D E S T I N AT I O N
eeds has a rich and varied heritage, especially when it comes to architecture. In fact, it has more listed buildings than any other city outside of London. You’ll find ornate Victorian arcades, industrial mills and ancient ruins sitting alongside contemporary new builds in this incredibly eclectic city. Take a stroll to marvel at iconic buildings like the grand Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Civic Hall. The spectacular dome roofed Leeds Corn Exchange is full of quirky independent shops. While the majestic Grade I listed Kirkgate Market, built in 1857, on opening was the largest indoor market in Europe. It’s also the birthplace of one of Britain’s biggest global brands, Marks and Spencer. Beautiful buildings are home to some of the city’s finest shopping destinations too, designer brands and Harvey Nichols fill the gorgeous Victoria Quarter and Victoria Gate arcades and the contemporary Trinity Leeds, housed under a giant glass roof, make Leeds a shopper’s paradise. Full of groundbreaking cultural institutions, Leeds certainly packs a punch. It’s the only English city other than London, to have its own resident opera and ballet companies, the internationally renowned and award-winning Opera North and Northern Ballet. Leeds is also home to some of the finest theatres in the UK including the recently refurbished Leeds Playhouse, City Varieties Music Hall, and the beautiful Leeds Grand Theatre, providing a wealth of entertainment from West End plays, musicals, classical music and comedy. As well as performance art, Leeds also has a vibrant visual art scene; Leeds Art Gallery has a diverse collection and next door, the Henry Moore Institute is dedicated to celebrating
historical and contemporary sculpture from across the world. Housed in the art deco headquarters of the former brewery, The Tetley is a leading centre for contemporary art. With such an incredible range of museums there is plenty to keep inquisitive minds inspired. The awardwinning Leeds City Museum has six galleries to visit, including; Life on Earth, Ancient Worlds and The Leeds Story. You can spring into action at the Royal Armouries Museum, Britain’s national museum of arms and armour and home to many treasured objects including Henry VIII’s original suit of armour. Families and rail enthusiasts will love Middleton Railway, the oldest continuously working railway in the world. It now has a museum and offers nostalgic passenger trips aboard steam locomotives. The city’s industrial heritage can be explored at many locations around Leeds including Thwaite Mills; one of the last remaining examples of water-powered mills in Britain. A local favourite is the well preserved Kirkstall Abbey, whose ancient ruins and surroundings are a peaceful escape, while being just a short distance from the fast pace of the city centre. Taste buds will certainly be tantalised. With a national reputation for its exciting independent food and drink scene, Leeds serves up world cuisine, award-winning eateries, Michelin star dining and a flourishing street food scene with gusto. As a city with a proud brewing history, the love of craft beer and real ale is widespread with almost every bar in the city offering something more than a simple pint. The vibrant and eclectic nightlife takes some beating too, from classy cocktails and popular nightclubs to live music and theatre, there is a huge choice and something for everyone. It’s good to know that
the city has been awarded Purple Flag status to show that a night out here is not only entertaining and enjoyable but diverse and safe too. To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the picturesque Roundhay Park is a wonderful place to relax. Not only is it the largest park in Leeds, but one of the largest urban parks in Europe and twice the size of Hyde Park, London! The rolling parkland is perfect for circular walks around lakes, woodlands and formal gardens. Children will love the fantastic playground and there are tempting cafés along the way too. With dramatic countryside on the doorstep, Leeds is a great base for exploring. A short ride out is the wonderful market town of Otley. Wander the quaint streets to discover lovely shops and cafés. If the weather is on your side, take a picnic to the riverside or hike to the top of the Otley Chevin Forest Park for a breathtaking view across the Wharfedale valley. Situated just outside of Leeds, at Harewood House you can step back in time and wander through this glorious treasure house of England to discover Renaissance masterpieces, Chippendale furniture, exquisite family portraits, as well as a fine collection of Sèvres china and much more. Outside, the extraordinary 100 acres of gardens created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown are a delight to explore and include plant species from all over the world. Nearby are the historic houses of Lotherton and Temple Newsam with both boasting stunning gardens and a grand estate.