We’ve all been there; after a long week of work, you just want to go somewhere new. Here are some of our top things to do in Leeds.
Leeds City Centre — Eat and Drink
In the centre of Leeds there’s a wide variety of places to eat and drink covering all kinds of cuisines and styles. The streets nearest to Leeds Train Station are home to multiple bars, hotels and restaurants for the avid foodie. Italian, Indian, Chinese and Mexican; the whole world is represented in the city’s eateries.
You’ll of course find your larger chains and bars such as Wetherspoons, O’Neills, and Slug and Lettuce, but there are plenty more smaller establishments which provide variety and could be your next favourite dish.
Some highlights for us make up our best places to eat in Leeds.
Hidden Gem — Döner Summer
When looking for somewhere different to eat, Döner Summer fits the bill. It’s one of Complete Travel Guide’s favourites. Burgers, kebabs and döner trays are all on offer at Döner Summer amidst a chilled-out atmosphere and good vibes. Their drinks list compliments their food menu well and takeaway orders can even be placed via delivery sites. The restaurant is only a short walk from the Leeds Corn Exchange and Kirkgate market.
Döner Summer offer a completely vegan menu, though that’s not to say meat-eaters can’t enjoy a tasty meal.
For more information, visit https://www.donersummer.com/
Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum is just off Millennium square, north of Leeds train station. Expect to find exhibits from a variety of different subjects including history, arts and crafts. There’s plenty of fun things to do for children and adults alike from arts classes to weaving; the museum also hosts Leeds City Museum Community Choir. The Museum has a popular coffee shop and is a favourite for local residents.
Entry to the Museum is free of charge: find out more at https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-city-museum/
Royal Armouries Museum — Leeds Dock
One of our top things to do in Leeds is to visit the Royal Armouries Museum on Leeds Dock. With completely free entry, the Royal Armouries Museum is a great place for those interested in the history of how arms and weaponry shaped the modern world.
Situated on the docks of the River Aire, Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds has multiple nearby parking spots and is ideal for younger children with a fascination in world history.
The museum features daily shows, combat demonstrations and interactive tours so is ideal for families and history-buffs; they even offer an outdoor cinema in the summer months.
Whilst entry is free, it’s recommended to book admission in advance as it can get fairly busy at peak times. Find out more on their website — https://royalarmouries.org/venue/royal-armouries-museum/
Shopping Areas in Leeds
Briggate — Leeds
Briggate is one of the must-see things to do in Leeds. With history reaching as far back to as least the 12th century, the pedestrianised concourse is now home to multiple luxury shops including Louis Vuitton and Mulberry. Small cut-throughs hide independent stores and other attractions such as the “heart of Leeds”: The Turks’s Head Pub, Leeds’ oldest public house.
Trinity Centre — Leeds
In Leeds City Centre lies the Trinity Centre. Nestled between Briggate and Albion Street the shopping centre is packed with designer outlets, independent stores and a wide variety of places to eat and drink including cocktail bars. Trinity Shopping Centre boasts a dedicated area for street food, space enough for all of the big brands and even hosts a cinema.
Trinity Leeds spans multiple levels and has ample parking with public transport links nearby.
Find out more — https://trinityleeds.com/
Victoria — Leeds
Another great place for the shopaholic, Victoria boasts some of the finest of the luxury high-street retailers. Rolex, Vivienne Westwood and Tommy Hillfiger can keep you occupied in Leeds for hours, but you’ll also be able to find places to eat and drink; from your everyday corner-shop-coffee to artisan barista-made espresso and handmade doughnuts.
Leeds Corn Exchange — Leeds
Built in the mid 19th century, Leeds Corn Exchange is a gorgeous example of Victorian architecture. Now home to private retailers and coffee houses, the Corn Exchange is a great place to visit when visiting Leeds. It’s en route to the Royal Armouries Museum if you’re heading via The Calls and is ideal for the smaller, independent shop rather than big-business.
As one of the finest country houses in West Yorkshire, Harewood House provides all that you’d expect from a Grade I listed stately home. With 120 acres covering just the house and grounds itself (Harewood Estate is far more extensive), visitors can enjoy the formal gardens, tours of the house and other exhibitions that are put on throughout the year.
There’s plenty on offer, from kids’ activities to artisan winter markets — the estate also puts on an Outdoor Cinema in summer. There’s even a bird garden.
The management of the estate extends further than just the house and its grounds; they oversee various environmental projects as well as local farming on their land.
Further information is available: https://harewood.org/
Kirkstall Abbey and Abbey House Museum — Leeds
As one of the best preserved cistercian monasteries in the UK, Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most impressive attractions in Leeds. Established in 1152, the post-reformation ruins serve as a sighted landmark in the Kirkstall skyline. The abbey is now a grade I listed building and scheduled monument. General entry is free to Leeds residents, with annual passes available and other ticketed events throughout the year.
Between Spring and Autumn, the Abbey Market hosts local traders in the cloister on the final weekend of each month. The nearby gatehouse is a grade II listed building and is only a short walk over the road — it is now home to the Abbey House Museum which showcases some of Leeds’ lost Victorian history.
Golden Acre Park — Outer Leeds
A perfect summer family day out in the great outdoors — Golden Acre Park is a little further out from the Leeds city centre but is certainly worth the trip. With ample guest parking, the park shows off the best of northern horticulture and wildlife with multiple gardens and woodland all surrounding the Wildfowl lake. Vegetable gardens are meticulously cared for with special attention paid to the Cherry Orchard.
The park is home to many different types of bird and other wildlife, which can all be observed from the multiple viewing spots around the park, or from the safety of the park café if the weather should turn. The cafe is also where you can find live music every week.
Find out more at https://goldenacrepark.co.uk/