England may be famed for cities like London, Manchester, Nottingham, or Reading. So much so that other bigger but lesser known cities fall off the tourist radar. Up north of England in the West Yorkshire lies the vibrant and bustling city of Leeds. It is teeming with life, surrounded by the great outdoors, and full of adventures and fun. With enough to entertain children and adults alike, Leeds is the go-to city for any kind of traveller, no matter what you are looking for in your journey. Here are just some of the reasons why you should make Leeds your next travel destination.
1. Experience a diverse shopping experience
If you can’t travel without stopping by the destination’s malls, then Leeds is the perfect city for you. The Leeds city centre is home to large shopping centres such as Trinity Leeds and Victoria Leeds. These places host an array of commercial international chain stores you can shop in.
However, the city also does well to promote its local businesses. Independent stores are widely popular in Leeds. Corn Exchange offers creatives, cooks, shopkeepers, and craftspeople the space to share their creations with locals and tourists alike. The Kirkgate Market is a fan favourite, especially for those who seek to shop vintage and support local businesses.
2. Enjoy a pint in independent breweries
For those who travel to taste local cuisine and drinks, Leeds does not disappoint. The city is lined with independent bars and pubs, all with varying vibes fit for whatever you’re feeling like that night.
Looking for community to share the perfect pint with? Look no further than Tapped. Located smack dab in the middle of city centre, Tapped’s large tanks of beer and spread of booths provides a chill atmosphere to hang out with your mates while trying out various local brews.
For a more traditional pub feel, visit Duck and Drake in Kirkgate Market. The establishment serves classic pub meals like pork pie and mushy peas to go along with your pint.
Finally, North Bar offers you a piece of history in your pint. The bar prides itself in being the country’s first craft beer bars, although the truth of this claim has not been verified.
3. Appreciate an array of art showcases
A visit to Leeds isn’t complete without a bit of culture. The city is surrounded by art galleries which showcase various artwork by artists from all around.
The Tetley houses contemporary artwork in an art deco space which was formerly the Tetley Brewery. It also has an amazing Bar & Kitchen which is still open for delivery and takeaway during the pandemic. Some exhibits have moved online and can now be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.
Another renowned gallery is the Henry Moore Institute. Established by the sculptor Henry Moore in 1977, the Institute boasts a great variety of sculptures and visual art. Though temporarily closed because of pandemic restrictions, exhibits can still be found online.
A majority of the art venues in town offer free admission, making Leeds great for a fun and educational day trip.
4. Watch Leeds United
Sports buffs can also enjoy Leeds as it is home to the lauded Leeds United football club. The Elland Road football stadium has been home to Leeds United FC since the club’s establishment in 1919.
Elland Road has hosted the FA Cup semi-finals for many years. You can catch Leeds United in action during their home matches. Make sure you check the Elland Road website for match schedules. For Leeds United tickets, Seat Compare is a popular choice amongst fans.
5. Adventure in the outdoors
Leeds has the perfect balance between city life and outdoor adventures. Dotted with beautiful gardens and scenic parks, the city is the perfect place for anyone who wants to walk around or sit in the grass with a good book and a glass of rosé.
The famous Roundhay Park in Leeds has won the Royal Horticultural Society award for Best Public Park. Here you can find vast greeneries as well as three cafes to hang out in, including one in the Mansion’s garden room. There is a tennis court available, and the park hosts a slew of events throughout the year.
Temple Newsam county estate is also a great spot to visit, especially for anyone travelling with children. The estate is surrounded by gardens, with many activities available for families. Children can pet farm animals at Home Farm while the parents explore intricate historic interiors.
6. Jump into the music scene
Leeds offers a lively music scene for fans of different genres. From classic to indie, jazz to hard rock, you can trust that you’ll be able to find the gig of your niche in the city. Leeds music venues host concerts and shows year-round, showcasing international artists as well as local talent.
The Belgrave Music Hall is a cool three-floor venue for music gigs, comedy shows, film, and arts. When not putting on shows, it is also a canteen, serving food and drinks out of their two bars.
The Brudenell is also a popular venue in Leeds. A social club with 1950’s style interior and décor, the joint hosts live bands throughout the year.