Leeds, the largest
city in the historic county of Yorkshire is famed for its excellent shopping,
vibrant nightlife, thriving universities and sports. But in addition to
these, Leeds is an extremely attractive city with wonderful Georgian, Victorian,
20th and 21st century architecture. There are also plenty of fantastic
museums, cafés, restaurants and theatres to visit, not to mention
easy access to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors.
|Although not considered
a 'traditional' tourist destination, Leeds has plenty to occupy the visitor
for a short break or a longer stay. As well as the main sights, museums,
galleries, shops, parks etc, wandering around the buzzing city centre to
take in the atmosphere and admire the fantastic blend of architectural
styles from the past few hundred years is a pleasure in itself. Within
the city centre the main districts are the civic quarter, central shopping
district, exchange quarter and financial district.
There is generally something going on! A great public space home to some
gorgeous civic architecture, concerts, exhibitions, ice rinks, Christmas
St Anne's Cathedral,
Cookridge Street. Small, but an extremely interesting example of an Arts
and Crafts, 19th Century Catholic Cathedral - unique within the UK.
St John's Church,
New Briggate. Hidden away within peaceful gardens lies this true gem, built
just before the English Civil War, it has beautiful ornate woodwork in
its charming interior, and architecturally it is an extremely rare example
of a 17th century double nave design.
Town Hall, The Headrow.
The city's symbol and pride and joy, one of the world's finest Victorian
buildings, and home to a dazzling array of concerts, particularly during
the city's popular and extensive International Concert Season. The recently
restored interior is stunning.
Leeds Art Gallery and
Henry Moore Institute, The Headrow. The world of modern and classical
art is at your disposal here in Leeds. It has a small but interesting range
of exhibits, and is a great place to kill half an hour, and it's free!
Oxford Place Chapel,
Oxford Place. Lovely 19th Century, red-brick baroque church.
Victoria Quarter including
Arcade, Briggate. When the Victorian civic authorities sought to improve
the sights and foul smells of Briggate and the city centre, they decided
to demolish some of the city's dirtiest yards, alleyways, shambles and
lanes and in there place build covered shopping arcades filled with fine
establishments. These were to cater for the refined tastes of the growing
moneyed classes of Leeds. This rebuilding continued into Edwardian times
and the legacy of which are some of Europe's finest, most elegant shopping
locations. Even today these arcades are home to some of the most exclusive
designer shops that Great Britain can offer (Vivienne Westwood, Hugo Boss,
Luis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols to name but a few).
Kirkgate Market, Vicar
Lane. This traditional British market is largest in Europe. Housed
in an opulent late Victorian palace to commerce, it has both indoor and
outdoor stalls. Marks and Spencer had their first establishment here, originally
called, 'Marks Penny Bazaar'.
Corn Exchange, Call Lane.
Shopping in surroundings to rival any of Leeds' fine arcades. Located just
to the south of Kirkgate markets on Vicar Lane. Designed by Cuthbert Broderick
and architecturally based on the Paris corn exchange. A largely elliptical
building, crowned with a great glass dome roof, that allows light to stream
in even on the greyest Yorkshire winter mornings. (Broderick was also architect
of Leeds town hall and the Leeds Mechanics' Institute, Millennium Square,
Two shops designed by Broderick still survive opposite the Mechanics Institute
on Cookridge Street, now converted into a cocktail bar.)
Parish Church, Kirkgate.
An attractive and fairly large neo-gothic church with a renowned choir
and concerts from time to time. During the rebuilding of the Parish church
in Victorian times, the original Saxon crosses where Leeds folk would have
worshipped in the 8/9th centuries (well before the first church of Leeds
had been founded) were unearthed in the medieval tower and is permanently
on display inside.
|Holy Trinity Church,
Boar Lane. An unassuming location and exterior hide an elegant baroque
interior, built for the merchant class by subscription and donation so
they could worship well away from the lower working classes of the city.
The Iconic spire of Holy Trinity has dominated the skyline of the city
for hundreds of years; and after undergoing restoration in 2006/7 will
continue to do so.
Park Square. A lovely
Georgian square reminiscent of Dublin, and is often an overlooked haven
of tranquility in the city centre.
Clarence Dock, river
area. This interesting development of cafés, restaurants, shops
and apartments. Home to Royal Armouries Museum.
The Royal Armouries Museum,
Armouries Drive, river area Clarence Dock). National museum of
all things deadly, from swords and guns to armoury and pikes, now famous
for its regular live jousting. Contains rare armour belonging to King Henry
VIII and a diverse arsenal from the Royal collection, sourced from a-far
a field as China, India and America. Features rare experimental pistols,
and weaponry from many of the world's conflicts.
Salem Chapel, Bridge End.
Interesting and unique Unitarian chapel. Also the place where Leeds United
football club was founded, replacing the old bankrupt Leeds City football
Leeds Christmas Illuminations
(Leeds Lights). The UK's biggest display, are an annual display from
Nov-Jan comprising both big show lights and the subtle and beautiful across
the city, and are even longer than the legendary Blackpool Illuminations.