Area Guide: Leeds
Leeds is Yorkshire’s largest city with a population of roughly 800,000 people. It’s always been considered a powerhouse of the north ever since the 17th century where it was the major centre for production and trade. But since then, the city has truly become one of the UK’s major cultural centres that hosts an impressive list of Galleries, venues, Museums, shopping centres and many other places. This place is blessed with a strong historic background as well as being a city consistently ranked one of the highest in the country for vibrancy so be sure to check out as many places as you can when you visit!
We all like to take part in a bit of retail therapy, but we feel for the people of Leeds who have to consistently deal with the temptation of falling into this trap. I mean, who can blame them with Trinity Leads offering over 120 shops one place? What’s even better is that the Trinity kitchen has 6 street food vans that rotate every 8 weeks to offer a wide variety of flavours from other countries!
If that doesn’t feel like you, try out Leeds Kirkgate Market, a bustling indoor market for independent shoppers (one of the largest in Europe) where a personal touch is always appreciated. If that still doesn’t take your fancy, and prefer the finer things in life, why not head over to Victoria Leeds? This stylish shopping district is home to over 75 high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols.
HISTORY & ART
If you are a keen historian, then this city is the place for you. Leeds is a city that is so rich with history its beginnings go all the way back to the 14th century. Perhaps takes some time to visit the Royal Armouries museum. Here you will be able to see the UK’s national collection of arms and amour but be careful, this is one of the oldest museums in the UK! We also recommend that you pay a visit to the Kirkstall Abbey, a ruined Cistercian monastery first founded in 1152. There’s a café there too in case you want to take a break to have refreshments or food.
Fancy yourself an artist? Leeds boasts a variety of well-established art galleries that displays old and modern forms of art. However, if there’s anywhere you’re going to go for art, it has to be the Leeds Art Gallery. This gallery is part of the Leeds Museum and Gallery group, who’s collection of British 20th century art was designated as a collection of “national importance” by the British government in 1997. Not too far away from here, is the Henry More Institute, one of the largest sculpture galleries in Europe!
There’s no doubt that Leeds is a gold mine for evenings of comedy, with some of the world’s best comedians finding it difficult not to include it during their tours. There’s an abundance to choose from, but we recommend going with the HiFi Club as well as the Leeds Comedy Club as they are the venues you will leave with a sore stomach due to the laughing! But wait, there’s more! Not only does Leeds have venues for the best comedians, but also for the big bands and singers at the O2 Academy! Ever since its £4.5 million refurbishment it has been able to improve its capacity to around 2,800 so you are sure to have a wild and eventual night!
Everyone needs fresh air, whether it’s to take your mind off pressing issues or simply to get out of the house. It would be ludicrous not to mention Roundhay Park considering it’s one of the largest parks in Europe! Here you can follow trails, meander around the lake or take time spot beautiful birds. If you have time, we recommend that you try out Tropical World. It’s a series of temperature-controlled glasshouses representing different climates of the world as well as having butterfly houses and aquariums. Don’t worry, Tropical World is part of Roundhay Park so not too far of a walk!