Are you bored of the usual activities in and around Leeds? Sick of sightseeing? Fed up with trawling the shops? Tired of wandering around art galleries? Here are a few more unusual suggestions for activities to fill your days and nights if you’re based in Leeds.
Watch pay-what-you-like theatre
The Holbeck Underground Ballroom is a unique performance space nestled in one of the grimier areas of town. Based beneath the railway arches and offering free coffee and beer so cheap it might as well be on the house, this space is known for its eccentric and cutting-edge theatre. All shows operate on a pay-what-you-want basis, allowing those on low incomes to soak up a bit of culture without worrying about the usual extortionate costs.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Popular indie craft beer store, Tall Boys is a Leeds institution for beer lovers – but did you know that there’s a secret area upstairs where you can sit and enjoy your purchases? This hidden hipster mecca is only tiny, curated by The Plant Room to showcase themed prints from local artists, a living wall and of course, plenty of plants. Enjoy the views of the beautiful Thornton Arcade out of the window, sip your beer and keep an eye on the programme of regular events hosted in the space.
Tall Boys, 17 Thornton Arcade, Leeds +44 113 391 2525
Learn about coffee
Head to North Star micro-roasters and book a place on their Coffee Academy workshops to learn a little more about your favourite drink. The experiences are tailored towards both personal and professional interests, offering courses in home brewing, sensory skills and barista training. Buy a pack of their beans, update your home coffee making kit and discover how to create the perfect cup of coffee in your own home.
North Star, Unit 33, The Boulevard, Leeds Dock, Leeds +44 7725 144211
West Leeds Activity Centre is great for anyone who loves physical activities or likes to be outdoors. By far the most adventurous activity you can get involved with while you’re there (if climbing and sumo wrestling are too tame for you) is attempting the Leap of Faith. Exactly what it sounds like, this involves jumping from a great height and relying on the wires that are holding you up. The initial climb up a 20 foot pole is enough to turn stomachs so make sure you’re committed to the jump before signing up.
West Leeds Activity Centre, Lenhurst Ave, Leeds +44 113 336 7414
Head over to Harewood House to get up close and personal with an animal that you wouldn’t expect to find in Leeds. The experience involves meeting their friendly flock of Humboldt penguins and helping the zookeepers feed them with their favourite fish. It doesn’t come cheap, but who would turn down the chance to meet these beguiling animals?
Harewood House, Harewood Estate Office, Sandy Gate, Harewood, Leeds +44 113 218 1010
Take a hot air balloon ride
See Leeds from a completely different perspective by taking a hot air balloon flight during either sunrise or sunset over the city. Taking flight from Temple Newsam, the balloon takes you soaring over both the city and the surrounding countryside, offering unrivaled views while enjoying a refreshing glass of champagne.
Learn to forage
Local forager, Craig Worrall runs regular foraging walks with Edible Leeds, helping to teach others how to identify edible food growing in the wild. The walks serve as an introduction to wild food, pointing out poisonous specimens that can easily be mistaken for delicious delicacies. Following the walk, Craig demonstrates how to cook using your finds, allowing everyone to take notes and sample the finished dish.
Scare yourself silly
There’s plenty of reportedly haunted buildings in and around Leeds, including Temple Newsam, Armley Mills and Leeds Dispensary. Simply Ghost Nights run exhilarating events at these spooky locations after hours, allowing thrill-seekers to wander around the deserted buildings in search of eerie goings-on, or even to spend the night if they dare.
If you prefer tea to coffee, you’ll love this informative tasting session at Le Chalet tea rooms. Offering a wide variety of different teas to choose from, the expert brewers demonstrate how to make the perfect cup of tea including little known facts and interesting anecdotes.
Le Chalet, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds +44 113 243 0576
Partake in petanque
If the sun is shining, why not pretend you’re in France and head down to Bond Court to enjoy a delightful game of petanque? This outdoor court is free to use and is surrounded by seating if you’d rather sit and watch the experts play. If you’re unsure of the rules, a helpful noticeboard is there to clue you in (hint: it’s very similar to boules).
Ballet and ballroom dancing are both too cliché – why not enroll on a belly dancing class instead? The Dance Studio offers ten week courses for a very reasonable price to teach you the basics and improve your fitness while having fun with friends. The studio supplies shimmy belts for an authentic experience.
The Dance Studio, Mabgate Mills, Macaulay St, Leeds +44 113 242 1550
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.