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As one of the largest cities in the UK, Leeds has a lot to offer any visitor. It is considered the cultural, financial and economical heart of West Yorkshire, and has a thriving student population. Throughout history, as early as 5th century, Leeds has played an important part in industry. From wool production to becoming a major mill town and centre for engineering and printing, during the Industrial Revolution, Leeds has always played its part.
In more recent years, Leeds has been home to many sporting events, including Rugby Super League and its football team, Leeds United FC. It also is well-known across the UK as a great shopping venue, earning it the nickname – Knightsbridge of the North. In addition to the sports and shopping scenes, Leeds has exciting arts venues, as well as annual festival that draw crowds from across the world.
Even though Leeds is a large city, most points of interest, shopping and nightlife, are located in the city centre, and therefore within walking distance of each other as well as the majority of hotels. There is also a handy city centre bus route that has many stops to make getting around even easier.
From medieval routes to playing an key part in the Industrial Revolution, Leeds is a city of many faces. There are more than enough options to please everyone, from decadent shopping to breathtaking heritage in the Victorian Quarter. Here are a few recommendations on how to make the most of your time in Leeds.
Leeds proudly plays host to Britain’s national collection of arms and armour. The museum has over 75,000 objects which includes treasures from all over the globe –The Wild West to Europe; Ottoman Empire to Japan. Entry into the museum is free.
This interactive museum allows you to step back in time and experience Victorian life. The museum offers changing exhibitions, but permanent features include a 19th century high street, the home of a washer woman and a Sunday school. Entry is £4 per adult, and it is open daily excluding Mondays.
Leeds is a great city for arts throughout the year, with keys dates including Leeds Festival (August), Light Night (one night October) and the West Indian Carnival. However, if you don’t manage to time your trip in line with one of these annual events, fear not! There are amazing venues and performances to enjoy at any time of the year.
Home to the Opera North and Northern Ballet Theatre, The Grand Theatre and Opera House hosts critically acclaimed performances by internationally renowned production companies. The building has a capacity of 1550 and is a beautiful example of Victorian theatre building. (46 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NZ).
One of the city’s most iconic buildings, Leeds Town Hallis a great place to catch a hugely diverse range of performances. The Hall contains an impressive organ, one of the largest in Europe, but the venue offers much more than just organ performances. Top comedians often perform there and the annual Leeds International Film Festival screens many films there during November. (Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD)
Leeds is going food crazy at the moment, and it is an exciting time to visit a city that is celebrating its culinary flair. Whether you want to try a traditional bite of Yorkshire cuisine, or feel like being more experimental, there is definitely something to suit any palette in Leeds.
The oldest pub in Leeds, is packed full of character and charm. Established in 1715, the pub has served traditional English dishes for centuries, and is great place to try a hearty
Located in the heart of Leeds, this restaurant brings a classic American-style steakhouse to West Yorkshire. The team prides itself in its attention to detail and the beef is sustainably sourced from the nearby Yokshire Dales. Instead of heading straight to your table, stop off at the trendy 1871 Bar next door. Enjoy a pre-meal cocktail before settling down to your scrumptious steak. (Midtown Grill, Trevelyan Square, Leeds, lS1 6ET)
There are many great places to stay in Leeds, especially with it becoming increasingly popular for city breaks. From famous hotel chains to independent boutiques, whatever your preference, you’re sure to find something in Leeds.
This 5-star hotel is a sophisticated offering, perfect for either a romantic break away, but also ideal for people travelling on business. The rooms are finished to an impeccably high standard, and are a tranquil escape to the hustle and bustle of the streets close by. The art deco style, and crushed velvet furnishings give a sense of luxury living, and an ambience in which it is very easy to relax. (23-25 York Place, LS1 2EY Leeds)
In the heart of Leeds‘ business district, you will find the stunning Met Hotel. The building is grade II listed and really stands out, due to its terracota facade. The rooms are modern, smart and spacious, providing everything you need for your stay. A real highlight of this hotel is the stylish cocktail bar and lounge area. The perfect place to start, or end, your evening in Leeds.( King Street, LS1 2HQ Leeds, United Kingdom).