Here are the best things to see and do in Leeds, the great places to grab some grub, the perfect places to pitch up for a pint and where to head for some retail therapy. Plus the secret spots you might never have heard of.
From designer shopping and captivating museums to the splendour of vast stately homes, Leeds is an ideal place for a day out with friends.
Things to see and do in Leeds
The Tour De France is the world’s largest annual sporting event – and the 2014 edition of the cycling race gets under way in Yorkshire. The Grand Depart Stage One will see cyclists including former world champion Mark Cavendish race from Leeds to Harrogate on 5 July. The race finishes nearly 20 stages later in Paris at the Champs-Elysees. The Yorkshire Festival 2014 will offer “100 days of art and culture” across the county to celebrate the arrival of the Grand Depart.
You’ll need to set aside several hours to really appreciate the Royal Armouries, a museum featuring more than 8,500 objects charting the history of arms and armour from Roman days to those used by present-day soldiers. Admission is free.
Leeds is home to three historical houses, but Harewood House is arguably the most impressive. It boasts a stunning art collection as well as more than 100 acres of beautiful gardens.
If you fancy some fresh air, Roundhay Park in Leeds is the perfect place to while away a summer’s day. Be sure to fit in a trip to Tropical World, which is home to a number of exotic creatures including meerkats, crocodiles, butterflies and bats.
Shopping in Leeds
The centre of Leeds’ shopping district is the impressive Trinity Leeds shopping centre which opened its doors to the public in 2013. High street names such as Apple, Boots and Marks and Spencer are all present and correct, alongside an array of eateries.
The stunning Victoria Quarter is also well worth a visit and houses luxury and boutique shops, as well as Leeds’ premier department store Harvey Nichols.
For independent stores, head to the city’s Corn Exchange - one of three in the country which still operates as a centre for trade.
Food and drink in Leeds
Leeds is home to a host of delicious eateries, both in the city centre and slightly further afield. Perhaps one of the best-known restaurants is Salvos in Headingley, a family-run Italian restaurant which has been open since 1976. The eatery found fame after being voted the UK's Best Neighbourhood Italian Restaurant by Gordon Ramsay on Channel 4's the “F Word”.
For some Yorkshire-themed grub, The Tetley Bar and Kitchen, located in the former Tetley brewery headquarters, serves a hearty menu featuring pies, ploughman’s and soups - all made using locally sourced ingredients where possible. You can wash your food down with a pint of Tetley’s where it was first brewed almost 200 years ago.
If you’re just after a quick bite, Trinity Kitchen in Trinity Leeds welcomes new food vans from across the country every few months, so you’ll never be bored of the selection.
Here are three spots in Leeds you might not have heard of…
Friends of Ham bar and charcuterie offers a winning combination of tasty cheeses, delicious charcuterie meats and an extensive selection of beers, ciders and wines which you can enjoy while playing shuffleboard, or listening to live music.
The White Cloth Gallery is a great find for culture vultures and plays host to a number of photography and film exhibitions, as well as serving tasty food and drinks.
If you fancy a coffee and bite to eat after a hard morning’s shopping, Pickles and Potter Deli in the Queen’s Arcade serves the best sandwiches in town, and the cakes aren’t bad either!
Upcoming events in Leeds
Robbie Williams and Dolly Parton will be taking to the stage at the First Direct Arena on 16 June and 17 June, and June 20 respectively.
Enjoy your trip to Leeds.