Where Kirkgate meets The Calls
Shopping has for centuries been at the heart of Leeds, and it all began in the streets and lanes around Kirkgate, an area that is still home to the innovators and the independent traders leading the way in the city’s retail story.
As a shopping destination Leeds has a character all its own. Stunning Victorian architecture including the landmark Leeds Corn Exchange, iconic Kirkgate Market and breathtaking arcades host a revelry of market stalls, home grown fashion houses, boutiques, salons and specialists ensuring that when looking for something truly unique you don’t leave empty handed.
Designer brands and truly unique one-off shops sit within easy walking distance of each other, so if you’re visiting the city for the first time or nipping out on your lunch break you’re just moments away from a shopping experience like no other.
Sheltering from the inclement Yorkshire weather has never been so glorious; forget streets paved with gold, our roofs are made from glass - twinkling domes and striking stained glass that will keep you warm and dry as you make your way from place to place.
Recently renovated, Europe’s biggest covered market has to be seen to be believed. Wander through the halls, admire the architecture and listen to the constant calling of the traders. Pick up your Sunday roast at the same time as some new curtains, freshly cut flowers and a traditional European snack to keep you going as you negotiate the hundreds of stalls inside and out. The market is where Marks & Spencer started back in 1884 so it’s a pretty impressive part of our national retail heritage.
LEEDS CORN EXCHANGE
The 150-year-old Corn Exchange was once where the city’s corn merchants traded, the oval domed roof designed specially by architect Cuthbert Brodrick to show each grain in the best possible light. Now home to over 30 independent businesses it’s THE place to find something special whether you’re after fashion or food, beauty or bling, gorgeous gifts or great music and a shopping experience that should be top of your list when making the move off the high street.
Leeds’ oldest street lies between the Corn Exchange and eponymous market, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times the street is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance. The recently opened Art Hostel sits at one end with other units taken by creatively minded businesses, including arts and crafts supplier Fred Aldous, part of the next generation of Kirkgate merchants taking us with them on their journey.
Follow Art Hostel on Twitter
The five arcades in Leeds City Centre date back to 1878. The Thornton’s and Queen’s Arcades are the oldest, each has a selection of boutique businesses lining the covered walkways. The Grand Arcade is home to one of Leeds’ most magnificent original Potts Clocks, more examples of which can be seen in Thornton’s Arcade and Leeds Corn Exchange, while designer brands can be discovered in the impressive Victoria Quarter. The Central Arcade is a contemporarily designed home for small businesses and entrepreneurs.