Be a tourist in your own city! Explore what’s on your doorstep, rediscover Leeds and take a fresh look at all that’s here to enjoy. Where grand country estates meet breath-taking opera and expansive parks meet cosy pubs. An autumnal adventure awaits. #ReDiscoverLeeds
Leeds is the only English city outside London to have its own resident opera and ballet companies, the internationally renowned and award-winning Opera North and Northern Ballet, and repertory theatre Leeds Playhouse.
Immerse yourself in music and theatre this autumn with Opera North. As You Are is a new soundwalk experience for Leeds, act III of Puccini’s La Bohème is reimagined as an animation and projected in outdoor spaces. And from opera to beatboxing, Opera North and Leeds Playhouse present Connecting Voices, a series of live indoor performances throughout October.
Northern Ballet return to the stage with three different hour-long mixed programmes at Leeds Playhouse from 21–24 October, including excerpts from ballet classics such as Swan Lake and more contemporary performances including 1984 and a new work by Northern Ballet Choreographer in Residence, Kenneth Tindall. From 28–31 October, Northern Ballet perform David Nixon OBE’s Dangerous Liaisons in the first revival of this work in 10 years.
The world famous City Varieties Music Hall has reopened this October, screening some of the best live and as-live theatre performances, alongside previews of award-winning new independent films as part of the Picture Houses’ On The Road programme.
And, after six months of closure, the Carriageworks Theatre will reopen its doors on Friday 16 October 2020 to host a fantastic comedy show pulled together by resident comedy gurus The Shoe Cake Comedy Club.
Plus, there are still plenty of incredible performances you can enjoy from home.
Leeds is one of the UK’s best shopping destinations; you’ll find all your favourite high-street names and luxury brands here, but it’s the independent shopping and markets that really sets Leeds apart.
Spend the morning exploring high street brands under the arching roof of Trinity Leeds, get lost amongst the stalls of the iconic Kirkgate Market and discover quirky independents at Leeds Corn Exchange. Indulge in the glamourous Victoria Gate or wander the historic arcades of the Victoria Quarter, browsing designer names amongst the marble, glass and grandeur. And there are still more stunning Victorian arcades, each with their own original features and unique charm. With plenty of space and precautions in place you can enjoy shopping safely here too.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Leeds food and drink offer is thriving; serving up an abundance of diverse dishes and world cuisine, with award-winning eateries, inspiring independents, and a flourishing street food scene. The love of craft beer and brewing is prevalent in Leeds too; the city is home to a number of independent breweries so be sure to try a local pint or even take a tour to find out more about the process. Leeds is also home to some of the best bars in the UK and many of them are open and ready to pour your favourite drink.
So whether you’re looking for a multi-course meal at a top-class restaurant or a cocktail whilst taking in the city views, you’ve come to the right place.
HISTORY, HERITAGE & TRAILS
Leeds may be a modern city but it is steeped in history. You can see this around every corner, reflected in the breath taking architecture and listed buildings, as the city is famous for its stunning Victorian Arcades; just one of the many Victorian connections to be discovered. Follow a self guided trail or join a walking tour for a delve into the city’s history.
Explore more about Leeds’ history, heritage and trails here.
With the leaves changing colour, it’s the ideal time to visit Leeds’ many beautiful parks, green spaces and gardens. Stroll around the lake at Roundhay Park, one of the biggest and most popular city parks in Europe, or visit Golden Acre Park which is near to two of Leeds’ most treasured nature reserves: Breary Marsh and Adel Dam. Take in the historical splendour of Kirkstall Abbey with a visit to the grounds. Beautiful gardens and historic houses await at Temple Newsam, Lotherton Hall and Harewood. And who could forget the dramatic views of Otley Chevin? As Leeds is also the perfect base for exploring the wider area, the stunning Yorkshire Dales national park can be reached in just half an hour.
Most of Leeds wonderful attractions have now reopened and are excited to welcome you back again. Some things may have changed for your safety, such as one-way systems and advance bookings, but the fun you’ll have when you visit hasn’t!
Lotherton is a charming Edwardian country estate. In the house, be transported back through time with their interactive exhibitions. Wildlife World is a must for animal lovers, home to hundreds of animals from across the globe. Visit during October half term and follow the spooky skeletons trail around the estate and into the haunted house!
Harewood, one of the Treasure Houses of England, is another estate filled with art, culture and history. Enjoy remarkable views from the award winning terraces, wander through the beautiful gardens, or head inside to explore the grand house. Be sure to visit their current exhibition, Kate MccGwire – Menagerie, which focuses on birds in celebration of 50 years of Harewood’s Bird Garden.
Young people who love farm animals will want to visit Temple Newsam, a great country house surrounded by beautiful parkland which includes a working rare breeds farm. Temple Newsam House is a truly impressive Tudor-Jacobean mansion and it is now home to one of the most important collections of decorative arts in Britain. Outside, visitors can make friends with a variety of rare breed animals at Herd Farm, wander around the beautiful gardens, enjoy some leisure time or even a round of golf.
MAKE A NIGHT OF IT
With an excellent choice of accommodation in Leeds you’re sure to find a room that is just right for you. Looking for a little luxury? You can find a 4 star boutique retreat in the heart of the city. Or, if you’re wanting the excellent standards of well-known hotels, these can all be found within the city centre. Escape the city for an indulgent spa break or, for those on a budget, there are plenty of options that save on spending but not on quality. For a real home away from home experience, the city has a number of excellent serviced apartments and self-catering accommodation. And just outside the city centre you can find cosy, traditional B&Bs.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
We’re thrilled to be able to welcome you back into Leeds and the surrounding area. However, things may look a little different and some additional pre-planning is advised. Many restaurants, bars and cafes have opened their doors but do require a pre-booking and there are restrictions in place. The retail scene has also sprung back into action but you may need to queue and face coverings are a must. And accommodation providers have freshly plumped pillows waiting and new policies in place.
We’ve put together a handy A-Z guide with everything you need to know about visiting Leeds as Covid-19 restrictions begin to lift. So be sure to plan your visit in advance and Know Before You Go!
"We're Good To Go"
VisitBritain / VisitEngland have launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening. “We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. So when you see this logo in windows, on websites and on social media, you can be reassured these places are safe to visit.