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Top 5 things to see and do in Leeds

Here are five unmissable things to see and do when you visit Leeds
The Terrace credit Harewood House Trust and Lee Beal

Leeds has more listed buildings than any other city outside London. The built heritage here is one to marvel at and enjoy when strolling through the centre. For a slice of British history the city has plenty to offer with a number of nearby historic houses, including Harewood House and Temple Newsam, as well as Kirkstall Abbey, one of the most complete Medieval Cistercian Abbeys in the whole of the UK.

Kirkgate Market is without doubt one of the most recognisable and best loved landmarks in the city. The majestic Grade I listed building dates back to 1857 boasts the first covered retail street in Leeds and is home to the birthplace of one of Britain's biggest global brands Marks & Spencer which still has a presence. As soon as you enter this impressive Victorian masterpiece you feel alive! There isn't anywhere like this in the UK.

The Tetley - Lubaina Himid and Susan Walsh, Mat Birchall and Tao Lashley-Burnley, The Feast Wagon Do

Leeds boasts a thriving and diverse cultural scene and is home to a number of inspiring art venues. Take your time exploring Leeds’ visual art and head for the recently refurbished Leeds Art Gallery which has the best twentieth century collection outside London. The Tetley is a centre for contemporary art located in the stunning art deco headquarters of the former Tetley Brewery. Leeds Gallery at Munro House is an independent art gallery exhibiting artists, illustrators, photographers and designers working in all types of media. The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery offers innovative art exhibitions from the University Art Collection and Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery displays the finest rare books, manuscripts, art and archives from our world renowned Special Collections. Home to Opera North and Northern Ballet, Leeds also plays host to West End shows, comedy, major concerts and theatre productions.


Issho, Christmas - Carl Milner for  Visit Leeds

Leeds has always been held in high esteem in the food and drink realm. In recent years the biggest growth in the food and drink scene has come from a fantastic range of independent cafés, bars and restaurants. You can’t Visit Leeds without sampling the delights of Ox ClubIberica or Issho! Leeds has a café culture which can rival any leading European city. Visitors should head to Mrs Atha’s for delicious freshly baked treats, a cool urban vibe and fantastic coffee. Or try Bundobust, a craft beer bar that sells top quality beverages accompanied by incredible freshly prepared Indian street food.

From Michelin starred restaurants to street food stalls in Trinity Kitchen and Kirkgate Market serving up an ever changing variety of exciting cuisines, Leeds has something for everyone including a diverse range of restaurants, with an abundance of world cuisine on offer in all areas of the city, so there is something for every culinary palate.

Mist slowly lifting from the Yorkshire Pennines, part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park - VisitEn

Leeds provides the perfect base for exploring the local countryside. Hop on a train to Ilkley for a scenic walk on the famous Ilkley Moor. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, call into Bettys Tea Room for some quintessentially English refreshments. And once you’re refreshed you can lose yourself in the majesty of the Yorkshire Dales National park. Bolton Abbey is just 20 minutes from Ilkley (and only one hour from Leeds) where you can discover

Add Haworth to your list to take in the landscape that inspired the Brontës. A trip to this charming village surrounded by rough, brooding moorland is sure to leave you inspired. All of these destinations are within easy reach of Leeds. Enjoy a day in the countryside and be back in the city centre in time for dinner and a show!

Royal Armouries - credit Mike Wilczek

Leeds has a wealth of museums and attractions many within walking distance of the centre. These include the Henry Moore Institute the award winning Thackray Medical Museum and Leeds City Museum which takes you from the famed Leeds Tiger to a 3,000 year old Egyptian mummy. Alternatively, take a water taxi along the River Aire and visit Britain’s national museum of arms and armour, The Royal Armouries, one of the most important museums of its type in the world. Based at Leeds Dock, it is home to the UK’s largest collection of arms, armour and artillery, including Henry VIII’s original armour. Animal lovers in the family? You’re in for a treat! Visit Tropical World and explore tropical habitats and other exotic places from around the world. You can see crocodiles, lemurs, butterflies, bats, snakes and meerkats!