Leeds Things To Do
Welcome to the vibrant city of Leeds, where history, culture, and excitement collide. There are lots of things to do in Leeds, Yorkshire.
Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a visitor eager to explore, this bustling city has something for everyone. From historic landmarks to thriving shopping districts, and from world-class museums to eclectic dining experiences, Leeds offers an array of activities that will leave you wanting more.
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the city as you wander through the cobbled streets of the Leeds City Centre, or take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Indulge in retail therapy at the renowned Trinity Leeds, where you can find a mix of high-street favourites and designer boutiques. And when it comes to food, Leeds boasts an impressive culinary scene, with an array of international cuisines to tempt your taste buds. So, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a taste of the local culture, join us as we uncover the top 20 things to do in Leeds. Get ready to be captivated by this vibrant city that never fails to impress.
Explore Leeds City Centre
Leeds City Centre is a hub of activity, with a mix of historical architecture, modern developments, and vibrant street life. Start your exploration at the iconic Leeds Town Hall, a magnificent Victorian building that stands as a testament to the city’s architectural heritage. Take a walk along Briggate, one of the oldest shopping streets in the country, and discover a mix of high-street brands, independent boutiques, and unique shops. Don’t miss the historic Kirkgate Market, where you can find everything from fresh produce to vintage clothing. Leeds City Centre is also home to a variety of cultural attractions, including the Leeds Art Gallery, which houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. After a day of exploring, unwind at one of the many bars and restaurants that line the city’s streets, offering a range of cuisines to suit every palate.
Explore the Fascinating Ruins of Kirkstall Abbey
Kirkstall Abbey is a beautiful medieval Cistercian monastery located just a few miles from Leeds city centre. Stepping into the abbey feels like stepping back in time, with its impressive ruins and peaceful surroundings. Take a stroll through the abbey grounds and admire the intricate architecture and stunning natural beauty. Don’t forget to visit the on-site museum, where you can learn more about the history of the abbey and its inhabitants. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of ancient architecture, Kirkstall Abbey is a must-visit.
Visit the Leeds Royal Armouries Museum
Located in the heart of Leeds, the Royal Armouries Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This world-class museum showcases the national collection of arms and armor, spanning over 3,000 years of history. Explore the impressive galleries, which house a vast array of artifacts, including suits of armor, weapons, and artwork. Don’t miss the thrilling live demonstrations, where expert interpreters bring history to life through exciting displays of combat and skill. With free admission and a wealth of knowledge to uncover, the Royal Armouries Museum is a captivating experience for all ages.
Take a Trip to Roundhay Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature at Roundhay Park. This expansive green space is one of the largest city parks in Europe, offering a tranquil retreat for visitors of all ages. Take a leisurely stroll around the park’s picturesque lakes, or explore the beautifully manicured gardens. Roundhay Park is also home to Tropical World, a popular attraction that houses a variety of exotic plants, animals, and birds. From meandering woodland walks to picnics on the grass, Roundhay Park is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Immerse Yourself in Art at the Leeds Art Gallery
The Leeds Art Gallery is a cultural gem that houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. From paintings and sculptures to video installations and photography, the gallery showcases the works of both local and international artists. Take your time to explore the various exhibitions and immerse yourself in the world of art. The gallery also offers guided tours and workshops, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the artworks and their significance. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of creative expression, a visit to the Leeds Art Gallery is a must.
Discover the Leeds-Liverpool Canal
Experience the beauty of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal as you take a leisurely stroll along its towpath. Stretching for 127 miles, this historic waterway offers a peaceful escape from the city. Admire the narrowboats as they glide through the water, or simply sit back and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings. The canal passes through some of Leeds’ most picturesque areas, including the charming village of Rodley and the vibrant Granary Wharf. Stop off at one of the many canal-side pubs and enjoy a refreshing drink or a delicious meal, while taking in the scenic views.
Immerse Yourself in Art at the Henry Moore Institute
Art lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the Henry Moore Institute, a leading centre for the study and display of sculpture. Located in the heart of Leeds, this internationally renowned institute showcases a diverse range of contemporary and historical sculpture, with exhibitions that change regularly. Explore the galleries, which house an impressive collection of sculptures, drawings, and other forms of artistic expression. The Henry Moore Institute also hosts a range of events, including talks, workshops, and performances, making it a vibrant hub for artistic exploration.
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Indulge in Retail Therapy at the Iconic Leeds Victoria Quarter
If shopping is your guilty pleasure, then a visit to the Victoria Quarter is a must. This stunning shopping arcade is home to a wide range of luxury brands and designer boutiques, making it the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy. The Victoria Quarter is not just a shopping destination; it’s an architectural masterpiece. The intricate ironwork, stained glass windows, and elegant marble floors create a unique and luxurious shopping experience. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, jewellery, or homeware, you’ll find it all in the Victoria Quarter.
Discover the History of Leeds at the Leeds City Museum
The Leeds City Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the city’s rich history. From ancient Egyptian mummies to interactive displays on the Industrial Revolution, the museum offers a fascinating insight into Leeds’ past. Explore the various galleries and learn about the city’s heritage through the interactive exhibits and informative displays. The museum also hosts regular events and workshops, making it a great place to learn and engage with history. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the city’s past, a visit to the Leeds City Museum is a must.
Experience the Thrills at Xscape Yorkshire
Xscape Yorkshire is an entertainment complex that offers a wide range of activities for adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers. From indoor skiing and snowboarding to rock climbing and trampolining, there’s something for everyone. Test your skills on the slopes, challenge yourself on the climbing walls, or have a blast on the trampolines. Xscape Yorkshire also houses a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops, making it the perfect place to spend a day of fun and excitement. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or looking to try something new, Xscape Yorkshire is a must-visit.
Explore the Leeds Corn Exchange
The Leeds Corn Exchange is a stunning Grade I listed building that has been transformed into a vibrant hub for independent businesses. Step inside and you’ll find a treasure trove of unique shops, boutiques, and cafes. Explore the various stalls and discover one-of-a-kind products, from handmade jewellery to vintage clothing. The Leeds Corn Exchange is not just a shopping destination; it’s a cultural hub that celebrates creativity and entrepreneurship. Whether you’re a fashionista, an art lover, or simply looking for a unique shopping experience, a visit to the Leeds Corn Exchange is a must.
Discover the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills
The Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is a fascinating attraction that showcases the city’s industrial heritage. Housed in a former mill, the museum offers a glimpse into the world of textile manufacturing and engineering. Explore the various galleries and learn about the machines and processes that shaped Leeds’ industrial past. The museum also hosts regular events and workshops, allowing visitors to get hands-on with the exhibits. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the city’s industrial roots, a visit to the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is a must.
Visit the Thackray Medical Museum
The Thackray Medical Museum is a unique attraction that explores the history of medicine and healthcare. Step inside and you’ll find a fascinating collection of medical artifacts, interactive exhibits, and immersive displays. Learn about the evolution of medicine, from Victorian remedies to modern-day treatments. The museum also offers guided tours and workshops, allowing visitors to learn more about specific areas of medical history. Whether you’re interested in the human body, medical advancements, or simply curious about the world of healthcare, a visit to the Thackray Medical Museum is a must.
Watch a Performance at the Leeds Grand Theatre
The Leeds Grand Theatre is a historic venue that hosts a variety of performances, from West End musicals to ballet and opera. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by the stunning auditorium, with its ornate decor and plush seating. Watch a world-class performance and immerse yourself in the magic of live theatre. The Leeds Grand Theatre also hosts regular backstage tours, allowing visitors to go behind the scenes and learn more about the theatre’s history. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or simply appreciate the performing arts, a visit to the Leeds Grand Theatre is a must.
Immerse Yourself in Nature at Golden Acre Park
Golden Acre Park is a beautiful green space located just a few miles from Leeds city centre. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and tranquillity. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s well-maintained gardens, or relax by the lake and watch the swans and ducks. Golden Acre Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including squirrels, rabbits, and birds. Pack a picnic and spend a sunny afternoon surrounded by nature. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk or a scenic picnic spot, Golden Acre Park is a must-visit.
Discover the Leeds City Varieties Music Hall
The Leeds City Varieties Music Hall is a historic venue that has been entertaining audiences since 1865. Step inside and you’ll be transported back in time, with its ornate decor and vintage charm. Watch a variety show or a comedy performance and experience the magic of live entertainment. The Leeds City Varieties Music Hall also hosts regular events and workshops, allowing visitors to learn more about the history of the venue and its performers. Whether you’re a fan of music, comedy, or simply appreciate the nostalgia of a bygone era, a visit to the Leeds City Varieties Music Hall is a must.
Enjoy a Relaxing Boat Ride on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal offers a unique way to explore the city and its surrounding countryside. Hop aboard a narrowboat and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the canal. Admire the scenic views, spot wildlife, and learn about the history of the canal from your knowledgeable guide. The boat trips range from short cruises within the city centre to full-day excursions into the countryside. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or a full-day adventure, a boat ride on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a must.
Visit the Leeds Kirkgate Market
The Leeds Kirkgate Market is one of the largest covered markets in Europe and a true Leeds institution. Step inside and you’ll find a vibrant mix of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and clothing to books and electronics. The market is a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines, with food stalls offering a variety of international flavours. Sample some local delicacies, grab a bargain, or simply soak up the lively atmosphere. Whether you’re a bargain hunter, a food lover, or simply looking for a unique shopping experience, a visit to the Leeds Kirkgate Market is a must.
Explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a stunning natural playground located just a short drive from Leeds. With its rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and charming villages, it’s the perfect place to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature. Explore the numerous walking trails and discover breathtaking views at every turn. The Yorkshire Dales National Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including red squirrels, otters, and birds of prey. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, a visit to the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a must.
In conclusion, Leeds offers a wide range of experiences and attractions that will appeal to visitors and locals alike. From exploring the city’s rich history to indulging in retail therapy, immersing yourself in art, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Leeds. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an adventurer, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, this vibrant city has it all. So, make sure to add these 20 must-do activities to your Leeds itinerary and make your time here truly unforgettable.