MS Kirkgate market stall - The Marks & Spencer Company Archive


2022: A Year to Remember for Leeds

10th January 2022

As we wave goodbye to 2021, it’s time to look forward to what’s to come… A year packed with thrills, experiences, events and excitement. Four seasons of fun, all uniquely Leeds. So here are our 22 picks for 2022, so you can get planning your next 12 months of things to do in Leeds.

Dine out with a difference

This year might just be Leeds’ best ever year for food and drink – there’s so much culinary talent in the city, with amazing restaurants and bars for all tastes. Whether it’s independent eateries, popular chains or street food markets that get your taste buds going, there’s something on the menu for you.

Feast at a Foodie or Beer festival

We love our festivals in Leeds, especially when we can combine them with food. 2022 will see the return of the North Leeds Food Festival, plus a host of awesome beer fests like Brew-denell Beer Fest, Leeds International Beer Festival and Hop City at Northern Monk.

Shop in the UK’s most stunning settings

Our Victorian shopping arcades are a sight to behold – they rival the architecture of Milan, Budapest and the Burlington in London – so they’re the perfect place to fill your bags. The Victoria Quarter is packed with upmarket chains and delightful boutiques, with the shiny new Victoria Gate and John Lewis just across the way.

Explore the beauty of Victorian Leeds

Heritage restoration can be seen at its best at Leeds Corn Exchange, home to an array of independent venues, and 2022 is set to be a big year for their carefully curated collection of independently-minded vendors. With a few new additions, like arty bookshop Colours May Vary and reclaimed furniture expert The Craft Bar Steward added to the lineup, there’s loads of new stuff to discover.

Browse Europe’s largest covered market

Kirkgate Market is booming with a thriving food hall and rows of butchers, fishmongers, and food stalls where you can buy delicacies from across the globe. You can find just about anything you want across all sorts of stalls and shops, from fabric to fragrances, food and flowers.

Pack your year full of art and history

There’s so much to learn in Leeds that you could find an activity or experience for every single weekend – from the history and heritage of stately homes like Harewood, Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall, to attractions like Thackray Medical Museum or the Royal Armouries. Or galleries and exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery, the Henry Moore Institute and The Tetley.

Find a ticket to an inspirational performance

Leeds is blessed with a collection of world class cultural institutions and venues, from Opera North and Northern Ballet, to Leeds Playhouse, City Varieties and Leeds Grand. So if the theatre is your idea of cultural heaven, 2022 will be packed with performances worth bagging a ticket for.

Celebrate culture at the West Indian Carnival

As Europe’s longest running Caribbean Carnival parade, Leeds West Indian Carnival will be returning to the city in August to delight residents and visitors with colourful costumes, tropical music, and mouth-watering food. Going strong since 1967, the carnival is a true celebration of West Indian culture in Leeds.

Uncover hidden histories with The World Reimagined

This Autumn will see a ground-breaking national art education project hosted in Leeds. Its mission is to transform how we understand the Transatlantic slave trade through art and collaboration with schools, community groups, sporting and cultural institutions. The programme will feature all sorts of Leeds-based events for the curious and inquisitive.

See the city shine on Light Night

 Our annual celebration of art and light is the UK’s largest, taking place in October every year. The city’s biggest buildings and most popular spaces are transformed, with large-scale light projections and interactive installations, to music, dance and street performances, and this year is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Get ready for the start of a ground-breaking cultural year

It may not be officially here until the clock strikes 12 on 31/12/22, but our year-long cultural celebration – Leeds 2023 – will be ramping things up as we reach the end of 2022. There will be all sorts of chances for you to get involved with arts and cultural projects in preparation for the big year, so watch out!

Celebrate makers and creators for the Harewood Biennial

This year marks the inaugural Harewood Biennial, a year highlighting the beauty of craft and creation at ever-popular Harewood House. This year’s theme is ‘Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters’, and you’ll be able to dive into all sorts of exhibitions, workshops and symposiums covering everything from blacksmithing to glass making.

Grab a glow stick for Leeds’ favourite festivals

If you love your music, you’ll love Leeds’ lineup of kickass festivals. Top highlights include Leeds Festival, taking place across the Autumn Bank Holiday weekend, Slam Dunk, which brings the best pop punk and rock to Temple Newsam, and Black Music Festival which will be back at Potternewton Park.

Witness the evolution of Live at Leeds

After an extended hiatus, Leeds’ celebration of the best new music around returns in 2022. Bigger, better and in a brand-new venue. Rather than occupying a collection of inner-city venues, Live at Leeds will be popping up at Temple Newsam in June – so you can see all the bands you like, in fantastic surroundings.

Cheer on the best international Rugby League

Don’t be fooled by the name – the Rugby League World Cup 2021 is finally on the way, just a year late thanks to Coronavirus. But the teams are ready, the stadiums are waiting and the whistle will be blown this October. You can catch some of the best matches as part of the Men’s and Women’s tournaments at Headingley Stadium, the home of Leeds Rhinos.

Find the best spot to watch the best football.

With the Fifa World Cup 2022 taking place in Qatar, many fans will be looking for a prime spot to watch their national team take on all comers. Games will be kicking off between 10am and 7pm GMT, so heading into Leeds to find a sports bar, pub or cafe with a big screen will be a must for football fans wanting that match day atmosphere.

Support the inspirational British Transplant Games

The British Transplant Games have been running for over 40 years, showing that transplant patients can achieve great things, and regain awe inspiring fitness too. The 2022 edition will be taking place in Leeds over the summer, so keep an eye out for the launch of the programme and schedule of events.

Party in the park with Leeds’ own Mardi Gras Festival

Mardi Gras might put you in mind of New Orleans, but did you know you can celebrate in true Latin style in Roundhay Park too? The Mardi Gras festival went down a treat with party goers in 2021, and this year the whole crew will be returning bigger and better with food, DJs, dancing and – of course – bars.

Walk in the footsteps of dinos with the Jurassic Trail

2022 will see the return of some pretty big and scary Leeds residents – the dinosaurs of the Jurassic Trail! Life size animatronic beasts will be popping up across the city, with the chance to follow the Jurassic Trail map and tick each one off. It’s a fantastic way to get the whole family out and about.

Get together for a year of events in Millennium Square

Millennium Square is the place where our city comes together, and this year will see a huge range of events, festivals and gigs taking place. The line-up already includes everything from Classical Club Anthems and chart toppers Haim, to 80s icons Tears for Fears and Leeds Ska and Mod Festival.

Find the perfect place to stay.

With so much going on in 2022, it’s well worth finding a hotel or apartment to make a weekend of it – or longer! Luckily, the city is bursting with reliable chains, quirky independents and even more intriguing options. How about Leeds Art Hostel, a totally unique and creative stopover designed and created by a new raft of artistic talent?

Get here in a way that suits you.

Once you’ve got your tickets, schedule or hotel sorted it’s time to plan your journey. Leeds really is the epicentre of the North, so it couldn’t be easier to get here! You’ll find us at the centre of major city train lines, and at the heart of the motorway network. Plus there are regular regional bus services, and great transport once you get here.