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    Why we love Leeds

    A hotbed for shopping and the arts, you’ll find lots to do in Leeds from exploring the grounds of impressive historical houses to hunting for bargains in Europe’s biggest indoor market, the Grade I listed Kirkgate Market. Rich in heritage, this energetic former mill town boasts a thriving independent food scene, international beer festivals and a dazzling array of street art, including Britain’s tallest mural, Athena Rising. 

    Whether it’s tasting tours or Europe’s biggest music festivals, Leeds rocks it all. While its compact size makes it discoverable, its diversity means there’s always something to do, whether that’s burlesque to hip-hop, culture to clubbing. Sports fans are well catered for too, with cricket and rugby league at Headingley, and Leeds United Football club playing at Elland Road. And if you want to escape to nature - relax in the vast surroundings of Roundhay Park, one of Europe’s largest city parks, or it’s just a short jaunt to the glorious Yorkshire Dales National Park.

    Things to do in Leeds

    This is the home of Britain’s biggest collection of weapons and armour – including Henry VIII’s battle outfit.

    Step into history at Royal Armouries Museum
    A set of elephant armor on display at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds
    Royal Armouries Museum

    More than just retail heaven, this shopping district is a vision of beautiful Victorian-inspired architecture. Great style, in every direction.

    Shop ’til you drop at Victoria Gate
    Victoria Gate
    Victoria Gate

    This spectacular home starred as Princess Mary’s residence in the Downton Abbey film – and now hosts private tours and festivals.

    Plan your trip to Harewood House
    The Victorian formal gardens with statues and low hedges in front of Harewood House
    Harewood House

    From the juiciest burgers to the best local beers, Leeds Indie Food is your one-stop guide to the finest food in England’s north.

    Tuck into Leeds Indie Food
    portrait OWT Leeds Corn Exchange - Amy Heycock for Visit Leeds (18) copy
    Leeds Indie Food

    Built in the 1800s, this intimate theatre has a truly decadent interior, and attracts stellar shows and acts to its stage.

    Catch a show at Leeds Grand Theatre
    Leeds Grand Theatre credit Ant Robling
    Leeds Grand Theatre

    This is the home of Britain’s biggest collection of weapons and armour – including Henry VIII’s battle outfit.

    Step into history at Royal Armouries Museum
    A set of elephant armor on display at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds
    Royal Armouries Museum

    More than just retail heaven, this shopping district is a vision of beautiful Victorian-inspired architecture. Great style, in every direction.

    Shop ’til you drop at Victoria Gate
    Victoria Gate
    Victoria Gate

    This spectacular home starred as Princess Mary’s residence in the Downton Abbey film – and now hosts private tours and festivals.

    Plan your trip to Harewood House
    The Victorian formal gardens with statues and low hedges in front of Harewood House
    Harewood House

    From the juiciest burgers to the best local beers, Leeds Indie Food is your one-stop guide to the finest food in England’s north.

    Tuck into Leeds Indie Food
    portrait OWT Leeds Corn Exchange - Amy Heycock for Visit Leeds (18) copy
    Leeds Indie Food

    Built in the 1800s, this intimate theatre has a truly decadent interior, and attracts stellar shows and acts to its stage.

    Catch a show at Leeds Grand Theatre
    Leeds Grand Theatre credit Ant Robling
    Leeds Grand Theatre

    Places to stay in Leeds

    Roundhay

    Roundhay Park offers is to go to place for music and food festivals, and provides acres of green space, lakes, gardens and a tropical bird and butterfly house. Find lots of delis and restaurants, and all just a small walk into the centre

    Headingley

    Headingley has been the student centre, but with it comes a thriving centre of shops, vintage wear, book shops, cafes and and lots of pubs and bars. It’s a short journey to the city centre.

    Otley

    If you want the best of both words - Otley offers the beauty of the Wharfe Valley and the Chevin Forest Park where hiking and biking are a must, and is also a scenic and lively market town too.

    Getting to Leeds

    As the largest city in West Yorkshire, the nearest main airport to Leeds is in Manchester, which serves around 225 destinations globally. Direct trains from Manchester Airport to Leeds take around 90 minutes, with driving taking a little longer. Train routes from London take just two-and-a-half-hours. Leeds Bradford Airport, around eight miles to the northwest of Leeds city centre (a 30 minute drive), also has connections to more than 75 European destinations, while National Express coaches provide routes into Leeds from both airports.

    Getting around

    An extensive public transport network makes Leeds simple to explore and provides fantastic connections to the rest of Britain. For guidance, pop into the Visit Leeds and Art Gallery Shop, which doubles as the city’s tourist information centre.

    By foot

    Much of central Leeds, including the shopping areas at Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate, is pedestrianised, making it east to explore on foot.

    By train

    The Metro network services towns and villages in the surrounding area, providing reliable links to areas across West Yorkshire.

    By bus

    An extensive bus network connects the main places to visit in Leeds. First Bus operates more than 60 routes in the city, while Arriva and Stagecoach also provide regular services.

    By boat

    A daily water taxi service meanders between Granary Wharf and Leeds Dock, providing an excellent way to see the historic waterfront area.

    Want to know more?

    Check out Visit Leeds for insider tips and travel inspiration.