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Nestled in the north of England in West Yorkshire, Leeds is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in the UK. Whether you’re looking for delicious food, interesting shops, eclectic nightlife or bountiful outdoor spaces, it has it all. Not convinced? Read on for our list of ten reasons why you should make Leeds your next city break.
From Roundhay Park to Temple Newsam, Leeds and its surrounding area is full of scenic gardens and green parks to walk around. If you like to combine your city breaks with a little fresh air, there are many opportunities to get outdoors within easy reach of the city centre with attractions such as Kirkstall Abbey offering the perfect place for walking the dog or picnicking.
From free public art along Leeds Welcome Art Trail to iconic galleries such as the Henry Moore Institute and a scattering of exciting independent galleries all across the city, Leeds is definitely on the map of the art world. Sculpture lovers should set their sights a little further and explore the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle – the Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park are only a short drive away.
Known as the ‘gateway to Yorkshire’, Leeds is perfectly positioned for exploring the rest of this diverse county. Within an hour’s drive you can find yourself admiring the peaks of the Yorkshire Dales, wandering among the heather on Ilkley Moor or exploring the historical streets of the city of York.
Showcasing everything from metal to jazz, Leeds’s music scene is eclectic and ever-present. Venues such as The Brudenell and Belgrave Music Hall champion up-and-coming and local bands as well as playing host to darlings of the indie scene, bringing visitors to the city seeking invigorating musical performances.
If you like to eat out, Leeds is a smorgasbord of everything from Indian street food to elegant tapas restaurants. Street food is everywhere with pop-up food stalls, farmers markets and the popular monthly feast at Belgrave Music Hall proving consistently popular. You could eat our every night of the week for a month and still have a vast variety of restaurants waiting for you to try.
Small budget? No problem. Leeds is a great city to enjoy without spending a penny, boasting a variety of attractions and activities that you can enjoy for free. Wander around the beautiful arcades and the Minster in the city centre to admire the striking architecture, view free exhibitions at The Tetley, or even catch a cult film for free at the weekly Cinema Club at Crowd of Favours.
Leeds loves good beer, its many microbreweries supplying the local pubs and bars with an impressive array of delicious craft ale. If you’re into your beer, this is one of the best cities to explore, crawling from pub to pub enjoying the local brews. Seek out the best beer gardens in the city when the sun shines and don’t forget to pay a visit to The Tetley, now an art gallery and bar on the site of the former famous brewery.
If you’re at all interested in music, chances are you’ve at least lusted after the line-up at Leeds festival once in your life. Championing the best in indie, rock and metal music, Bramham Park is taken over every August bank holiday weekend with music fans from all across the country.
From the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey to the perfectly preserved Temple Newsam stately home, Leeds is filled with reminders of the history of England. History buffs will enjoy wandering around the city and its outskirts seeking out the most important structures, but anyone with a passing interest in architecture can admire the beautiful buildings around the city centre.
Leeds is great for shopping with a variety of designer, high street and independent stores scattered across the city centre. What makes shopping in Leeds more special than your usual high street are its beautiful Victorian arcades, filled with beautifully preserved mosaics, tiles and stained glass windows. You can easily find yourself distracted from the shops by the architecture.