This vibrant city in West Yorkshire is the 3rd largest city in the UK and considered one of the gems of the north. And it’s not surprising, given Leeds’s lively music scene, buzzing nightlife, lush green spaces and world-class shopping! Whether you’re looking for free things to do in Leeds, or happy to spend a little money on some top attractions, the city has a slew of must-see places to visit.2019 August 06
Stuck for what to do on your next city break? We’ve done some digging and narrowed down our top places to visit in Leeds and activities to do so that you don’t have to!
This impressive Grade I listed building is home to a variety of independent retailers, boutiques and eateries. The Leeds Corn Exchange is a great place to buy one of a kind wares. You’ll find everything from jewellery and fashion to plants and homeware here – you can even get a tattoo or piercing during your visit (or just a haircut, if you’re looking for a less permanent memento!).
There’s also a range of food vendors located on the lower ground level, so you can take in the Corn Exchange’s beautiful architecture over coffee and a bite to eat.
The space is regularly used to host events too, so it’s worth taking a look online to see what’s on before you go. The Leeds Corn Exchange on Call Lane is a 6-minute walk from easyHotel Leeds.
In Leeds city centre you’ll find arcades with stunning walkways and art nouveau shop windows that are just lovely to explore. The city’s trio of arcades – the Grand, Queens and Thorntons – house numerous independent shops and big brand retailers, as well as more expensive boutiques.
You can also head over to the Victoria Quarter, where you’ll see the Victoria Arcade’s stained glass roof – the biggest in Great Britain!
You’re probably already realising that Leeds is a prime shopping destination. And, alongside the city’s arcades and its independently spirited Corn Exchange, there’s Trinity Leeds; a vast shopping centre located in the heart of the city. You’ll find over 120 shops, a cinema, and many bars and restaurants housed under its giant glass roof.
Shopping not your thing? Don’t worry, there’s plenty more to do in Leeds.
With more than 8,500 war related treasures, dramatic performances, tours, talks and live combat displays, the Royal Armouries Museum helps bring history to life! The museum is free, though donations are welcome.
Don’t miss Henry VIII’s tournament armour, the world-record breaking elephant armour and The Hall of Steel. The Hall of Steel is the museum’s ‘architectural centerpiece,’ with over 2700 different military artefacts on display – mostly dating from the 17th and 19th centuries).
This world-renowned contemporary gallery specialises in sculpture inspired by Henry Moore, who started his training at the Leeds School of Art – part of the University of Leeds. With a regularly updated programme of exhibitions showcasing sculpture from across the world, the Henry Moore Institute gives visitors access to some of the most exciting and influential artworks of our time.
Want to see some of Henry Moore’s work? Head over to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park or his estate at Perry Green to see this famous sculptor’s art.
The Henry Moore Institute on The Headrow is just 5 minutes from easyHotel Leeds on foot.
Admire the ornate ceilings, chandeliers and staircases of the elaborately designed Leeds Grand Theatre, before enjoying one of a variety of shows. This Grade II Listed Theatre is a venue for local performance companies Opera North and Northern Ballet, and hosts everything from touring West End musicals to drama, opera, ballet and stand-up comedy.
Leeds Grand Theatre is on New Briggate; a 4-minute walk from your easyHotel.
Covering over 700 acres of parkland, with lakes, woodlands, formal gardens, cafes and playgrounds, Roundhay park is one of the biggest parks in Europe and a popular place to visit in the city of Leeds.
In the summer months, get active at the park’s tennis court and golf course or enjoy a picnic with friends and family before stopping to visit the park’s very own greenhouse, Tropical World.
Roundhay park is a 20-minute drive from Leeds city centre, or 30-minute journey on public transport.
Beer lovers rejoice! Leeds is home to many independent breweries, and has a thriving craft beer scene. Learn more about Yorkshire’s craft beers (and sample a drink or two), with Brewtown Tours. Their 5-hour tour includes minibus collection where participants are then taken to 3 breweries (Quirky Ales in Garforth; Northern Monk and North Brewing Co. – both in Leeds). More information can be found here.
For a culture-filled day out a visit to Leeds Art Gallery shouldn’t go amiss. Founded in 1888 in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the gallery is part of the Leeds Museums & Galleries group and has been recently made a Grade II listed building since its renovation in 2017. The gallery houses British artworks from the 20th and 19th century, including artworks from Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Alongside the gallery’s main collection, there are exhibitions to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Located on the bank of the River Aire, north-west of Leeds city centre is Kirkstall Abbey. The ruins of this 800-year old monastery are open to visitors and is a short 12-minute drive or 20-minute journey via public transport from easyHotel Leeds. Part of its appeal also comes with the fact that the abbey is surrounded by a picturesque park and woodlands. There’s also a visitor centre where you can learn more about the abbey’s history.
Being blessed with a youthful charm makes the city of Leeds one to tick off your UK bucket-list. You’ll be spoilt for choice on places to see and things to do. To be within walking distance of the city’s popular hotspots, don’t forget to book a stay at our award-winning easyHotel Leeds.
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