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Things to do in Leeds

One of the UK’s friendliest and liveliest cities, Leeds is a centre for culture, shopping and has a heritage dating back hundreds of years. An industrial town turned gleaming metropolis, there are plenty of things to do in Leeds.

A lot of the people living in Leeds are students, and this creates a young, fashionable and fun-loving crowd. It also makes the city famous for its nightlife, with a thriving music scene rivalling Manchester’s and an abundance of great pubs and bars. The museums and galleries on offer are superb, with some of the world’s leading artists finding their muse in Leeds. Shopping plays a big part in the economy and ranges from vintage to luxury brands amid the splendour of Victorian architecture. And don’t forget that Leeds is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in northern England. The Yorkshire Dales National Park is just a short car journey away.

Museums & heritage.

Museums & heritage

Leeds’s industrial past is laid bare in the excellent museums throughout the city. The Royal Armouries house 3000 years of war history, including weapons and armour from the Tower of London. See the famous Leeds Tiger at Leeds City Museum, which amongst lots of other exhibits, is held in high esteem by city residents. Or visit the Thackray Medical Museum for a history of medicine in the modern period, housed in a former workhouse for the poor.

Art & galleries.

Art & galleries

Leeds has an impressive array of galleries and inspires a lot of artists. Leeds Art Gallery houses a collection of 20th century art considered of national importance and the Henry Moore Institute is dedicated to sculpture both modern and historical. Add to this the stunning Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Hepworth Wakefield, just an hour outside of the city, and you have some of the finest sculpture galleries in the UK.



Leeds is famed for its nightlife, with hundreds of bars catering to everyone. From real ale to premium cocktails, Leeds does bar life very well. Check out The Alchemist, serving dry ice cocktails and quirky test tube shots amid an eccentric but stylish décor. The Nation of Shopkeepers is a place where hipsters drink ale and listen to live avant garde music. But a favourite is Candlebar, whose wine selection and wood fired pizza will have you coming back for more.

Live music.

Live music

While not well-known for live music, Leeds has a big music scene. Smaller venues showcase new bands while Leeds Arena – the newest venue to open its doors – show bigger bands that previously missed Leeds on their tours of the UK. The O2 Academy is set within an old gothic church and shows both new and old bands. But places like Mojo and The HiFi Club are more fun, as you may see bands on the way to the big time.



Leeds has undergone a huge renovation in the last ten years, making the city a shopper’s paradise – easily walkable with both vintage and high-end stores making up the 1000-plus shops. Head to the historic Kirkdale Market, the largest covered market in Europe to find a bargain. Or go to the Victoria Quarter, where luxury boutiques sit amid fantastic architecture. For independent shops, the Corn Exchange is great for record fairs and vintage stalls.

Outdoor adventures.

Outdoor adventures

Being in Yorkshire means that you have the great outdoors on your doorstep, from the Pennines to the Yorkshire Dales. Closer to Leeds you will find the stunning Roundhay Park, one of the biggest city parks in Europe – keep an eye out for the swans. Or follow the footsteps of the Brontë sisters in Haworth, before heading out onto the famous moorlands featured in their writing. Don’t miss the breathtaking Ingleton Waterfalls Trail in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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