Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there really is no excuse not to visit the impressive museums that Leeds has to offer. Read Culture Trip’s guide to the best museums in Leeds.
Leeds City Museum
Boasting four floors of interactive galleries, the Leeds City Museum is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. The Life on Earth gallery and the Ancient Worlds gallery include artifacts from around the world, including a 3000 year old Egyptian Mummy. Both galleries are interactive, so expect to find yourself reconstructing Roman pots or digging for prehistoric fossils. Enthusiasts of the local history can also visit Leeds Collectors gallery and the Leeds Gallery where you’ll find historical artefacts that date back as far back as the Bronze Age. The museum is constantly running events, games afternoons and film screenings, so check the website before you visit.
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Opening hours: Mon – closed, Tues, Wed and Fri – 11am-6pm, Thurs – 11am-8pm, Sat and Sun – 11am-5pm
Address and telephone: Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 8BH, 0113 224 3732
The Royal Armouries
The Royal Armouries Museum is a must visit for anyone interested in national history, as the museum holds the national collection of arms and armour. The six galleries include War, Tournament, Oriental, Self-Defence, Hunting and Peace. As if that isn’t enough, there is also the Hall of Steel and an outside courtyard which frequently hosts live shows and performances. Pack a picnic and head here for the day to take a tour through the history of warfare in England. The museum is also dedicated to research and conversation, and any funds raised go straight to the cause. Admission is free and buses are cheap making this an affordable, educational and fun day out.
Open daily 10am-5pm, Armouries Dr, Leeds LS10 1LT, 0113 220 1999
Thackray Medical Museum
For medical history enthusiasts, Thackray Medical Museum is the place to go. Expect an educational trip as the museum holds nine interactive galleries and events with a dedicated team of specialists making each visit a personal one. The museum is also a site of interest for paranormal enthusiasts and frequently runs professionally led paranormal investigations for the public. Tickets are annual passes valid for twelve months so you can really make the most of everything the museum has to offer, and there is a 10% discount for booking online. Check the website before you go to plan and personalize your visit.
Open daily 10am-5pm, 141 Beckett St, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS9 7LN, 0113 244 4343
National Coal Mining Museum
Coal mining is a huge part of Leeds history and had a national impact that affected many lives, and its story can be explored at The National Coal Mining Museum. If you want a truly authentic experience, get kitted out in a hard hat and descend 140m underground to experience the harsh reality for coal miners throughout the centuries. If you don’t fancy going underground there’s still plenty to see, with a variety of collections and special exhibitions running throughout the year that displays some fascinating artifacts from the mining era. For art lovers, there is also a collection of art and photography by both professional artists and miners alike which illustrate the mining industry through the eyes of those who experienced it. As a registered charity, the museum is dedicated to preserving the industry’s heritage and promises to provide a truly educational experience.
Open daily 10am-5pm, Caphouse Colliery, New Rd, Overton, West Yorkshire WF4 4RH, 01924 848806
Abbey House Museum
Abbey House promises to take you back in time to the Victorian Era with its recreated Victorian streets and residents wandering around in Victorian dress. Visit Stephen Harding Gate for the 19th century equivalent to a modern high streetoffering you a unique shopping experience and, after some retail therapy, stop off at the Hark to Rover Inn to grab a pint at a recreated model of a Victorian drinking house. Explore the social division of the poor and rich as you experience life both in poverty and as a rich pawnbroker in the residential districts. The museum is also located right next to the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey which is definitely worth a visit should you have the time.
Opening hours: Tues – Sun – 10am-5pm, Sat – 12pm-5pm, Abbey Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS5 3EH, 0113 378 4079
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