The graceful red brick of Victorian-era Leeds slips past your East Coast train as it arrives in the vibrant city centre. Yorkshire’s commercial heart has had a funky transformation over the years, turning it into a glittering magnet for shoppers and a booming cultural centre.


It’s no surprise that Leeds is dubbed ‘Knightsbridge of the North’. On bustling Briggate, browse the designer boutiques inside the magnificently restored marble and mosaic of the Victoria Quarter. Once derelict, the transformed waterfront area now brims with life, hosting quirky markets and arty stores with weekend entertainment. Find one-off gems and innovative styles in Leeds’s famous vintage shops tucked away around Kirkgate Market.


Discover for yourself why Leeds is one the UK’s best cities for live music. Everything from up-and-coming bands to the biggest headliners fill the many music venues. Try the heady Yorkshire beers on offer in the buzzing brewpubs lining the riverside. Get a taste of the city’s arts scene with top-class ballet and theatre companies performing at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House.


Settle down with a pint in a friendly gastropub in the compact city centre and dine on beer-battered fish and chips. Treat yourself to award-winning chefs’ European flavours in one of Leeds’s refurbished Victorian warehouses. Sample some of the nation’s best Indian cuisine in ethnically diverse Headingley, where a feast fit for a raj won’t cost the earth.


Admire dazzling jewel-encrusted Ming dynasty swords and enormous Indian elephant armour at the vast Royal Armouries as you explore 3,000 years of wars and warfare. Head to Tropical World in Roundhay Park, where kids can watch inquisitive meerkats bobbing in their burrows and exotic birds flying in a real urban jungle. Take a picnic for lazy afternoons by Roundhay’s lake after an energetic bike ride through the park’s trails. Absorb the beauty of the craggy Yorkshire countryside at the 12th-century Kirkstall Abbey on the River Aire, and imagine the lives of Cistercian monks who once lived there.