers' market with a range of stalls selling meat, fish, dairy produce, organic fruit and vegetables, delicatessen and craft-ware.
Pudsey town centre has many amenities and a shopping centre which includes high street stores such as Boots and Woolworth's, etc. In keeping with many affluent areas it has its fair share of banks and estate agents. Following the closure of Kwik Save supermarkets across the country, Pudsey's store has been bought by Sainsbury's.
There are three high schools situated in the Pudsey boundary: Crawshaw, Priesthorpe and Pudsey Grangefield, which is currently undergoing an extensive redevelopment programme which sees a whole new state-of-the-art school building constructed adjacent to the current site. The front grammar school building, opened in 1911 and a prominent landmark of Pudsey, will be converted into flats and not demolished, unlike the rest of the school, due to its listed building status.
Pudsey's historic town hall is benefiting from a new, energy-efficient lighting project to highlight its most interesting features. The multi-coloured lights can be changed to offer 255 different scenes.
There is a small railway station known as New Pudsey. It is on the Caldervale Line between Leeds and Bradford Interchange and was built to replace Pudsey's two original stations — Pudsey Lowtown and Pudsey Greenside — which were both destroyed in 1964 by the Beeching Axe along with the GNR Pudsey Loop serving them. However, New Pudsey's situation over a mile away from the town centre makes it somewhat impractical for commuters especially as there is no bus that links the station with the town centre, although the #16 frequent bus service between Pudsey and nearby Farsley passes within 500 yards of the station. However, the location of the station near to the junction of the main Leeds to Bradford road with the Ring Road provides easy access for those travelling to the station by car. There is a large car park adjacent to the station.
Pudsey is now served by a number of First and Arriva bus services that run through to Leeds City Centre and other areas of the city, Bradford and other surrounding towns. The 4 FTR service runs regularly to the Leeds city centre from Waterloo via the town centre and Swinnow. There are also bus services that run between Leeds, Bradford and Halifax along Stanningley Road, which is 10 minutes walk from Pudsey town centre.
Plans for a £2 million covered bus station in Pudsey, to replace the current array of individual bus stands, have been given the go ahead.
The Leeds-Pudsey tram route via Armley and Bramley was opened in the early 20th century; it was closed in 1938 and most of the infrastructure was removed, although roadworks on the central reservation of Stanningley Road uncovered some of the tracks in October 2005.
Pudsey has one of the region's most popular and well-known running clubs, Pudsey Pacers. The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 pm at the town's Leisure Centre. The club organises the annual Pudsey 10k Challenge, widely regarded as one of the most challenging 10k races; it attracts around 450 runners.